Last Friday, Tudor hit Sydney’s Rapha Cycle Club to present its 2016 novelties, and lured by the prospect of lunchtime Champagne, we were there too. Patrick Boutellier, GM of Tudor Australia, looked typically impeccable in a slim black suit by P.Johnson Tailors. Jordan and Zac Stenmark, mentors on the latest season of Australia’s Next Top Model, were admiring the wares. And the watchmaker at his work bench was demonstrating exactly how to rock geek-chic in a white lab coat and magnifying loupe.
But we didn’t come for the fashion – we were there for the timepieces. We thought we had a good idea of what to expect, namely Black Bays. And while they didn’t disappoint, we found some surprise hits in the line-up.
Heritage Advisor Cognac
Of everything on display, we made a beeline for the rich tawny tones of this new take on Tudor’s original 1957 alarm watch. Definitely the most grown-up of the bunch, it’s fairly large at 42mm, but somehow that doesn’t take away from its sophistication. And though it also comes with a steel bracelet, we prefer this alligator strap by far.
Fastrider Black Shield
Coming in at a totally different point on the sartorial spectrum, this take on a stealth watch is very (very) cool in the flesh. Though it’s not a new release for 2016, we think the matt black ceramic case and rubber strap are a perfect double-act, and ready for anything. Even if your version of covert ops is taking the wheelie bins out in your PJs on a Sunday night.
Heritage Black Bay Bronze
And, finally, the Black Bay Bronze. We thought we knew what to expect from this rough-and-ready diver, but the reality surprised us. Photos don’t do the tones of bronze and brown justice, and it’s a stunning (and hefty) piece on the wrist, especially suited to the aged leather strap. It looks good now, but we’re keen to seen one a few years down the track, once the patina has really started kicking in.