Tudor’s BB Chrono has been one of the most talked about movements of the year. It has a formidable set of specs, and the collaboration with Breitling is a bold (and smart) play. But it’s far from Tudor’s first step on the road from ETA to movement autonomy. Here’s what they’ve achieved in a few short years.
2011 – The Advisor
Not many people realise the story of Tudor’s movement development goes back as far as 2011 – to the very first watch in the Heritage collection, the Advisor. The Advisor is one of the unsung heroes of the collection, not least because the alarm module was developed in-house — and it’s still one of the smartest of its type. Date, on/off indicator and alarm power reserve are all visible, but the really neat trick is that the alarm sound ends abruptly, rather than fading off slowly.
2015 – The North Flag
When they’re not making excellent watches, Tudor are busy building drama and mystery around their watch releases. Never has this been more evident than with the North Flag. Not only was this a completely new watch (when we were expecting another Black Bay), but it was powered by the MT5621, a completely new movement with an impressive laundry list of features: COSC certification, three days of power reserve (with an indicator on the dial), silicon hairspring and variable inertia oscillator. Not only this, but the movement looks the part. Modern, industrial and clean. Just like the watch.
A slight variation of this movement, the MT5612, also showed up in the Pelagos. This movement lacks the power reserve indicator of the North Flag.
2016 – The Pelagos LHD
Not only did this year see almost all Black Bay models (with the exception of the petite 36) get the in-house treatment, but the Pelagos LHD, released in November, saw a tweaked MT5612 used, as the COSC testing had to be modified to take the left handed movement into account.
2017 – The Black Bay Chrono
The latest step in Tudor’s movement evolution is, perhaps, the most significant. The MT5813 is a seriously impressive chronograph, adding Tudor’s own silicon tech and escapement to Breitling’s B01 architecture — and given the price point, there’s a strong argument to be made for the BB Chrono as the best value chronograph on the market today. The Black Bay also got a date window.
As we’re now in the second half of 2017, we find ourselves starting to ask the question we always ask of Tudor: what are they going to surprise us with next?