HANDS-ON: The Tudor Black Bay Bronze with slate grey dial for 2019Felix Scholz
If there was ever a case study for the difference a dial (and bezel) can make, the 2019 edition of the Tudor Black Bay Bronze with its slate grey dial is that watch. The new colour is subtle, and executed in a sophisticated manner, making for a dramatic improvement on the now discontinued khaki/brown version.
Before we get to the cool grey makeover, a recap. The Black Bay Bronze (or BBB to its friends) is — you guessed it — a bronze-cased version of Tudor’s flagship Black Bay. Specifically an alloy of bronze that’s high in aluminium, meaning you won’t get the sort of crazy green patina that was super popular a few years ago. As you’d expect, it’s an in-house movement, the MT5601. It’s still also the biggest of the Black Bays, rocking in at 43mm across, so if you’re slight of wrist, consider yourself warned. It comes on either a leather or fabric strap, though it’s worth noting that these days it’s an either/or situation, not both.
But, that dial. Slate grey really is an accurate term in this case. The dial looks cool and inviting — just like a slate floor on a hot day. It’s also an oh-so-subtly graduated finish, darker at the edge and lighter in the middle. This, combined with the gilt text and applied hour/numerals, really makes for a dial that pops hard, and in a way that no other Black Bay does. It’s legible, dynamic and fresh. It’s also framed very nicely by the darker grey bezel. Can you tell I like it?
Every year before Basel I find myself wondering if the Black Bay has run out of steam, or ways to surprise. And then I see something like this, and find my faith renewed. Well done, Tudor.
Tudor Black Bay Bronze with slate grey dial price
Tudor Black Bay Bronze, with slate grey dial, on leather or fabric, $5100 AUD