The Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G has somewhat been left in the shadows of the oh-so-perfect-but-slightly-over-hyped 58. The original Black Bay 58 in black is actually part of my own collection, and while it does sit on my wrist with a calm, quiet confidence, I have toyed with the idea of flipping it for this two-tone big brother that comes with oodles of brash charm.
Personally, I’m a sucker for a simple, balanced bi-compax chronograph, and this hits that nail square on the head. Two-tone designs are also a guilty pleasure for me, being old enough to feel a warm tingle of nostalgia for ’80s excess. But don’t be fooled by the snazzy shots here, the Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G has a soft satin finishing conveying a different, rather elegant and tailored image than the yuppie wrist nuggets of 1989.
The Chronograph sits in the same 41mm case as an OG Tudor Black Bay, considered a small, comfortable wearing watch before the 58 dominated sales. It’s beefy in pictures due to its polished cliff-face case sides, but the feel on the wrist is sublime. You do feel the weight, but no more than the steel version. We are just past 14mm in thickness, but it’s a balanced 41mm size, thanks to a comfortable lug to lug length and the large pushers and crown. The pushers have a rather solid feel inherited from the Breitling B01 family, so you might risk feeling a little puny while quietly assured that the Tudor Chronograph is certainly tough enough for most adventures. The large tool crown only underlines the strength and solidity of the Rolex family ties.
The bezel game is strong with a motorsports-inspired solid gold bezel and a ’60s tachymetre scale, framing the purity of matte black. This is clearly vintage-infused, but the lume is refreshingly white, giving you crisp legibility, accentuating the single most prominent Tudor trait – those Snowflake hands that I absolutely love. Their large paddle-like shape simply works, and the white lume makes it even more prominent than normal, resulting in definite a win/win. There is a dynamic poise with the simple sword minutes hand, and the seconds gold needle pops with its candy red pointer. The two recessed gold registers are centered and perfectly balanced, the finish tying together what is a very cohesive design. There’s more ’60s influence with the Valjoux-movement inspired date at 6, and if anyone is even older than me they might give this Tudor the nickname John Player Special (google it kids).
The chronograph is based on the Breitling B01-calibre, in a delightful and unexpected collaboration. I remember when the masterful Daytona for the majority of its lifespan had a Zenith El Primero calibre, so just lose the obsession with in-house movements. The chronograph function is crisply clicky, with a quick bounce back to zero, so when it’s time for that tachymetre course, I’ll join you in class. This raffish gentleman’s chronograph with a strong motorsport influence sits with heft on the wrist, and the faux rivet design of the bracelet plays the same elegant game of the case, the polished edges framing superb three-link craftsmanship, seriously improved by the soft, solid gold warmth of the centre links. I’d suggest to add Tudor’s uber-cool leather bund strap, for that Steve-Mcqueen-on-a-motorbike vibe. Who’s Steve M? Thanks, feeling old yet again.
Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G price and availability:
The Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G is $9540AUD and is currently available. Alternatively, if you’re looking to pick one up on the secondary market, head over to eBay.
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