Tudor Heritage Black Bay

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    1964 Tudor Submariner / 2012 Tudor Back Bay

I’ll admit it. From the first moment I snaped a Rolex clasp around my wrist I knew I was in trouble. Never before had I been so convinced about the near-perfection of a product.

Without hesitation I purchased my first Rolex, the 116610 Submariner with cerachrome bezel. Wow. What a watch. I became obsessed with everything Rolex, quickly soaking up as much of the history as I could. I now own magazine ads from as early as the 1930’s, various paraphernalia ranging from a brass bust of a divers helmet – used in Rolex boutiques as a gimmick along side the Submariner – to limited production, hand painted representations of Rolex watches commissioned from half way around the world.

Fast forward to just over a year later and the result of my research into horology and more specifically Rolex leads me to the discovery of seldomly mentioned Datejust Turn-o-graph. Sadly, discontinued before my affection for fine timepieces transpired, I stumbled upon a rare version of this watch, the 116263 Limited Production Green (Japan market only). I had to have it, even though I knew it would be nothing more than a safe queen, occasionally making an appearance for those special and rare occasions such as the christening of your first born child.

The TOG Datejust fit my wrist perfectly and I was in disbelief when I admitted to myself that it was a better fit than the 116610 Sub. I immediately went out and bought an 116234 Datejust with silver dial, my now daily wear.

I decided to sell my Sub in order to justify the purchase of my DJ – what a mistake. To those of you thinking about selling your first Rolex, don’t do it, you’ll regret it. Hang onto it for a couple of years at least. Be absolutely sure that you’re willing to part with it.

And now we get to the point of this post. The Tudor Black Bay. One of the nicest designs I have seen in a tool watch.

1964 Tudor Submariner / 2012 Tudor Back Bay

1964 Tudor Submariner / 2012 Tudor Back Bay

Winner of the Revival Prize at the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, as “the best watch to offer a contemporary interpretation of an iconic historical model.” The Tudor Black Bay is well deserving of its recognition. The watch is masterfully crafted and the design team has included beautiful details, abscent from many contemporary interpretations of historical models – Omega Seamaster 300 “Spectre” edition, I expected more.

I never thought I’d own a Tudor – the little sister of Rolex, wanting to hang out with the big kids but not being tall enough to get on the rides. Trolling through various watch enthusiast forums didn’t help their cause, seeing comments like, “cheap version of a Rolex”, “no originality”, “sourced movements”. Why would any self respecting Rolex owner  ever “downgrade” to a Tudor? Because, they’ve done a damn good job. I couldn’t be happier that my hunt for a modern sport watch with a vintage feel ended with the Tudor Heritage Black Bay. The real kicker, it was less than half the price of my Sub and it feels better only my wrist.

Yes, I know it’s not an in-house movement but it is a heavily modified 2824 ETA “top grade” movement. This particular movement is the highest quality movement made by ETA and the only difference between this and the COSC certified version is exactly that, it’s not COSC, although it performs spot on. Tudor has replaced the anti-shock system from Incabloc to a KIF system, the regulation system has also been replaced with a Triovis fine adjustment mechanism, which in itself would require several related elements to be modified in order to facilitate the retrofit.

If you already own a few “high-end” watches,  or more accurately “high-dollar” value watches, the Tudor BB is the perfect weekend wear – swimming, digging, cutting, comfy jeans and a campfire watch. You won’t worry about dings, dents and scratches. It’s a inexpensive, masterfully crafted watch that looks and feels damn good on your wrist.

 

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