If you are a go-getter type of person, someone that likes to get out of his comfort zone but always makes sure to only take reasonable risks, then this watch is for you. Not because you necessarily need to own a watch for being a go-getter type of guy, but because us men like to choose our ‘accessory’ depending on our lifestyle. Yet the TUDOR Black Bay is much more: a timeless and elegant timepiece and if you need, also a pure purpose-built tool watch. When introducing a bronze case in 2016, TUDOR referenced their diving watches of the 1950s, such as the reference 7924 Oyster Prince Submariner that in the 1970s was also used by the French Navy with its distinctive ‘Snowflake’ hands. Launched with a brown dial and brown bezel in 2016, it is now a new model with a slate grey dial and bezel.
However, the first bronze model probably generated a little more attention. It was the first Black Bay with a bronze case, a larger case size of 43 mm, and on top of all that, it was the first model in this line equipped with a TUDOR in-house movement (MT5601). The new Black Bay Bronze from 2019 (Ref. 79250BA) only differs in its colour scheme, but for the very first time, it is being worn by football and style icon David Beckham. Indeed, a very clever strategy, as David Beckham represents a lifestyle that meets the modern spirit of the brand and the Black Bay model – or is it the lifestyle of TUDOR that fits David Beckham? On the face of it, both seem to be correct, as the partnership is a well-made symbiosis.
To find out what kind of guy David Beckham is off the football pitch, you can now follow his ‘Daring Stories’. There, for example, he joins Morgan Bourc’his, world champion in free diving, on a free dive trip in the ocean and talks about adventure journeys with his motorbike across the boundlessness of America. On his wrist: the TUDOR Black Bay Bronze – and it’s a match. Because this watch with the calibre MT5601 is mechanically one of the toughest and most reliable movements in this price segment. Not least thanks to the expertise of Rolex that was founded 26 years before TUDOR, but from the same visionary man, Hans Wilsdorf. When he started to operate the brand under the name Montres TUDOR S.A. in 1946, he wanted to make watches that would not be less reliable than Rolex, but watches that agents could sell at a more modest price.
In the past, this was feasible because TUDOR only used movements from external suppliers like FEF, Eta, Valjoux and A. Schild. But still, even after introducing an in-house movement in 2015, pricing has stayed attractive, as TUDOR uses different materials than Rolex. For example, bezels are made of aluminium instead of Cerachrom ceramic, indexes are made of brass instead of gold, and in terms of steel, TUDOR uses the alloy 316L instead of the very solid Rolex-owned Oystersteel 904L.
The in-house calibre MT5601 that beats at a 4 Hz frequency with a variable inertia balance and a non-magnetic silicon balance spring is certified as a chronometer by COSC. That also means that the watch may only have a maximum deviation of -2 and +4 seconds per day. The sturdy traversing bridge with a two-point fixation replaces the cock we have known from the reliable Rolex movements. The bidirectional rotor system keeps the watch going for 70 hours in resting mode.
The new Black Bay Bronze has a dial and bezel in slate grey that goes pretty well with bronze. The gold accents frame the numerals, and indexes add a warm and elegant finish to a rough bronze and coolish slate grey shade. If you wear the watch regularly, you can look forward to an individual patina that the satin-aluminium copper alloy of the case develops over time.
To fit the slate grey colour scheme, the new Black Bay Bronze is worn on a slate grey woven jacquard strap with a striking gold-coloured thread. Its inspiration comes from an original TUDOR diving watch of the French Navy that was found with an elastic strap from a rescue parachute. Additionally, you can choose a black nubuck leather strap. A good lifestyle does not have to be outpriced. For 3,770 euros, you get premium Swiss precision and quality.