A dominant trend at Baselworld 2017 is the effort by brands large and small to provide a lower entry-level price. Low-cost movements by companies such as Ronda with the Mecano make automatic watches even more attractive at the lower end of the market. This year, Tudor have created a new mechanical watch for women starting at 2,000 Swiss francs, and they have extended their Black Bay range with models starting at 2,500 Swiss francs. The Tudor Heritage Black Bay S&G propels the Black Bay diving watch into a category beyond the tool watch, with a mix of steel and gold (hence the name S&G). It celebrates 60 years of Tudor dive watches.
The brand has tried to create a differentiation with respect to big brother Rolex by giving the gold a brushed finish, making it less in-your-face bling when compared to Rolex watches. The combination of black with gold trim, on the rotating bezel and crown, make it a very attractive piece at an attractive price: from 3,600 Swiss francs, £2,580. Not bad at all, considering that it has an in-house movement.
So-called “riveted” bracelets are popular with collectors, and were found on Tudor 1950s and ‘60s bracelets. The motif has been used on the Heritage Black Bay S&G. Tudor have been generous as far as straps are concerned, and the pack includes an extra brown canvas strap as standard, whether you choose the version with brown aged leather strap or steel bracelet, with folding clasp.
The crown is gold shell, while the first centre link is in solid gold. The other links are in gold cap, which is analogous to gold plate, but much thicker, so there is no chance of it wearing out, and it can be refinished in case of superficial scratches. The case is 41 mm in diameter, and it is waterproof to 200 metres (Tudor proudly say that their watches are waterproof and not simply water-resistant).
Manufacture movement, Calibre MT5612
This is a variation of the movement presented in 2015, reworked specially for this watch. For the first time, it includes a date window. Power reserve is 70 hours, so it can be taken off on Friday evening and put on again on Monday morning and it will still be running. It runs at 4 Hertz, and has a silicon balance spring, improving precision. It is in fact a COSC-certified movement.
Price and reference
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay S&G is reference 79733N. It costs 3,600 Swiss francs, £2,580, with leather strap, and 4,750 Swiss francs, £3,400, with steel bracelet. It will be available from May 2017.