For Baselworld 2016, Tudor introduced its first ever bronze case in the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze reference 79250BM. Unlike the existing Black Bay models under the brand’s stable, this new version has a number of obvious differences.
The first obvious difference is the material used for the watch casing. For the first time, Tudor has decided to use an aluminum and bronze alloy for the watch casing. From the warm and gold-looking colour of freshly minted bronze, it will transform to a bronze green patina rather quickly (the speed of patina is measured in months rather than years). The same alloy is also used for the bezel and the crown. Only the case-back is made out of stainless steel because bronze is not hypoallergenic. Nevertheless, to keep up with the consistency in colour, the case-back is bronze-coloured PVD treated. This would allow the whole watch to gain patina at the same time.
The second major difference is the size. The diameter of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM has been upsized by an additional 2 mm to 43 mm in diameter.
The third major difference is the lack of metal bracelet option for this model. Tudor has added as part of the package a leather strap with bronze buckle and an additional fabric strap with bronze buckle.
Finally, the use of Tudor’s own in-house manufactured movement, the Calibre MT5601. A COSC certified movement; it has a 70-hour power reserve. Operating at 4 Hertz or 28,800 VPH, the movement is regulated by a silicon balance spring which helps increase its resistance to magnetic fields.
The dial is simple with numerals applied for the 3-, 6- and 9-hour position while the rest have triangle and dots markers. The frame for the numerals, markers and minute indexes are made in pink gold. Only the numerals and markers are filled with light beige luminous paint. The hands are the signature “snowflake” shape. The dial is matte brown.
Apart from these differences, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze remains true to its siblings. Able to dive down to 200 meters, it has a straight-through lug hole to facilitate changing of straps.
The look of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze is simple and clean. I like this aspect of the watch but some changes made does put into question Tudor’s reading of the market space.
The obvious question is the size increase. For a watch with a simple dial, the need to upsize from an already comfortable 41 mm to just 43 mm is puzzling to me. The advantage of just 2 mm does not make a whole lot of difference. Better to have increased the size to 45 mm or 46 mm. As it is, I am fine with just 41 mm as it fits nicely on my 7.5-inch circumference wrist.
The use of bronze as a core material only caters for a small fringe of the collectors market. Let’s be honest, a lot of us, after paying a lot of money, would love our watches to stay pristine as long as possible. The thought of wanting an expensive watch to patina (effectively rust) is beyond me. This factor alone would make most potential buyers skip this model and wait for a more practical material such as stainless steel, titanium or other precious metals to be incorporated in newer models. For more info, please visit tudorwatch.com
MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here