Tudor’s new Black Bay Chrono brims with vintage cool and investment potential
When I walked out of the Baselworld show back in 2010, one watch that stuck in my mind was a faithful reincarnation of Tudor’s original 1971 reference 7149 “Monte Carlo” called the Heritage Chrono.
New Tudor watches weren’t available to buy either in the UK or most other parts of the world at the time – because the firm did 95 per cent of its business in mainland China.
That all changed between 2012 and 2014 when Tudor returned to the American and European markets with a vengeance, quickly becoming the fourth top-seller in the 50 British multi-brand stores where it was initially available.
Prior to that, the less well-informed would describe the make (unfairly) as a “poor man’s” version of its stablemate Rolex – which is not quite what Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf had in mind when he launched Tudor back in 1946 in order to offer a watch of similar quality to a Rolex but at a more affordable price.
But in the past seven years since Tudor took the UK market by storm, Wilsdorf’s original aim has been fully realised. The dial name is now recognised not just for making great watches at decent prices but as a standalone brand with a rich history and a knack for turning out hits and, on some occasions, models that quickly come to be regarded as classics.
The new Tudor Black Bay Chrono, from £3,660
The original Heritage Black Bay Red with ETA movement and the words “self winding” written in an arc (what Tudor fans call a “smiley face” dial) is already rising in value less than a decade after launch and the green-bezel Harrods special edition now trades at £4,000 to £4,500 compared with its original 2017 price of £2,630.
The above facts are all worth considering if you’ve already fallen in love with Tudor’s newly unveiled Black Bay Chrono (pictured) but feel the need to further justify meeting the £3,660 price of a strap version or the £3,990 it costs on a bracelet.
The Heritage Black Bay first appeared in chronograph form in 2017 and, until now, all-steel versions have only been available with all-black dials. This new variant brings an entirely attainable touch of the famous contrasting sub-dials often associated with now hugely expensive vintage Rolex Cosmographs.
Available with black or opaline dials, each with “panda” or “reverse panda” chronograph counters, the watch retains the existing Black Bay Chrono’s screw-down pushers and “snowflake” hour hand carried over from Tudor’s diving models, but now shows the depth rating in red – again, a cue from Rolex pieces of the 1960s and 1970s.
As ever, you get a great-quality in-house, chronometer-certified column wheel movement and a choice of either two straps (aged leather or jacquard fabric) or a steel bracelet – plus a five-year transferable guarantee.
We reckon all that makes this new arrival a considerably better bet than having money in the bank.
So do stop dithering. Just go out and buy it before a waiting list develops.
Source Credit: This article originally appeared on GQ Magazine by British GQ. Read the original article - https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/watches/article/tudor-black-bay-chrono-2021