Tudor Baselworld 2019 Summary

By: Greg Bedrosian

Tudor is one of those brands that piques the interest of a wide spectrum of watch enthusiasts. No matter what our opinions are of the brand, quality, and price point, Tudor captures our attention.

The Tudor 2019 Baselworld releases were confusing to say the least. Social media teasers, spoilers, strange marketing videos, and preconceived expectations allowed our emotions get the best of us this year. To make it easier, here is a summary of what you need to know about Tudor’s Baselworld 2019 new releases.

The Black Bay Bronze

– MSRP $4,050 Leather Strap / $4,050 Fabric Strap

Bronze is the new… bronze. The really striking thing about this watch, beside the bronze color, is that the case is 43mm. It’s going to wear large and in charge. If you are looking for a golden colored watch at a fraction of the price of gold this is not it. The bronze case will change appearance over time as it oxidizes.

The change for the new Black Bay Bronze this year was the addition of a slate grey dial. It’s a very nice color grey. There’s not much to say about it. This was a very safe play and not very interesting. This release got lost in the shuffle and will probably stay there.

Black Bay Chrono S&G

– MSRP $6,800 Bracelet / $5,600 Leather Strap / $5,600 Fabric Strap

The Black Bay Chrono S&G (Steel & Gold) was a slow burn for me. I struggled to understand it at first. Then it hit me. Tudor is really listening to enthusiasts and their wallets. This is about as close as you are going to get to a modern version of the Paul Newman Daytona.

Although the Paul Newman references never came in two-tone, or bi-compax subdials, the Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G draws strong styling cues from the vintage Daytonas of that era. The date window (not present on the Daytona) is more practical on a daily basis than a third subdial.


 
 

The Chrono S&G on a steel and yellow bracelet is loud and considerably costlier. I think that the better option here is either choice of the straps. There are strong feelings out there about bund style straps. The bund is easily removable, don’t let it deter you.

If I bought the Tudor Baselworld 2019 Chrono S&G, I’d ditch the stock straps altogether and go aftermarket. If you are looking for a throwback vibe, try a vintage rally style leather band. It will let all of the other gentleman racers (other people in the grocery store parking lot) know that you mean business.

The other aftermarket strap route is buying a high-quality black rubber strap from Rubber B or Everest. This will give you the look and feel of a modern Rolex Daytona in precious metal on an Oysterflex for a fraction of the price.

The Black Bay Chrono checks a lot of boxes and I’ve never been able to figure out why the steel version isn’t more popular. Look for the S&G version to give the Tudor Chronos a boost.

The Black Bay P01

– MSRP $3,950

It’s time to address the elephant in the room. I saw the Tudor Baselworld 2019 leaks the night before the release along with the rest of the internet. I immediately thought the same thing about the P01 as when I heard the rumor that Princess Leia was going to fly though space in Episode XIII, “This is a joke, right?”

Both rumors turned out to be true. My initial reaction to the Black Bay P01 unveiled at the Tudor booth was that I thought Tudor bought Seiko, or vice versa, and this is how it was going to be announced to the public. I was not alone in my confusion. Memes and Insta-story slams quickly followed. The P01 was compared to everything from modded Seiko SKXs to a steampunk convention gone wild.

The P01 is based on a prototype that never made it into production. Tudor calls it, “a cross between a sailing watch and a diver’s watch.” I’m not sure how it’s functional as either one. This will be a full production piece and it will be available at every AD to satisfy your curiosity. Everyone is going to want to try one on for fun. Be careful, just like a scooter, don’t let your friends catch you doing it.

I think that the fate of this watch is niche in the short term. It will show up on the table at Red Bar events as a conversation piece, but that’s about it. Long term it could have the same cult following as the “Steve McQueen Explorer”. Only time will tell.

This was the only risk that Tudor took at Baselworld 2019. Everything else was a cosmetic change. I do have to tip my cap to Tudor for living up to their slogan, “Born to Dare”. It certainly got everyone taking. However, the same impact could have been achieved with simply displaying the actual prototype from their archives and sharing the backstory.

Black Bay 32/36/41 S&G

– MSRP 32mm $3,950 / 36mm $4,050 / 41mm $4,150

Surprise, another Black Bay! Actually, it’s six more of them. Three different sizes with two dial color options (black or gold).

Tudor played it safe again with the Black Bay S&G. As safe as the move was, it addressed two issues in Tudor’s product line. The first issue was the lack of a proper jubilee to complement their big brother Rolex’s iconic bracelet. I haven’t handled one of these yet, but if the Tudor jubilee falls someplace between a Steinhart and a Rolex, it will be great.

The other issue that Tudor faced was not having their own successful version of the Rolex Datejust/ Oyster Perpetual. When Tudor needs a winner, they just hop right back on the Black Bay express. For decades Tudor produced the Prince Date and Princess Date watches. They were Datejust clones with ETA movements.

The new Black Bay 32/36/41 S&G is easily confused with Black Bay S&G (the 41MM rotating bezel dive watch). Both are still in production and on the website. I had to check the names three times. I don’t know why Tudor would do that.

The real winner of this 32/36/41mm bunch is the 32mm with a black dial. The stock web photos don’t do this watch justice. It’s delicate and feminine, yet strong and badass at the same time. You can dress it up or down. This is a great alternative to something that isn’t as foofy as a ladies Datejust or OP. Not to mention, the Black Bay S&G is half the price.

The 36mm is a close second. This is a great unisex size that will fit many wrists and can easily be shared between spouse. The bezel is actually circularly brushed. This is another detail that is lost on the web photos. Expect the Black Bay 32/36/41 S&G to become a staple in the display case at your AD.

Conclusion:

As Tudor continues to release more Black Bay models it comes down to you either liking that design language or not. Don’t get too hung up on one oddity. If you look, Tudor actually has a little bit of something for everyone this year.

For more information on the Tudor Baselworld 2019 releases check out their website.


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