Watch Review: Tudor Black Bay Bronze three years of patina!

This article was first published on Fifth Wrist on December 11, 2019

Tudor unveiled the Heritage Black Bay Bronze at Baselworld 2016. I can remember seeing the press coverage on various watch websites and Instagram, the watch seemed to be generally well received. Personally, it wasn’t instant love for me, but I was intrigued and I wanted to learn more. Beyond knowing that Tudor was the sister brand of Rolex I knew very little about Tudor, but I got the impression that they had a dedicated fan base. I started to do some research and I soon realised that Tudor had both a shared heritage with Rolex and an interesting history of their own, with various military commissioned watches.

The Tudor Heritage Black Bay range was first released in 2012 with an ETA 2824 movement. The watches proved to be incredibly popular and the range soon expanded to include versions with blue, black and red bezels (the blue featuring white lume plots, black and red featuring yellow lume plots and gilt hands). In 2016 Tudor rolled out an in-house movement with an impressive 70hr reserve which went into the existing range, the new Black Bay dark (a black PVD-treated 41mm steel watch) and the new Black Bay Bronze. Historically Tudor has been positioned as the more affordable alternative to Rolex, the aim being to produce a quality watch at a more affordable price point, generally through employing off-the-shelf movements in Rolex Oyster cases.

I soon came to realise that the Black Bay Bronze ticked a lot of boxes for me; bronze case (which will develop a unique patina), no-date (perfect for the weekend), in-house movement with 70hr reserve, shared story and heritage, 3 6 9 dial. A lot to like! Also, I am 6’ 4” with 7” wrists so I can pull off a 43mm watch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big bold watch and not generally one I wear to work but it has been a great highdays and holidays watch over the last three years.

Pro:

  • Bronze patina
  • In-house movement
  • Weekend warrior

Cons:

  • Chunky monkey
  • Not as practical as steel
  • Is bronze just a trend?

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