Tudor’s Steel and Gold Expansion — Black Bay GMT and ChronoBy Ross Povey
After a decade in the elite league of sports watches, the Tudor Black Bay shows no sign of slowing down. For 2022, Tudor is taking one of its smash hits from the line and giving it a stealthy bling-over, by offering the Black Bay GMT in steel and gold, or “S&G” as Tudor puts it. The S&G Chrono also has a new champagne dial. So let’s take a closer look…
The recent surge in interest in two-tone watches has been more than noticeable; it’s been a seismic shift away from what was once considered a bit “naff” to one of the most in-demand configurations on the market. Gone are the days when the steel and gold sports watches would sit unloved for months in the display cabinets of dealers. Now everybody seems to be chasing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, even if it’s mixed with the utilitarian sportiness of steel. Tudor is now offering its super-popular Black Bay GMT in a mix of stainless steel and yellow gold with a new brown and black bezel insert.
The Black Bay’s signature is the snowflake hands, which were designed for military use by the French Navy, development partners of the brand since the mid-1950s. This heritage stands the watch apart from other sports watches as a true tool watch that was developed for a professional application. The Black Bay GMT takes this aquatic heritage and transfers it to the skies in the GMT. Interestingly, it was launched at the same time as the ceramic Pepsi-bezel steel Rolex GMT-Master II in 2018 as a “family celebration” of GMTs, and both watches were the most talked-about launches of Baselworld that year (along with another smash hit, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight). 2018 was the year that waiting lists became the norm for Tudor watches and I’m pretty sure that this new S&G watch will have long queues too!
The watch continues using the manufacture Tudor GMT movement. Caliber MT5652 has been developed in-house and is fully integrated. The GMT has not one, but two snowflake hands — a regular or local hour hand and a 24-hour hand. Combined with the bi-directional bezel, they allow the wearer to monitor three time zones. The Black Bay GMT has a jumping hour for the local hours, which can be altered both forwards and backwards and that is also linked to a date feature that can do a retrograde jump if the hour hand is moved backwards — handy!
The standout elements of such a watch are the dial and bezel. The former is a matte black that pretty much sticks to the Black Bay formula. The new bezel is a black and brown combination in anodized aluminum, which to many people keeps the vintage-esque vibes of Tudor alive as opposed to the more modern ceramic bezels of big brother. The brown half represents the “daylight” hours and the black is for night. The combination of the black bezel and dial, and the brown bezel with the satin-brushed gold elements of the bezel ring and winding crown, affords the watch a warmth and familiarity that I love.
The 41mm case can be combined with one of three strap options. The first is the classic rivet-link steel and yellow gold metal bracelet. The rivet bracelet is an anachronistic flourish that whilst celebrating the bracelets of the 1950s and ’60s, is also a modern way for the brand to construct hardwearing bracelets. The watch can also be bought on either a black leather strap or a Jacquard weave black fabric strap with beige center line.
Tudor is also giving their S&G chrono a new face, in the form of a new champagne dial with black subdials. Much like its dive watches, Tudor has solid form when it comes to chronographs with its first model, the iconic “Home Plate”, launching in 1970. Also, a fact I like to share a lot is that Tudor released its first automatic chrono in 1976, a full 12 years ahead of Rolex. The Black Bay Chrono S&G first debuted in 2019 and showcased the new streamline chronograph case that is now used on the steel models too. The watch has been available since, with a black dial with champagne subdials, and now the opposite configuration has been added.
Tudor Black Bay GMT Steel & Gold Ref: 79833
Movement: Self-winding manufacture caliber MT5652; 70 hours of power reserve
Functions: Jumping hours (second time zone), 24 hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: 41mm; steel with yellow gold bezel
Dial: Black matte
Bracelet: Steel and yellow gold bracelet, black leather strap, or black fabric strap
Price: CHF 5,300 on bracelet; CHF 4,100 on strap
Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G Ref: 79363N
Movement: Self-winding manufacture caliber MT5813 with chronograph function; 70 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Case: 41mm; steel with yellow gold bezel; water resistant to 200m
Dial: Champagne with black subdials
Bracelet: Steel and yellow gold bracelet, dark brown leather strap with removable bund with steel folding clasp, or black fabric strap with buckle
Price: CHF 6,900 on bracelet; CHF 5,700 on strap