September 13, 2019
by Rob Nudds
With the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup just days away, Tudor is reaffirming its association with the New Zealand All Blacks. Fresh off a relentless battering of Tonga in their final World Cup warm-up game (92-7), New Zealand arrives in Japan as one of the tournament favorites. And what better way to celebrate the back-to-back defending champions than with a special-edition watch? The Tudor Black Bay Chrono Dark Limited Edition is a moody, all-black version of the standard Black Bay chronograph. The model will be limited to the same number of players to don the famous All Black jersey of New Zealand’s finest since the national team’s foundation in 1903.
The standard Tudor Black Bay chronograph, on which this model is based, is already an excellent model, fitted with a manufacture caliber boasting a column wheel and vertical clutch. Perhaps the most pleasing thing about these top-drawer workhorses being produced by Tudor these days is the bloated power-reserve — 70 hours was once the preserve of serious high-rollers, but nowadays it is a bar many more brands in this price point should be attempting to clear with the easy regularity managed by Tudor.
The COSC-certified MT5813 offers almost three days of run-time, while still beating away at 28,800vph. The MT5813, which is derived from Breitling 01 caliber, also boasts a silicon hairspring, resulting in excellent chronometric performance.
A highly legible and informative dial greets the eye upon inspection. Two sub-dials display the going seconds (9 o’clock), and the chronograph minutes (3 o’clock), while a clean and clear date window at 6 o’clock balances the dial expertly. A fixed bezel tachymeter provides extra functionality, while the dial text is brought to life by the depth rating being printed in bright red. Sturdy pushers reinforce the idea that this is a rugged watch for everyday activity.
A 41mm case is perfectly on-trend, straddling the desire for wrist presence without threatening to take your eye out whenever you check the time. The PVD-coated case makes this model stand out. In black, the Tudor Black Bay chronograph appears every inch the sports watch and has a very distinct character from its stainless steel counterpart. As visually different as it may be, it boasts the same robustness and, like the standard model, is water-resistant to 200 meters.
The limitation of this model currently stands at 1,181 pieces, but that number will be adjusted according to the composition of the All Blacks team as it grows over time. I’m actually a fan of this odd, but slowly expanding, limitation system. I’m not so much a fan of “numbered” pieces (like the Tudor Pelagos LHD, which I would have much rather seen limited to a set number), but this model is something different. Theoretically, it is possible to assign certain models to specific players.
I’m not sure what kind of database you’d need access to in order to figure this out, but imagine how much more valuable the Jonah Lomu or Richie McCaw models would be when properly identified? For true fans of Rugby Union, and especially fans of one of the most iconic sports teams to walk the planet, this is a strong offering that I could see selling well.
The watch comes on a matching black PVD bracelet with a folding clasp and safety catch. The price for the Tudor Black Bay Chrono Dark Limited Edition (reference 79360DK) will be $5,925. Learn more at tudorwatch.com.