For 2016, we see the release of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 7950BM watch which is Tudor’s first bronze watch and, as mentioned previously, is certainly one of the best, if not the best bronze watch shown at Baselworld 2016. This is by no accident, as Tudor is trying to innovate and take a different approach to bronze than we have seen before.
Bronze as a material is actually cheaper and somewhat easier to manufacture than steel or any precious metal such as gold or platinum. Keeping with the tradition of the parent company Rolex, Tudor wanted to create a “bronzo” that stepped outside of what one would expect of aged-looking bronze watches by creating a special alloy that would patina evenly, unlike other bronze watches that can develop what looks like blotches.
Why does this matter? Well, unlike gold or stainless steel watches, a bronze watch will over time develop a patina, or verdigris, and that coating will be different depending on where it is and who is wearing the watch. So, one of the main selling points of a bronze watch is uniqueness and history, since the watch’s look develops over time as well as where (e.g., near the ocean) and what situation it is worn in. In other words, it really captures the history of how it is worn.
While this evolving look is attractive to many, the reality is that many of the early bronze watches will develop spots or weird non-uniform patinas as they age, and some of the end results look more like a watch badly colored by someone’s kid than a timepiece that uniquely has evolved with your wearing habits.
Enter Tudor with a specially engineered aluminum bronze alloy and finishing that guarantees the developing patina to be uniform and constant over time. This does not mean that every Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze will end up with the same patina, but rather that the patina on your Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM will be unique, yet uniform. Thereby overcoming the main complaints associated with bronze watches.
At 43mm wide, the larger size makes the new Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM a charm to wear. It will satisfy those with preferences for large watches, while not disappoint those wanting a sports watch that fits their wrist without overpowering it. Essentially, the 43mm case hits the sweet spot for sports watches.
And, perhaps one of the best aspect of this Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM release is the inclusion of two perfectly fitting straps. First, my favorite, a distressed leather strap in a matching brown color that is sure to match the evolution of the case as it ages. Also included, is a fabric strap that looks and has a feel of a NATO strap but without the keepers on both sides that usually allow you to double-loop long NATO straps.
One cool fact that one will only become aware of when getting to wear the watch is that unlike many bronze watches that usually have a case back in a different material than bronze to avoid tinting the wrist of the wearer green, usually aluminum or stainless steel, Tudor chose to use a specially coated steel that anticipates the patina and therefore will blend perfectly with the overall case as it ages.
Finally, to make an even better case for the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM is that it also includes a in-house-manufactured Tudor movement MT5601, which, based on my experience with Rolex in-house movements, promises to be a solid engine that will likely last more than the five-year warranty before needing any maintenance.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM is priced at 3,800 Swiss francs, and being not limited, is immediately the most affordable and attainable bronze watch on the market today. Well done, Tudor, now let’s see how the patina promises hold up in a couple years. tudorwatch.com