tudor heritage black bay bronze blue 140

Note to collectors: The blue TUDOR settles in at Bucherer

At the dawn of its 130th birthday, Bucherer is forging ahead with the tradition of having watches created especially for the company. Tudor has chosen the Blue Editions line and created the Heritage Black Bay Bronze.

By Joel Grandjean

Blue is in the air…It’s a cyclical thing; it comes, goes, and comes back again.The color is an integral part of any watch collection, and occasionally, it takes a spin on trendier roads.And it is given all sorts of forms, myriad nuances and depths, renderings, and effects.

B as in Bucherer and blue

It so happens that this color is part of Bucherer's DNA. It's one of the most prestigious names in watch distribution, but the company is also active in the world of jewelry and brand watchmaking.Bucherer was founded in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1888, and then extended throughout Switzerland and beyond. It always requested that the watch brands displayed in its shop windows be endowed with excellent personalization.This has given birth to watches that are at times co-branded, something that is becoming rarer these days, or that are manufactured in such a way as to differentiate them from their original look. No doubt, these “off-catalog” references are potential collectors’ items. Especially if the brand behind them is already itself the focus of the excited attention of collectors, and especially if it already has its own circle of aficionados.   

And that is the case with Tudor, particularly since the Genevan brand embarked upon a keenly creative process in 2010 with a timepiece that paid homage to one of its original chronographs. The process consists in tapping the wealth of its own history, taking design features, or the details from iconic pieces, to re-create new works without falling into the trap of wide-eyed allegiance to the past. The strategy is showing lots of promise thanks to very seductive pricing.One could even say that through its truly visionary concept that has been channeled through the Heritage title, the brand set the course for the current neo-vintage trend.At any rate, the collectors rushed to get these new timepieces, an act that is rare enough as is, and not only in the world of second-hand watches.In a nutshell, they sought them out, they acquired them, they were satisfied, and then heard and were even thrown off and shaken by incredible surprises.Like that announcement in 2015 of an in-house caliber, which caught everyone short.

B as in Black Bay, Bronze and … Blue!

Among the most appreciated models in this new tribe of trendsetters is the recent iteration in bronze of the Black Bay.The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze, which measures 43 millimeters across, is made of a high-performance copper-aluminum alloy.This material is used in particular in ship-building, notably for all ship components that are under water, like the propellers. It also makes reference to the metals of ancient ships and diving equipment.The bronzed sheen is open to taking on a patina with time, and will always be different depending to what extent the wearer has been exposed to wind and weather.This “layer of experience” gets applied in a homogeneous fashion, since the surfaces have been intensely satin-brushed.

The brand used an iconic blue for this timepiece, whose vaulted dial was originally done in a warm brown.It’s a key blue, which opened the door to the Bucherer Blue Editions gallery and that may very well bring change to the current roster of best-sellers.It’s a blue that Tudor really knows how to make, one of those hues that helped the 2015 Pelagos to success.Like its serially-produced companions, this limited edition dedicated to the color blue is the incarnation of traditional values of the rose-logoed brand created by Hans Wilsdorf.

This very real timekeeper features the hands known as “snowflakes” due to the particular shape of their tips. It also has the XXL winding crown that left its esthetic mark on the famous reference No. 7924  released in 1958, a model known as Big Crown and that had the honor of being used by the Marine Nationale of FranceThe domed crystal and dial are two other references to the past.As for some of the new stylistic subtleties, let us note the extensive chamfering of the lugs and the visible pin holes for the strap bars.

C as in Caliber and COSC

Inside the case one finds the MT5601 mechanical caliber, an automatic that beats at 4 Hertz/28,800 vibrations per hour.The silicon hair spring, which is the key component of a regulating mechanism controlled by a variable inertia balance wheel, delivers 70 hours of power reserve.As for accuracy, it is guaranteed by the strict rules of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), a regulatory organ of the Swiss government.This Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue Edition, which was offered to Bucherer as a blue anniversary alternative just before the company’s jubilee, is one of the genuine must-have pieces at the present time.


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