Tested For You: A Week With My Current Watch Crush, The Tudor Black Bay Chrono Steel & Gold On Bund
Ever since its release at Baselworld 2019, I've been lusting after Tudor's new Black Bay Chrono in steel and gold. But considering my wife and I already own three Tudors, I did the next best thing to buying the watch, I took it for a spin thanks to our friends at Tudor.
When Tudor released their Black Bay Chrono at Baselworld 2017, I'll admit, I wasn't the biggest fan. After all, the brand already had a killer chrono in their collection with the Heritage Blue (released in 2013). But as time went on, I started to warm to this peculiar chrono. While the bracelet version was bulky, wearing it on the NATO strap gave me an entirely new perspective. Plus the starting price of $4,775 USD on leather or NATO made it a compelling pick-up.
Enter The Black Bay Chrono S&G
Just two years after the Black Bay Chrono's release, I was surprised when Tudor unleashed a two-tone on the Basel faithful. The new Black Bay Chrono S&G (Steel and Gold) is a fitting nod to 1970s motorsports, the era of AJ Foyt, James Hunt, Mario Andretti, and Richard Petty. Like the aforementioned drivers, the new Chrono S&G is a total troublemaker.
What I dig the most on this new take from Tudor is the vintage two-tone motif. A matte black dial contrasts perfectly with champagne colored counters. Tudor wasn't subtle with their use of yellow gold either! You can find it everywhere in the new Black Bay Chrono S&G. It has yellow gold pushers, crown, tachy scale, and in the highly polished hands.
For a brand that hails themselves 'Born to Dare', this watch is certainly one of the more daring watches that Tudor has made to date. Its design is so atypical to any other Black Bay on offer. The only thing that comes close is the colorful Black Bay bronze which Tudor continues to update with fresh colorways.
Let's talk bund
The first version of the Black Bay S&G that caught my eye was the version on a brown aged leather bund. Due to the runaway success of Paul Newman's Paul Newman Daytona, (it was bought at auction for $17.75 million USD to be exact), bund straps are back in a big way. However, this is the first time we're seeing Tudor offer a bund. Previously, owners would have to seek third party leathermakers to craft a strap in this style.
A bund isn't the only option that Tudor has in the new S&G Chrono either. The brand is also offering a two-tone steel and yellow gold rivet bracelet or a fabric NATO-style strap. But for the purposes of this article, we're going to focus on the bund variant.
So let's talk bund, shall we? This watch is blisteringly cool on a bund strap. The 41mm chrono pairs nicely with this two-part leather bund strap. It can be worn two separate ways, one as a traditional two-piece leather strap, or paired with the matching brown leather cuff to complete the look. While the watch certainly looks dashing when pared down to just the leather strap, I much preferred the full bund look.
Under the hood
Aesthetics aside, the Black Bay Chrono S&G packs a legitimate horological punch with its in-house chronograph movement. Officially dubbed the manufacture chronograph Calibre MT5813, this column-wheel chronograph was a delight to use. With a 70-hour power reserve, it's more than robust enough to handle a track day or a summer swim.
Tudor made waves in 2017 when they released their first in-house chronograph, as the movement was in collaboration with Breitling. Today, the calibre is now used across most of Breitling's chronographs and carries the calibre name Breitling 01 (B01 for short). For Tudor's part, they've continued to produce and improve upon this milestone movement. For the Black Bay Chrono S&G, the movement is COSC certified.
Activated via two screw-down yellow gold pushers, the chronograph function was remarkably smooth. The seconds and minute subregisters are well proportioned and easy to read. The red-tipped sweep second chronograph hand makes for a cool retro look. The addition of a red printed '200 m : 660 ft' lends a subtle nod to vintage Tudor and Rolex pieces of the past.
Overall, the Black Bay Chrono S&G was a very wearable piece. The bund strap cuffed nicely to my 7.5" wrists, and the included Tudor branded stainless steel deployant clasp was smooth and easy to use.
After a week on the wrist, the Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G started to feel right at home. The bund strap began to break in and developed a soft cuff-like presence on the wrist. While not imposing, the bund strap did provide an impressive feeling when I wore it.
I very much enjoyed wearing the Black Bay Chrono S&G. My time with the piece only further fueled my crush on this stunning two-tone chrono. It's an extremely wearable and accessible chrono in Tudor's collection. While the dust has settled a bit after its introduction, I'm confident this piece will enjoy a good amount of lust for years to come.
Would you buy it?
For me, the answer to this question is a resounding YES. The Black Bay S&G on bund model is priced at a reasonable $5,600 USD. It's a sensible price considering you're getting an in-house chronograph that's two-tone, and versatile enough to wear to the track or under a cuff.
My week with the Black Bay S&G only further enforced my desire for this retro delight. Now if I could only talk my wife into allowing a fourth Tudor to the collection...
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)