Tudor is a brand that was founded on quality and utility, traits that are just as central to its identity today. As Hans Wilsdorf, founder of both Tudor and Rolex, put it when he set up the company in 1926: ‘For some years now, I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a separate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the Tudor watch company.’
Quickly earning a name for its accessibly priced, precision timekeeping for both men and women, in 1954 Tudor truly cemented its reputation as it launched its first diver’s watch, the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7922. A testament to the watchmaker’s practicality, innovation and eye for detail, the timepiece quickly found favour with professionals thanks to special features including water resistance to 100 metres, a bi-directional rotating bezel and large, luminous markers and hands guaranteeing optimal legibility in the depths of the oceans. It is an iconic design that the brand would continually upgrade and improve over the decades.
It’s this legacy in diving watches that provided a solid foundation for its popular Black Bay collection, first launched in 2012. The diverse line brings together expertise and inspiration from Tudor’s heritage pieces, combining well-loved details and features from the past with the best of its contemporary watchmaking. Past years has seen the line expand to encompass a wide range of both technical and dressier watches, including women’s pieces such as the Black Bay 32 S&G. An example of just how varied the collection is in remit, this sophisticated take on a diver’s watch combines all the hallmarks of precision, reliability and functionality in one elegant package.
The watch is defined by its chic combination of yellow gold and steel, seen on a new five-link bracelet available exclusively on the S&G models. The supple bracelet is composed of exterior links in satin-brushed steel, central links in polished steel and two rows of contrasting satin-brushed yellow gold. When combined with the smaller case size of 32mm, it makes the Black Bay 32 S&G a comfortable and stylish choice for more petite wrists.
It also comes with many of the design flourishes that makes the Black Bay line such a favourite with collectors. The large winding crown is a nod to the very first generation of Tudor diver’s watches from the 1950s, originally introduced for easier handling and greater water resistance. And, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the final flourish of the famous ‘snowflake’ hands, a distinctive element first introduced into Tudor’s watches in 1969 and now a mainstay of the collection.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE BLACK BAY 32 S&G
‘Translating Tudor’s reputation for creating sophisticated tool watches into an elegant timepiece for ladies, the Black Bay 32 S&G was one of the most exciting pieces to be released at Baselworld 2019. A versatile piece, the Tudor Black Bay 32 is the perfect everyday partner and has proven to be a popular choice with our female clients.’
Sandy Madhvani for DMR London