Luxury watch brand Tudor delighted collectors throughout watch fair Watches and Wonders with their latest releases. From new looks to new materials, Tudor certainly provided the most unexpected moments throughout. We spoke to our Head of Watch Buying Mark Toulson all about the brand, his thoughts on new pieces, and more.
How long have you been working with Tudor through the Watches of Switzerland Group, and what notable changes have you seen since they first launched?
The brand was relaunched in the UK in 2014 so that’s seven years. Over that time some models have remained consistent, such as the Pelagos. At the time though there was a bigger collection of more classically styled watches. That’s changed quite a lot in recent years with the growth in importance of the Black Bay collection – a much more sports orientated range.
In your opinion, which is the most significant collection from Tudor that we’ve seen through our doors, and why?
It really is the Black Bay in its many permutations. From the Bronze, the P01, the Chronograph and the Fifty-Eight – there’s something for everyone with this collections’ different functions, but overall they are united by characteristics such as the iconic snowflake hand, clear dials and the big crown.
Which is your favourite ever piece from Tudor, and why?
It must be the Black Bay GMT. It was launched in 2018 with the classic blue and burgundy twenty-four hour bezel in a perfectly proportioned 41mm steel case. It’s powered by Tudor’s own COSC certified MT5652 movement with a 70-hour power reserve. It is also waterproof up to 200m and has a five-year warranty all for just a shade over £3,000. It is wonderful value considering the qualities it has, but above all else, it is a very cool looking watch and a perfect travel companion.
For Watches and Wonders, Tudor released several new pieces that were all greatly received. Tudor has diversified their Black Bay collection and has released new additions. What are your views on the collection and why do you think it has performed so well for the brand?
We know the UK loves a “sports” watch. All our data tells us that men like a black dial watch on a bracelet at around the 40mm case size. The Black Bay collection covers these attributes, but recent additions have started to reflect changing customer tastes. For example, the navy blue Fifty-Eight launched last year is consistent with increased interest in blue dialled watches. This year we saw the green dial introduced on the 18ct yellow gold Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K. Whilst the case material was a surprise, the choice of green as the dial colour was not. As with blue last year, green is proving to be an emerging trend. Overall, I think the key thing is that Tudor are able to maintain the integrity and aesthetics of the Black Bay design whilst tweaking elements in order to appeal to new customers.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 piece was released at the fair and featured a case made from silver instead of the usual steel which is highly unusual in watchmaking. Why do you think Tudor chose to craft from this semi-precious metal, and do we expect to see this in further watchmaking in your opinion?
The silver 925 model took us all by surprise as you seldom see watches made from that material being produced these days. They also produced an 18ct yellow gold version of the Fifty-Eight too so to be glib, you could say that as they’ve already made bronze, silver and gold cases, they now have all three medal positions! Joking apart though, the 925 looks fantastic. The metal has been brushed to maintain its luminosity, which is elegantly matched with the soft taupe dial and bezel. Together it looks both distinctive and subtle. Traditionally, watchmakers have tended to stay away from silver because of the way it colours and ages over time. Reassuringly however, Tudor have some special ingredients mixed with the silver that will stop it tarnishing and maintain its good looks over time.
Finally, which is your favourite piece from their new launches, and why?
I love a chronograph. For me then the new Black Bay Chrono is an absolute winner. At 41mm it’s big enough to have real wrist presence, yet not be overpowering. Priced at £3,900 on a bracelet, powered by their in-house COSC certified MT5813 movement and waterproof to 200m it has everything I could want. The only choice then remains to go for the “panda dial” (white dial and black sub dials) or “reverse panda”. Both look great, but the reverse panda just edges it for me.
Which piece should a new collector start with from Tudor’s new launches, and why?
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 would be a very good place to start. The Fifty-Eight looks great in all its executions but the silver case adds a point of difference to the steel models and is a real talking point. In addition, the taupe coloured dial and bezel along with the exhibition case back add real interest and make this a compelling place to start a collection.
You can also watch the video from the brand that highlights their latest releases.