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Luxury Watches

by SCMP

Luxury Watches

Heritage nod to style and technical mastery

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am

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Emphasising its links to the past and its reverence for a traditional approach to watchmaking, Tudor launched its retro-inspired Heritage collection in 2010 and extended it last year with the Tudor Heritage Advisor alarm watch.

This year, Tudor applied this spirit of nostalgia to the marine world to bring its fans two stunning models that highlight Tudor's appreciation for style and its mastery of technical watchmaking.

The Heritage Black Bay diver watch is the latest addition to Tudor's Heritage collection. The collection was created to reinvent the most memorable models from its 60-year history, for the contemporary consumer.

The Heritage Black Bay is an ideal representative of this collection, as the brand took a diving model first released in 1954 and reinterpreted it for a timepiece that speaks to long-time fans and younger enthusiasts. The 1954 model continued to evolve until the 1980s, and the brand incorporated within the Black Bay timepiece many of the original watch's most iconic features over the years. The lines of the contemporary steel watch were inspired by the original timepiece, then reworked and resized to create a 41mm case.

Between the slender, lengthened lugs, the stylishly domed crystal protects a domed black dial, which features generously sized, luminescent hour markers to help with visibility even at great depths - an important consideration given that this watch is water-resistant up to 200 metres. The pink gold of the hands and hour markers brings to mind the beautiful patina that develops on the metal surfaces of older watches.

Other nostalgic details revived in this new model include the snowflake-inspired hands and the burgundy hue of the bezel, which is given a matte finish on the Black Bay watch. The bezel is also unidirectional and rotatable, a feature faithful to the diving models in the 1970s, and the disc's deep red colouring is accented by the insertion of the winding crown, which features a matching hue. To complete the vintage look, the watch is available with an aged-leather strap, which comes with a second strap in black fabric. Alternatively, the wearer can choose to pair the Heritage Black Bay with a steel bracelet and black fabric strap.

The timepiece houses a self-winding mechanical movement and has a power reserve of roughly 38 hours.

The second novelty Tudor launched at BaselWorld this year is the Pelagos, a timepiece featuring technical specifications that ensure the watch's reliability under the most exacting underwater conditions.

Pelagos, which takes its name from the Greek word for 'sea', is water-resistant up to 500 metres.

To protect the watch from the underwater pressure and the fluctuations when going into and coming out of a dive, the case has a helium valve. This special feature is indicated by the words 'Gas Escape Valve' on one side of the case.

The 42mm case and the thickness of the unidirectional rotatable bezel mean it is handled easily under water, even with gloves on. The large hour markers and the luminescent snowflake-shaped hands and bezel numerals ensure it can be read in minimal visibility.

Tudor's attention to detail is evident in the making of the watch's bracelet. The brand developed and patented a spring-loaded, self-adjusting system for the folding steel clasp, which allows the titanium bracelet to adjust automatically during a dive.

When the diver's suit is compressed in deep water, the bracelet contracts accordingly; likewise, the bracelet expands along with the suit as the diver ascends.

The watch comes in a satin-finished titanium case, which pairs beautifully with the matte black ceramic of the bezel, the black dial and the double-bevelled flange around it, for a rugged and professional look. Pelagos has a self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of roughly 38 hours.