With the launch of Ref. 7922 in 1954, Swiss watch-maker Tudor laid down the aesthetic and technical foundations of a long line of ergonomic, legible, accurate and robust dive watches. The fact that Tudor was asked by the US and French navies in the1960s to produce tool watches for its sailors serves as testament to the company’s technical prowess and know-how.

Since its launch in 2012, the Heritage Black Bay line has been leading the brand’s deep-sea exploration into a new phase. For the second consecutive year, Tudor used Baselworld as a platform to launch new models for this line – a collection that was honoured by the jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneva a year after its birth.

Last year, Tudor traced back its six decades of experience in making diving watches with the characteristic elements such as the domed crystal “Big Crown” from the 7924 reference of 1958 and angular “snowflake” hands.

This year, one new model presented by the watchmaker was the hybrid Heritage Black Bay Chrono, which combines the aquatic heritage represented by the Black Bay family with the queen of the racetrack, the chronograph.

This represents a creative process that began in 2010, when the Heritage Chrono model was presented as a free interpretation of the brand’s first chronograph in 1970.

The famous snowflake hands that have been a signature of Tudor since 1969 remain, but the 41mm Heritage Black Bay Chrono has a few standout features of its own, such as the domed matte black dial that ensures optimal readability, hollowed sub-counters and a date aperture positioned at
6 o’clock.

Waterproof to 200 metres, the watch has a fixed bezel in circular satin-brushed steel with an engraved tachymetric scale.

Top 10 watches at Baselworld 2017

On the functionality front, the Manufacture chronograph calibre MT5813, driving the Heritage Black Bay Chrono model, is a high-performance movement with a 70-hour power reserve, a silicon balance spring and certification by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute. It is derived from the chronograph manufacture calibre Breitling 01 and with a high-precision regulating organ developed by Tudor, representing a collaboration that pools the expertise of two industry doyens.

Another unique feature of this watch is the choice of straps.

The fabric strap is one of the signatures of the Heritage line, and Tudor was one
of the first watch brands to offer it. The owner of this watch can choose between a steel bracelet inspired by the folding riveted bracelets of the Tudor watches produced in the 1950s and 1960s and a rich-brown leather strap with folding clasp. But the timepiece also comes with a complimentary navy blue denim-style strap designed by Tudor and woven on 19th-century Jacquard looms by a 150-year-old family firm from the region of Saint-Étienne.

Also rolled out at the show was an all-steel version of the Heritage Black Bay dive watch, with the bezel insert in brushed steel. Fitted with the Manufacture Calibre MT5612 that is a variation of the movement first presented in 2015, the watch introduces a date function to the Black Bay family. Also with a 70-hour power reserve, the movement is regulated by a variable inertia oscillator with silicon balance spring held in place by a robust traversing bridge.

Other than a choice between the classic folding riveted bracelet and an black leather strap with folding clasp, this model also comes with a complimentary khaki green fabric strap.

For a softer look, another version called S&G (short for steel and gold) features the rotating bezel, the winding crown, and part of the bracelet in yellow gold. It can also be fitted with a brown leather strap. A brown fabric strap is complimentary.

64 luxury watch brands deemed ‘fine’ by Swiss timepiece experts

The Heritage Black Bay 41 model, also 41mm in diameter, has a slimmer middle case and a flat sapphire crystal that allows it to be slipped under a shirt cuff. The fixed bezel keeps the design simple and straightforward. Powered by the self-winding calibre 2824, the watch offers a power reserve of about 38 hours.

There is a choice between a steel bracelet and a leather strap, and a camouflage fabric strap is also included in the box.

For ladies, Tudor has revisited the Clair de Rose line with new models in three sizes – 26mm, 30mm and 34mm in diameter – and in six designs. The opaline dial can be set with diamonds to punctuate the blue lacquered Roman numerals at
3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock, and every size in the line comes with a choice of three bracelets: steel with small “rice grain” links, black alligator leather, or fabric with a woven curvy pattern.

But the element that truly sets the look of this line apart is the striking winding crown set with a blue spinel cabochon, giving the design a decidedly feminine look while keeping it understated.

Six over-the-top watches that dazzled Baselworld 2017


Live Instagram updates from Baselworld