Tudor unveiled its vintage-inspired Heritage Black Bay with a burgundy-bezel back in 2012, and since then, the brand has kept interest in the collection going with new references every now and again. The brand introduced a blue-bezel reference in 2014, a black-bezel model last year and now, there’s this, the Heritage Black Bay Bronze for 2016.
As you’ve no doubt gathered from the name, the newest Black Bay (ref. 79250BM) features more than just simple cosmetic upgrades. In fact, the Heritage Black Bay Bronze is a far different tool watch than its predecessors for several significant reasons. First and foremost, this watch packs a bronze alloy case (aluminum is the second metal), and Tudor has also increased the diameter of the case to 43mm. Older Black Bay models had 41mm cases (click here to read about the Heritage Black Bay Black).
These are both bold moves from Tudor because bronze doesn’t really scream vintage, while the larger case size is also more in line with contemporary tastes. That said, Tudor has added some nice vintage elements to the case to balance out the modern touches – the drilled lugs are a prominent throwback to years past, and there’s significant chamfering on the lugs.
The watch sports a brown bezel and dial, both of which appear to pair perfectly with the bronze case. With the dial, Tudor has done a bit of tinkering, so whereas the previous Black Bay references just had circular hour indexes that were filled with lume material, the Black Bay Bronze has Arabic numerals at the three, six and nine o’clock positions. We aren’t too crazy about those additions but they’re not a deal breaker either. As before, a domed sapphire crystal protects the dial, and there’s a standard caseback, which in this case is bronze-colored PVD-treated steel.
Beyond the significant aesthetic changes, Tudor has also given the Black Bay Bronze an in-house movement. The calibre MT5601 is a variant of the MT5621 in-house calibre that first appeared in the brand’s North Flag timepiece. For the Black Bay Bronze, Tudor has – thankfully – done away with the power reserve and date complications, so what you get is an automatic movement that indicates hours, minutes and seconds, offers 70-hours of power reserve, and is COSC certified.
Tudor has also ditched bracelets entirely with this piece, instead, your options are an aged leather strap with a bronze buckle or a canvas band. As before, you receive an additional fabric strap (also with a bronze buckle) as part of the package.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze is expected to carry a retail price of US $3,900. Given the exotic case material and the addition of an in-house movement, we reckon the slight premium is justified when compared to the older Black Bay models.
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