Tudor 1926

Tudor kicked off their time at Baselworld 2018, on the evening of the 20th of March with the announcement of Taiwanese musician, Jay Chou becoming their latest brand ambassador. Paired with that news was also the revealing of the brand’s first lot of new watches for the fair, the Tudor 1926.

The idea behind this one is quite simple: 1926 was the year when, the brand’s founder Hans Wilsdorf registered the name, Tudor — hence the name. And also, the new watch makes reference to the brand’s rich library of textured dials from its past — honeycomb or waffle — which we see applied here.

Tudor 1926 41mm Steel Case Opaline Dial
Tudor 1926 41mm Steel Case Opaline Dial

The 1926, will be produced in 41, 39, 36 and 28mm sizes to suit a variety of wrist. The 41mm will come in an all steel or two-tone (steel and rose gold) with diamonds. The 39mm in two-tone or steel, with the steel one paired with blue elements on the dial. The 36mm will come in all steel or again a two-tone with diamonds. Lastly, the 28mm will be produced in steel and two-tone. All of these are fitted with an automatic variety of ETA movements.

Tudor Black Bay

Tudor Black Bay 32 — Blue Dial
The Tudor Black Bay 32 — Blue Dial
Tudor Black Bay 36 — Blue Dial
The Tudor Black Bay 36 — Blue Dial
Tudor Black Bay 41 — Blue Dial
The Tudor Black Bay 41 — Blue Dial

This year’s addition to the Black Bay collection starts with a new blue dial across the 41, the 36 and, now, a 32mm version.

The other dial addition to note is with the steel and gold, which now has a champagne dial variation. Curious that Tudor has the dial out now, in line with how vintages watches with champagne dials are seeing an increase in demand.

Tudor Black Bay S & G with a champagne-colored dial
Tudor Black Bay S & G with a champagne-colored dial

Dial colors aside, the other modification the Black Bay has undergone is a reduction in size, with the Black Bay Fifty‑Eight at 39mm. But this was no simple reduction in size. To understand how intentional Tudor was in this, you need only look at the new movement that Tudor developed to fit the 39mm Black Bay, the MT5402 (COSC certified with 70 hours of power reserve).

The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

Black Bay GMT

Goes without saying that the big-ticket watch from Tudor this Baselworld, is the Black Bay GMT. A completely new function and watch to Tudor family. But, that it was announced on the same day that Rolex announced the “Pepsi” GMT Master II Oystersteel, with the Jubilee bracelet, there were a few eyebrows raised in the room, wondering what was going on.

Tudor explains that the family of Rolex and Tudor, collectively decided, that if both brands had the watch in the pipeline, it was only right to have aligned with one another to make the unveiling simultaneously.

The Tudor Black Bay GMT
The Tudor Black Bay GMT

In all fairness, the GMT complication is probably the only similarity that the “Pepsi” GMT Master II and the Black Bay GMT share. The Black Bay GMT uses what is essentially the Heritage Black Bay form factor — the same dial design and snowflake hands (even for the GMT hand) — with the added bi-rotational GMT bezel, where the blue half is gotten from the Blue Heritage Black Bay and the red from the Burgundy Heritage Black Bay.

The movement used is also Tudor’s own. The MT5652 as it has been named, is a full bridge construction movement with the GMT function integrated within rather than incorporated as a module onto an existing movement.

Then you consider the CHF 3,400 starting point for the Black Bay GMT and, honestly, it becomes the no-brainer watch of the fair.