We firmly believe that you really need to see just about everything in the new Tudor Black Bay line in person. There are subtleties that you just don’t get in pictures.
That is true of course for the silver one (the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 brings a warmth and elegance that just isn’t there in shiny steel.) It is also true for what everyone will end up calling the gold Tudor, The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18k (yes its green and gold but it is matte and looks…subtle?). But how can we say this about the Chronos? Steel cases and bracelets and either panda or reverse? Why do you really need to see those in person?
Everyone is excited about the panda face, what Tudor says is the white dial Chrono with black subdials. It is both historic and currently trendy, it is attention-getting and clean. It is generally the one many enthusiasts will want. On my wrist, it was great. Polished surfaces when you look at the watch, shinier on the side a bit. Familiar though a little large with its size (41mm) but slightly slimmer on the wrist. Screw-down pushers to operate the Chrono function. Nice solid piece.
But I kept thinking about the reverse, the black dial model with its silver subdials on its domed face. The silver subdials show depth and a bit of intricacy that I just didn’t get with the panda. Now that black on white color palette is definitely something to excite vintage watch fans, but it is also a somewhat trendy thing to do nowadays. You can’t swing a cat and not hit a panda. But that panda-ness might be just too defining for the watch. Granted, it isn’t a hugely expensive watch but rather a solid value proposition from a storied and stable watchmaker, so you can’t really go wrong. But the silver subdials on the black face had me looking at that face far more often.
Maybe the panda is for everyone else to see and appreciate while the reverse is for you to enjoy yourself.
What else is there? Both chronos use Manufacture Calibre MT5813, a COSC certified movement with a column wheel and a vertical clutch and power reserve of around seventy hours. They both use fixed steel bezels with matte black aluminum bezels and silver markings for the tachymetric scale. You can choose the easy-to-use riveted steel bracelet, a “bund” type leather bracelet or a fabric strap.
This is all a much-appreciated new look. Having the choice of which face you want is a good thing, and I am fairly sure the black on white dial will win the numbers game. Having said that, those silver subdials still do call.