It has been a great couple of years for Tudor. Last year they debuted their very successful Black Bay GMT and the year before that their very first Chronograph with an in-house movement. This year, their Black Bay P01 was making waves all over the watch industry for its unorthodox bezel construction and its storied past. But apart from that, they also dropped a ton of new S&G (Steel & Gold) watches and this new Black Bay Chrono S&G is undoubtedly its crowning glory.
As I mentioned, the Black Bay Chrono is not a new watch for Tudor as it was already unveiled back in 2017 and it proclaimed to use an in-house movement, a first for Tudor chronographs. Interestingly, this new calibre – MT5813 – was actually based on the Breitling-developed Calibre B01. Through this collaboration, Tudor gained the technology needed for an in-house chronograph while Breitling inherited the three-hand Tudor MT5612.
Thus by doing this, Tudor saved the hefty resources it would have taken to develop their very own integrated chronograph movement with a column wheel and vertical clutch. For the uninitiated, the main difference between an integrated chronograph and a more conventional one is that usually, the latter comes as a separate module that can be attached to a base movement on the dial side. Therefore, the main difference is that with an integrated chronograph all the intricate bits can be visible from the caseback.
This year, the Chrono gets the S&G treatment giving it a very elegant gilt panda dial that extends to the fixed bezel in yellow gold and black anodised aluminium. As with the other S&G offerings, most of the yellow gold components of the watch are capped gold which is basically a layer of gold wrapped over a steel core. And compared to gold-plating, capped gold won’t show the steel underneath when inevitably the watch picks up some minor scratches and dings. And by using less gold on the crown and the bracelet links (the end-links are still in solid gold) you still get all the opulent aesthetics but at a price tag that is much friendlier on the wallet.
Another thing to note is that if you compare the new Chrono S&G with the 2017 model, this one is thinner than its predecessor although they are both using the same movement. And the way Tudor manages this is by cleverly reducing the space between the dial and the top crystal. This not only results in a thinner overall height but also makes the dial stand out even more when you look at your wrist.
Case: Steel and yellow gold
Case size: 41mm
Movement: Manufacture Calibre MT5813 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: CHF6,500 with a bracelet, CHF5,350 with a Jacquard or bund strap