As I mentioned in my first post about Baselworld this year, I wasn't on the bandwagon to welcome Tudor back to the US when they returned in 2013. Now that I have had the opportunity to see their entire collection, I'm singing a different tune.
Tudor is very polarizing when comparing pictures to actually seeing the watch on your wrist. I've never gone from not liking a watch in pictures to loving it in real life the way I did when I went to New York last week. I think this is because Tudor's watches are very classic and understated. The designs are familiar so they don't jump out at you in pictures. It is when you see them on your wrist that you just "get it". Even the watches from 2013, that I said I didn't like, I am a fan of now.
The Tudor Black Bay is a "heritage" watch designed with cues from their watches of the 60's and 70's. They have done a very good job with this as it works well. The burgundy model that was released last year has more of a vintage feel with cream colored lume and a golden or "gilt" dial treatment. The new midnight blue model, released at Baselworld this past March, is slightly more modern with pure white lume and a matte black dial. Both come on either a steel bracelet or leather strap and include a NATO strap as well. I found the burgundy model on bracelet to be my favorite Black Bay, while the midnight blue is still very cool.
The other watch that debuted at the event was the Tudor Ranger. This is a watch I had really been looking forward to seeing in the metal and it delivered. It has a very simple and purposeful design that can work in almost any situation. You also get an assortment of strap choices. My personal preference is for the traditional light brown strap, but the camo NATO strap that is also included is just flat out cool. And this brings us to the best part of the Ranger; its price. Depending on your strap choice, it will cost $2700-$2900. Hard to beat the value you get there.
What I will admit was the biggest surprise of the night was the Tudor Pelagos. This was a watch I had never paid any mind to and, frankly, didn't like at all. The Pelagos is now my favorite Tudor. This dive watch sports a titanium case and bracelet and a matte black ceramic bezel insert. The dial design is very modern, almost futuristic, with bold hour markers and angled cutouts along the outer track. As with most dive watches today, a rubber strap is also included. What Mike from Tudor pointed out to me on this watch is that they use ceramic bearings on their bracelet clasp. Something that is a minor detail but really speaks to the quality of Tudor watches. These bearings will not wear down like their metal counterparts and should last for many years. The Tudor Pelagos may have found a spot on my list.
In all, this was a really fun event. Russell and Mike from Tudor were great at explaining every little detail and answering any questions we had. It was also a pleasure to meet Ben Clymer from Hodinkee and talk watches for a few minutes. Thank you to Tudor for putting on this event and to Hodinkee for inviting me to attend.