Before several weeks of Baselworld 2021, if you were paying the least bit of attention on Instagram, it was almost impossible to avoid the hype around theories about new releases. It’s possible that a new Tudor “Snowflake” Submariner was among the buzziest theories and not one that the brand didn’t do its part in stoking. However, like a new Rolex Milgauss or Explorer II, most of these predictions didn’t come true. To be honest, I was so happy to see the release of this Black Bay Chronograph S&G (that’s steel & gold) omega replica watch, which is essentially its version of an Omega Ploprof (design-wise, that is) with the Black Bay P01. In my recent memory, a two-tone chronograph hasn’t been the remedy to an existing steel model, while Tudor has introduced a reverse Daytona, and this S&G version breathes 2019’s steel Black Bay Chronograph new life.
Being a diver timepiece, there’s an inherent bit of confusion about it. Personally I think the mistake of the initial steel Black Bay Chronograph was that it leaned too hard in hoping it could make you forget that contradiction via having an unremarkable piece. Now Tudor has gone all in with the two-tone aesthetic and has provided it on a two-tone bracelet, bund strap, leather strap, and fabric strap. There are several different variations you may love it or hate it, which is so much better than being simply perplexing.
Tudor states that aesthetic inspiration here dates back to the Oyster-Prince Submariner ref. 7922 but it’s obvious that some of the vintage Rolex Daytona models in gold are also a significant point of reference. The matte black dial with gold sub-dials (that still seem just a bit too small to me) benefits largely from keeping the gold in a very mellow tone. This is echoed on the bezel, which has its outer edge done in gold, as well as a frame of the dial that are done in gold and black. The pushers and gold-capped crown pull the entire thing together to reach that Goldilocks level of “just right” breakdown of steel to gold. It exudes personality and a complete, cohesive design weather you like it or not. Compared to the steel model, it has always looked visibly incomplete for me.
The Black Bay Chronograph S&G runs on the same MT5813 movement that first made an appearance in the steel version two years ago. Controversy over the use of “in-house manufacture” phrasing aside, this is the movement Tudor developed with Breitling. For me, the most important here is that it offers 70-hour power reserve, although the steel caseback won’t allow you any view into it, anyway. In terms of practicality and ownership, this is a movement to applaud purely based on performance.
The case measures 41mm-wide and 14.9mm-thick, the width of a lug-to-lug comes in just a hair under 50mm. Under normal condition the case thickness isn’t bad, but the thickness goes up considerably when the swiss replica watches is on the bund strap or NATO strap. Surely, that’s always part of the equation here but something did obviously change the wearing experience when compared to wearing it on the bracelet.
As for the most hardcore watch enthusiasts, there are something really important, and nomenclature is one of them. It does irritate me that basically every Tudor now has to be a Black Bay, especially this piece. With this gripe apart, even if the Heritage Chrono several years ago is my favorite modern Tudor timepiece at present, the Black Bay Chronograph S&G presents its own particularities among the family of a brand famous for divers perfectly.