Does A Tudor Belong In Your Collection? The Watch Snob Gets Real
Should You Own A Tudor?
First of all I would like to thank you for insightful, witty, and well written column, which I enjoy thoroughly from Spain.
I am looking very keenly at the new Tudor watches, especially the Heritage Black Bay Chrono. I would like to know what your thoughts are on the quality of Tudor watches in general and if you think this chronograph is an overpriced homage to the Rolex Daytona.
I don’t think it is an homage to anything, to be completely frank; certainly not to the Rolex Daytona and it puzzles me exceedingly why anyone would think so. They are quite different technically, for one thing; the Daytona is a three register chronograph with an hour register and the Tudor Black Bay Chronograph is a two register chronograph, moreover with a 45 minute register. They do both have screw down crowns and a tachymeter bezel but so do any number of other chronographs … no, I don’t see it.
I also don’t understand those who feel that the Black Bay Chronograph is “overpriced,” quite honestly it is the exact opposite. This is a selfwinding chronograph with an excellent movement and very high quality case and bracelet construction, moreover with a silicon balance spring (I’m no lover of silicon but at this price point and in this watch it is definitely value added) and it’s priced well under anything else you can find with such technical elements. It’s rather a bargain, in fact, but of course, and ironically for Tudor, most of its intended audience are too hopelessly unsophisticated horologically to be able to tell.
In Search Of A “Wow! Nice Watch” That Doesn’t Lose Its Value
I’m a 41 year old man and I want a nice timepiece. I’m a Captain with a city Fire Dept so I don’t need a watch for work or business! I want a watch for going out on the town with my wife!! My price range is $4500.
I really like the Cartier Pasha and Roadster however the Roadster’s that I like are out of my price range. The 40mm Pasha is in my range as a certified used watch.
I recently discovered the Baume and Mercier Classima in the $1k range.
Do I keep saving for the Pasha or settle for the Classima? I want a piece that says “wow” nice watch! And a watch that doesn’t lose its value!
Thanks for your help.
You know in general, I’m always an advocate of not settling for a lesser watch simply to save money, or to satisfy the desire to own a new watch more quickly. There are rare exceptions to this rule, however in the main, one is asking for trouble when one – well, you’ve said it, when one “settles.” There are so many domains in life where one is forced to compromise, and very often one has to compromise with what one really wants in watches as well … the world is full of good-hearted chaps who love Lange & Sohne more than a dipsomaniac loves the bottle but who in no way will ever be able to afford one.
You, sir, are not in that position; you can get one of two recognizable, and in their own way, iconic designs from Cartier without compromising your tastes in any way at all. Whyfore, then, would you settle? We all at least once in our lives deserve to enjoy the satisfaction of getting what we really want and I don’t see why a gentleman of your years who has devoted his life to public service should be deprived.
The Finest In Hand Wound Watches
1. In the past you have mentioned AP 2120 (2121) as the finest self-winding movements there is (or has been). Are there any hand wound movement or movements which you would classify as the finest (for hand wounds)?
2. I am intrigued with the 36mm Oyster Perpetual. The deterrent is that it doesn’t stand out in any context. It doesn’t have the technical excellence of a Milgauss or GMT Master, or the heritage of a Date Just or Sea Dweller. It has the “right” size (which is not available in other brands easily), but do you think it can stake a claim as a haute horlogerie timepiece?
Indeed, the Audemars Piguet 2120 is one of the most distinguished of all self-winding movements but it is of a particular type: an ultra thin caliber. It was when it was first introduced in the 1960s, the thinnest full rotor self-winding movement ever made and it still holds that title, remarkable enough, today. The equivalent in a hand-wound movement is the caliber known as the Vacheron Constantin caliber 1003/Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 849. This is an exquisite example of the nearly dead art of the ultra thin hand-wound movement, and every bit the equal of the 2120 in interest.
With respect to the 36mm Oyster Perpetual, the entire point of the watch is that it does not stand out in any particular way; it is simply (and in my view sufficiently) here upon this Earth as an excellent example of a Swiss automatic watch of the highest quality in construction and in its mechanism. What it is not, however, is “haute horlogerie” – it is a very good watch and as reliable and versatile as you could ever hope to find. Haute horlogerie, however, it is not; the degree of hand-finishing necessary for that appellation is found in only a very few brands, and at much, much higher prices. As with anything else in life, it is best to appreciate things for what they are, not what they are not.
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Watches Mentioned In This Article: Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chronograph ($4,545.00), Rolex Daytona (Starting at $13,495.00), Cartier Pasha (Starting at $12,995.00), Cartier Roadster (Starting at $8,480.00), Baume et Mercier Classima (Starting at $675.00), Rolex Oyster Perpetual (Starting at $3,995.00)