Angus Davies, on his Escapement blog, reviews the Tudor Style, a watch which references the past and yet delivers a timeless quality with its accomplished design. He has recently returned from a short sojourn in Cannes on the glorious Côte d’Azur. As he ambled along the Promenade de la Croisette, Angus gazed in many shop windows festooned with incredibly luxurious clothes and shoes. Here is what he saw.
Some of the clothes exhibited a delightful grace, unlikely to fade with the onset of years. For instance, a vintage couture dress created by Coco Chanel or Christian Dior continues to evince a timeless elegance. Each line, each seam and every use of color is the outcome of careful consideration by an accomplished designer. The result is a garment which confers style with a distinct absence of obsolescence.
In contrast many clothes effervesced with bright colors, potentially lacking longevity with their overt and somewhat crass styling. The contrasting characters of the garments on offer can be explained by analyzing those visitors who choose to frequent the French Riviera.
On one hand, there are some visitors to Cannes who choose to quietly embrace the Mediterranean sun, dressed in tasteful attire. By contrast, there are some individuals whose apparent newfound wealth is proclaimed with gauche excess in a mélange of garish hues and conspicuous brand names.
The rational for my mentioning the subject of design longevity is that it has much relevance in the world of watchmaking. I adore the avant-garde aesthetics of some timepieces but temper this enthusiasm with the thought that my adoration for said watches may wane in decades to come. A timepiece is a substantial purchase and consideration should be given to the aesthetic appeal of a watch in the long term, especially if it is selected to recognize a significant moment in life such as an anniversary.
Tudor has cleverly drawn upon the aesthetics of its former designs of the 1950s, 60s and 70s with its recent models. However, rather than merely producing replicas of past gems, it has infused the new watches with a quotient of modernity including larger case sizes befitting contemporary desires.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay continues to delight with its sublime aesthetics. However, while this model remains one of my personal favorites, the Tudor Style arguably surpasses the Heritage Black Bay’s timeless qualities courtesy of its glossy black dial and matching leather strap.
The Tudor Style is also available with a choice of champagne sunray or silver colored sunray dials, different case diameters and with the option of a steel folding bracelet.
The glossy black dial is wonderfully dark with its depth accentuated by the lacquered finish. The abyss-like quality is augmented with silver colored hour markers. Similar to the Tudor Oyster Prince 7965, first produced in 1958, double hour markers appear at 6 o’clock and noon.
Dauphine shaped hour and minute hands deliver a vintage persona. Encircling the dial is a discreet minute track aiding the interpretation of the minutes and the central sweep seconds.
An aperture at 3 o’clock reveals the date. It is presented in a black, unfussy font on a white date disc. The styling of the date display is crisp and fresh, proving simple to read.
Tudor doffs its hat once again to former models by proclaiming, “ROTOR SELF-WINDING” on the southern hemisphere of the dial. This latter design element is probably the most conspicuous detail of the dial, but does not detract and links this latest model with the aesthetic codes of the past.
Would-be buyers are indulged with an array of case sizes to choose from including 28mm, 34mm, 38mm and 41mm. I found the 41mm suited my own stature, according sufficient scale to be easily read while not restricting free movement of the wrist.
The case features a wonderful marriage of satin finished and polished steel surfaces. The double bezel is satin finished adjacent the sapphire crystal and polished above the case band. The upper surfaces of the lugs are highly polished while the case band is satin finished. The interplay between the two surface treatments delivers an appealing mix of ebullience and restraint, conferring a seemly decorum.
Unlike some Tudor models of yesteryear, the crown is not adorned with the Rolex logo, but with Tudor’s very own shield-like symbol. This is indicative of Tudor’s actions of late, very much treading its own path and imbuing its products with a distinctive character separate from its sibling. The fluted crown slightly tapers as it emanates from the case band but remains simple to operate.