The use of ceramics in watchmaking is not something undertaken by many brands due to the complexity involved in working with this material. Tudor, however, turned as many heads as they did naysayers at Baselworld 2013 with the launch of their Fastrider Black Shield — a menacingly handsome timepiece clad in monolithic high-tech ceramic. By Suzanne Wong
Things have been moving with amazing speed and force at Tudor recently. And even though it’s only been in the last few years that Tudor timepieces have been generating enormous amounts of interest far surpassing anything that has gone before, you know for a fact that things behind the scenes have been brewing for much longer.
In 2010, we saw the gorgeously nostalgic Heritage Chrono; Baselworld 2013 brought with it the Heritage Chrono’s jaunty, Mediterranean-inflected cousin, the Heritage Chrono Blue. The Fastrider sports chronograph was first introduced in 2011 and was warmly welcomed by those who saw in the new collection, with its smart racing stripes, a renewed commitment to Tudor’s youth-orientated stylings. The watershed year for Tudor, however, came in 2012 as market buzz about the brand went into hyperdrive following the launch of the Heritage Black Bay and the Pelagos dive watch.
The Pelagos and the Heritage Black Bay more than earned their respective positions as the 2012 winners of Revolution magazine’s Ultimate Value and Best Watch Design awards. Both watches accomplished this with their timely and savvy revival of the iconic design codes of classic Tudor — big crowns, square hour markers, deeply bevelled lugs, ‘snowflake’ hands and square-tipped crown guards. In the case of the Pelagos, the construction of the watch in full titanium with a rotating bezel featuring luminous inset markers, a helium-release valve and quick-adjust deployant buckle, made it the entire market’s most competitive offering in its price category.
This year, Tudor’s Baselworld novelties included the Heritage Ranger, which resurrected a model from 1967 and revived the spirit of adventure and affinity with the great outdoors within the brand. Its appealingly plain and exceptionally legible dial is surmounted by a subtly 14cambered crystal that calls attention to the taut lines of the case. The Heritage Ranger was released alongside the new Tudor Style, a supremely accessible line that marries practicality with a dash of 1950s Italian dolce vita.
Here is the thing about Tudor today: not only are their watches consistently amazing value for money, but they also firmly acknowledge the historical and cultural ties of the brand; they make smart and well-considered use of material and design innovations. They are, in a single word, transcendent.
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