Neither entirely steel nor gold, but a blend of the metals, two-tone sports watches are peculiar but nonetheless popular. So the Tudor Black Bay S&G – short for “steel and gold” – is a natural extension to the line of bestselling vintage-inspired dive watches.
As steel and gold watches go Tudor did a good job with the Black Bay S&G, mainly by dialling back the gold quotient. Though the gold bits are the same as on other two-tone watches, namely the bezel, crown and centre links of the bracelet, they have a brushed finish, instead of the polished surface typical for gold (the two-tone Rolex Submariner, for instance, has polished centre links). This gives the gold parts on the Black Bay S&G a subdued, even slightly worn look.
The bezel and end links of the bracelet are solid 18k gold, while the bracelet centre links and crown are gold-capped. That means they are steel parts covered with a layer of gold that’s bonded to the base with heat and pressure, creating a much thicker layer than electroplating.
Besides the two-tone look, the other notable feature of the Black Bay S&G is the date at three o’clock (a feature also shared by the newly launched Black Bay Steel). It’s a practical feature that does not look out of place, since the new Black Bay looks and feels like a modern watch, rather than a retro remake.
The rest of the watch is similar to the all-steel Black Bay watches. The dial is black with a grained finish and gilt print, matched with snowflake hands.
The steel case is 41mm in diameter and rated to 200m. And inside is the COSC-certified MT5612, a calibre from the same family of movements that power most of the Black Bay range.
It is automatic with a 70-hour power reserve, and fitted with a silicon hairspring. More unusually, the calibre has a date function that can be set at any time, even around midnight.
The Black Bay S&G is available with a matching two-tone bracelet or a leather strap. Both versions are delivered with an olive green NATO-style strap. On both the leather and fabric straps the tw0-tone look is less apparent, giving it a more vintage feel.
Price and availability
The Heritage Black Bay S&G (ref. 79733N) will be available starting May 2017, priced at SFr4750 on a bracelet and SFr3600 on the leather strap.
The significant disparity between the two version is due to the 18k gold components of the bracelet.
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