The Heritage Black Bay has come to become Tudor’s most popular modern timepiece. As a result, Tudor has continued to build on the success of the Black bay range by introducing new variants.
Since Tudor released the Heritage Black Bay model back in 2012, many versions have been introduced. One such model is the Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer edition, which is the model we’re going to focus on in this article.
How come Tudor decided to release a special edition watch in collaboration with another organization. Because this is something that Tudor rarely. And it’s something that Rolex, the parent company of Tudor, does even more rarely.
Background to the Tudor Black Bay
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay is a model that needs no introduction, but for context, let’s take the short background story.
As mentioned, Tudor launched the Heritage Black Bay in 2012, as part of the brand’s relaunch. As the name suggests, this model is based on Tudor’s heritage, and in the Black Bay’s case, Tudor’s diving heritage. In particular from the 50s and 60s.
Tudor’s vintage dive watches have become extremely sought after over the years. There are many reasons for this, but the main reasons could be Tudor’s close relationship with Tudor back in the days when Tudor used Rolex parts, just fitted the models with a different movement. And because Rolex has played an extremely important role both in watchmaking and the history of dive watches, people have gotten their eyes up for the Tudor dive watches as well.
The point I am trying to make here is that the Black Bay model can be seen as a re-edition of Tudor’s popular dive watches, but rather than taking inspiration from only one model, Tudor has taken the best elements from its vintage timepieces, and merged the best elements when developing the Black Bay, and then combining that with modern technique and manufacturing methods.
The result is a model that is based on already extremely popular watches, that is more robust, more sturdy, and more reliable. And since the vintage dive watches from Tudor have skyrocketed in price, the Black Bay is the perfect choice for someone who loves the vintage dive watch look but isn’t willing to pay tens of thousands for a good example.
Tudor released three variants of the Black Bay, which all used the reference 79220 (then followed by the first letter of the color that it was). The colors available were black, red, and blue. These watches are equipped with ETA movements, and so in 2016, Tudor discontinued these watches in favor of an in-house variant.
Apart from simply refreshing the existing Black Bay line by introducing in-house movements in the Black Bays (which was huge by the way), Tudor has introduced new Black Bay models to go along the flagship trio.
Some examples are the Black Bay Chronograph, Black Bay GMT, and the Black Bay Bronze. The Black Bay bronze is a very special piece, featuring a bronze case and a brown dial. But the watch is still very much a Black Bay, and can instantly be recognized as one. Eventually, Tudor built on the existing Black Bay Bronze model, which lead to the introduction of the Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Bronze. And this is the watch we’re going to focus on in this article.
Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer
Now, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Bronze is a watch with both a long name, as well as an array of different names.
Among watch collectors, the Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Bronze is usually, and sometimes jokingly called ”BBBBB”. Five B’s for the watch’s name.
That is Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Blue. The reference of the watch is 79250BB, which is exactly the same as the original Bronze BB, only with a different last letter for the color.
The standard bronze Black Bay which the Bucherer edition is based on has the model name Black Bay Bronze, so naturally, this new piece has the same name. The blue is obviously for the color of the watch, and the last B is for Bucherer.
For the sake of simplicity in this article, from now on, I’ll be referring to the watch as Black Bay Bronze Bucherer.
Now, where did the idea of the Black Bay Bronze Bucherer come from, and what is Bucherer?
Well, Bucherer is a Lucerne-based retail store, most famous for watches. Bucherer is one of the oldest names in watch retail.
Over the years, Bucherer has made a number of collaborations with watch brands in developing special edition Bucherer watches, exclusively to be sold at the famous department store. These watches have come to be known as Blue Editions. Among other brands are Audemars Piguet, Carl F. Bucherer, Chopard, H. Moser & Cie, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Panerai, Piaget, and Hublot. Bucherer is one of the most famous and well-respected watch retail store brand, and this gives Bucherer quite a lot of ”convincing power” for teaming up with watch brands.
The Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Blue is a special edition timepiece which was released in 2018. The watch was developed to celebrate the shop’s 130th birthday. Just like all other blue editions, and the Tudor Black Bay Bronze Blue Bucherer is exclusively sold at the retailer’s stores. That is in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, and Denmark.
Buccherer was founded in 1888 and now has 16 stores in Switzerland, 10 stores in Germany, and 1 store in each of Vienna and Copenhagen. Furthermore, Bucherer also has the world’s largest watch and jewelry store in Paris.
This, of course, makes the watch more sought-after, as you cannot simply walk in and buy one. You have to get on their waiting list and wait patiently.
Why the color blue?
Bucherer is famous for its blue color, as it is a distinct color that Bucherer has used in its branding, including its logo for many decades. As such, it makes sense that if Bucherer is to co-develop special edition timepieces, they would include the iconic Bucherer Blue color. And that’s exactly what the Black bay Bronze Bucherer and all other Bucherer watch collaborations have done.
Tudor Black Bay Bucherer Bronze Blue specifications
If you’re familiar with the first Black Bay bronze in brown, you’ll feel at home with this watch.
The reason is that technically speaking, the Black Bay Bucherer is identical to the original Black Bay Bronze in brown.
The special edition Bucherer only features a few visual differences. But these small visual differences have a big effect on the watch’s look.
The most special thing about the Black Bay Bronze is of course that it is a bronze watch. Bronze is a material that has been used for many decades, but at the same time, a material that isn’t widely used in today’s watch market. Of course, there is quite a few watch manufactures that have bronze watches in their range of watches, but the bronze watches only tend to appeal to a niche group of people. The Black Bay Bronze bucherer uses a 43mm bronze case, and since it is based on the Black bay range, you’ll instantly recognize it as one.
The shape of the case is identical to the original Black Bay models, it features the iconic big crown with crown tube and without crown guards, and then the unidirectional rotatable bezel. It also features drilled lugs – which the rest of the Black Bays do not.
The original bronze model launched in 2016, and the Black Bay Bronze Bucherer was launched in 2018.
The original Black Bay bronze had been well-received, but as mentioned, only a niche group of people enjoys wearing bronze watches, partly because many people dislike the fact that Bronze ages very quickly, and get patina. Watch-nerds and truly devoted watch enthusiasts are the people who tend to enjoy bronze watches the most. Some people even actively try to get the bronze case to age faster by putting it in vinegar and other chemicals just because they enjoy the vintage look. And sure, the Black Bay Bronze Bucherer is not a watch for everyone, however, there’s no denying that it is a great looking watch.
The original Black Bays and the Bronze Black Bay also differ in the case finishing. While the original Black Bay combines brushed with polished parts, the Bronze case is entirely brushed. This is of course because it is impossible to do with bronze. Plus, the fully brushed case adds to the sportiness of the watch. Just like the original watches, the Bronze Bucherer has a 200m water resistance. The watch also keeps many other vintage elements, such as the bevels on the lugs, the indices, and the snowflake hands.
The Bronze Bucherer has an identical dial like the original Bronze watch, the only difference is that instead of brown, the dial is blue. The blue dial and bezel have a lot of nuance in this shade of blue, which gives the watch different personalities depending on the light.
An interesting point is that there is no mention that the watch is a special edition or a collaboration with Bucherer on the dial. The reason for this is that Tudor is very modest in developing its watches. Other brands, for example, Hublot, often use large logos and texts on the dial for their special editions, for example, their Formula 1 edition, which has ”F1” on the dial. Tudor is a little more discrete, and this is something that is appreciated.
The bronze case looks almost like gold when it is new. The bronze against the Bucherer blue just works extremely well. And over time, the gold-colored case turns towards brown and green. Of course, if you don’t like the aged look of bronze, there are a number of ways you can get it looking just like new. Putting ketchup on it is one trick that works very well.
Tudor Black Bay Bucherer Bronze Blue Movement
As mentioned, there are no technical differences, and therefore, the movement used in the BBBBB is the same.
Tudor started using in-house developed movements since 2015. The watch is equipped with Tudor’s manufacture movement, the caliber MT5601. This movement is an automatic, bidirectional rotor movement which has a 70 hours power reserve and a 4Hz frequency. The movement is COSC certified and equipped with an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring.
Differences between the Tudor Black Bay Bucherer Bronze Blue and the Original Black Bay Bronze
As mentioned, there are not a lot of differences between the original bronze Black Bay and the Bucherer Bronze Black Bay. And the differences that exist are all visual.
Let’s go over the specifications of the watch.
The thing you notice first is obviously the bezel.
Rather than being made in brown, the bezel is made in blue. Apart from that, the bezel has the exact same markings as the other black bay divers.
Just like with the bezel, the dial has been changed from brown to blue, to create a unity and a connection between bezel and dial.
On the case back, which you don’t see then wearing it, you have a few differences.
Engraved on the case back is the text ”Bucherer 1888”, which is the only real clue that you get about the partnership. Tudor has also left a ‘bigger space’ for a possible engraving by the owner, to personalize the watch.
Further information and Pricing
The Black Bay Bronze Bucherer 79250BB is a special edition timepiece – not a limited edition timepiece. This means that Tudor has not, at least publicly, mentioned a limited production number. But at the same time, because the watch is a special edition timepiece, and you have to wait to get to buy it, the number of Black Bay Bronze 79250BB that will available on the market when the model is discontinued will be significantly lower than other Black Bay models, including the other Bronze model. This makes this watch a future collector’s watch.
Is the Tudor Black Bay Bucherer Discontinued?
As of July 2019, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bucherer Edition 79250BB is not discontinued and is still in production.
Tudor doesn’t really do limited editions, because in doing lots of limited editions, there’s a risk that it will damage the brand’s exclusivity. This is why Tudor makes special edition timepieces instead.
The Black Bay Bronze Blue has the same price as the brown version, which is CHF 3,800 / EUR 3,750. This price can, of course, be subject to change.
The Bucherer Bronze comes with different colored straps than on the brown one. This is of course to complement the new color scheme. The Black Bay Bronze Blue comes with two straps. A vintage looking brown leather strap, and a blue & bronze striped fabric strap.
The leather strap is thick and feels really high quality. The leather strap comes with a bronze clasp. The strap doesn’t taper, so it is 22mm from start to finish.
The leather strap is not very comfortable during warm and sweaty days (are any leather straps?), and this is a time when the fabric strap can come in handy.
If you’ve owned a Tudor Black Bay with a fabric strap. the blue fabric strap with a bronze-colored stripe in the center is identical to other fabric straps from Tudor. The only difference is its visual appearance.
The Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Blue was extremely well-received when it was launched. It is a sporty dive watch made in bronze that ticks a lot of boxes. As with all bronze watches, it is a bit niched, which means that it will be quite a rare occasion seeing it out in the wild, compared to the original Black Bay models.
While the watch isn’t a limited edition, the production of this watch will be highly limited. Because it is only distributed in Bucherer stores, and it is not possible to simply walk in and buy it, we can assume that this watch will become a real collector’s watch in the future.
With that in mind, the 79250BB is a watch that offers great value for money. For 3750 Swiss Franc (retail), you get a watch that feels super solid and high quality, which also has a lovely finish, and best of all, an in-house movement. Oh, let’s not forget its limited production.
In conclusion, it is simply a great watch for someone who is looking for a sport/dive watch that has that little extra character and personality. A little bit extra boldness.