Angus Davies reviews the Tudor Style, a watch which references the past and yet delivers a timeless quality with its accomplished design.
This detailed review of the Tudor Style includes live images, specification details and pricing.
I have recently returned from a short sojourn in Cannes on the glorious Côte d’Azur. As I ambled along the Promenade de la Croisette, I gazed in many shop windows festooned with incredibly luxurious clothes and shoes.
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 colour 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 colours, potentially lacking longevity with their overt and somewhat crass styling. The contrasting characters of the garments on offer can be explained by analysing 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 melange 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 recognise 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 favourites, 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 coloured 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 coloured 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 seperate from its sibling. The fluted crown slightly tapers as it emanates from the case band but remains simple to operate.
The case back is solid and simply marked with the company name, the place of origin and the Tudor logo in triplicate.
While the model is available on a five-row bracelet, I especially like the appearance of the black leather strap. It is supplied on a steel deployant and the clasp shares the same profile as the company logo.
All models contain the Tudor calibre 2824, save for the 28mm diameter version of the Tudor Style which contains the Tudor calibre 2671.
The Tudor calibre 2824 is self-winding, has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz), contains 25 jewels and delivers a power reserve of 38 hours. Despite being hidden from view, the oscillating mass features Côtes de Genève motif and circular graining on the bridges and main plate.
The attention to detail of this watch is very impressive, especially bearing in mind the relatively modest asking price of £1580. The blend of surface treatments, the black lacquered dial, applied hour markers and stylish folding clasp all collaborate to make a worthy ownership proposition.
Tudor continues to impress with its design prowess. The Tudor Style references the past sympathetically, expertly avoiding the kitsch. The 41mm version with black dial and matching leather strap has an appeal which I suspect will endure for decades to come and remain unsullied by changing fashions.
- Model: Tudor Style
- Ref: 12700
- Case: stainless steel; diameter 41.00mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds; date.
- Movement: Tudor Calibre 2824, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz), 25 jewels; power reserve 38 hours
- Strap: Black leather strap with folding clasp
- Price: £1,580 (RRP as at 8.1.2015)