Tuesday, March 27, 2018

BaselWorld 2018 - The Shit That Killed Elvis

Ordinarily, I try to get all BaselWorld updates going while the fair is going on.  But this year I made the conscious decision to hold off a bit until the dust had settled.

This is the Tudor Black Bay GMT.  And it is the shit that killed Elvis.

It is available with a strap -

Courtesy of Tudor

On a NATO -

Courtesy of Tudor

And my personal favorite, with bracelet -

Courtesy of Tudor

Now it is interesting to relate, that although some of my BaselWorld buddies did like this watch, there was a bit of "bite back" from several others.  They were saying things like:
"But Tudor never made a GMT".
to which I said (in a more polite manner than the following):
"No shit, Sherlock". 
Because I think that is particularly low-hanging fruit to try and pick at.  It really has nothing to do with anything.  Wouldn't life be boring if you merely focused on staying strictly in your own lane?  Now in their presentation, the Tudor guys went out of their way to stress that these products were legitimate in terms of "inter-family heritage and DNA".  Well, if as the journalist or the customer you need that sort of reassurance to feel okay about liking this watch you should either be writing about something else, or you should mortgage your house and buy a Rolex.  And if you harbor fears of your watch buddies razzing you about what you like?  Well then frankly, this watch isn't for  you, and you are clearly not ready to pee in the tall weeds with the other big dogs.

For me, this one ticks all of the emotional boxes.  Ask any American guy of a certain vintage where he first caught sight of the Rolex GMT and they will recall that doer of daring - Magnum PI.  A fictional private investigator, living as a guest in a millionaire's estate, always catching the bad guy and doing the right thing?  For many of us the GMT became an icon.  Is this contrary to just about ANYTHING I usually state as a good reason to like or love a watch?  Absolutely.  But I stand by my opinion.  And here's why - it's PERSONAL.  To the best of my knowledge, Rolex did not reach out to the producers of the show and try to make a product placement.  It was an organic partnership that got Rolex far more mileage than any paid partnership ever could have.  In this manner, the GMT became more than a watch for some of us, it became a piece of our personal history (albeit through a Thursday night TV show) even if we will never own one.  

About current partnerships, I will say that Tudor's now seemingly relentless attempt to gain legitimacy through paid partnerships with Lady Gaga, David Beckham, and some actor who I know absolutely nothing about is a slippery slope that may not have the payoff that the marketing folks are hoping for.  As the guy who had to cook up these potential partnerships for a brand, I know that it is a perilous, often thankless exercise that oftentimes results in an aggregate loss both in terms of publicity and actual cost.  Because in all honesty?  These are products that don't need a paid celebrity "chum". 

On a strictly "BaselWorld Reporter" level, the Tudor Black Bay GMT was a visceral sucker punch that I did not see coming this year.  And it is also clear that others in my press reveal felt the same way.  A gentleman from Australia stiff-armed me in an effort to get to this piece first in the display area.  Well, it is a country founded as a penal colony...
I kid, of course ; )

I also think some reporter's poo-pooing of this watch might, in part, be due to the fact that Rolex came out with a GMT update this year - just a wee-bit south of $10,000.  That's A LOT OF MONEY.  I saw it, it's plenty nice, but I also have come to understand that while I write about watches that the great and the good might own and wear, those people and I live in very different financial worlds.  And that's okay.  And in all honesty, isn't that why the Tudor brand has been positioned where it is?  The Tudor Black Bay GMT with bracelet comes in at well under that aforementioned $10,000 price point at very  reasonable 3,700 Swiss Francs.  So you may, in fact, pay your mortgage and put some money in your kid's college funds while enjoying a truly awesome watch.

For me, this is pretty simple.  A very good looking watch, 41 mm in stainless steel with a manufacture COSC movement.

I want one.  I want one very, very much.  

Here are the pertinents -


41 mm steel case
with polished and satin finish

Bidirectional rotatable
48 notches bezel in steel with 24-hour graduated anodized aluminum disc in matte burgundy and blue

Steel screw-down winding crown, with the TUDOR rose in relief, with circular satin-brushed steel winding crown tube

Black, domed

Domed sapphire crystal

Waterproof to 200 m (660 )

Riveted steel bracelet, with polished and satin finish, or “Terra di Siena” brown leather strap with folding clasp and safety catch, or black fabric strap with burgundy band and with buckle 


Manufacture Calibre MT5652 (COSC)
Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system
Built-in architecture

Swiss Chronometer officially certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute)

Jumping hour
(second time zone), 24-hours, minutes and seconds at
the center

Instantaneous date at 3 o’clock without non-correction range being synchronized on the jumping hour hand
Stop seconds for precise time setting

Variable inertia balance, micro-adjustment by screw
Non-magnetic silicon balance spring
28,800 beats/hour (4Hz)


31.8 mm

7.52 mm

28 jewels

Approximately 70 hours


No comments:

Post a Comment