THE EDGE SINGAPORE - The press release of Tudor’s Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue had images of the watch in gorgeous blue but it did not do it justice until the actual object was delivered to me.
Unboxing the timepiece, I was greeted with a shade of blue that is difficult to describe: Not quite the colour of the ocean nor the sky. The model I tried on features a “Tudor Blue” dial and bezel insert with blue fabric strap made using the Jacquard technique.
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue comes with an interesting past. In 1969, Tudor introduced a divers’ watch with a blue dial and bezel. As the colour blue was also found in the other sports watches by Tudor, the name “Tudor Blue” was coined. The watch was not only used for sport but in the 1970s, it was standard issue for the French Navy.
Other pleasing features include the matt domed dial with applied hour markers and the iconic “snowflake” hands that are present in all of Tudor’s divers’ watches since 1969.
I put the watch to the test over the next few days. It is an easy piece to use. Firstly, the 39mm steel case that will fit on most wrists, man or woman. The watch caught the eye of a couple I met at a nursery over the weekend and they asked how I managed to get my hands on the watch as it has a waiting list. It secretly made me feel like I belong to an exclusive club.
The fabric strap is woven in France on 19th-Century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure Company in the StEtienne region. This year, Tudor and the 150-year-old company celebrate 10 years of partnership. The strap is comfortable to wear, easy to adjust and dries very quickly should it get wet it like it did while I was doing the dishes or from sweat when I took it through a game of tennis.
The watch is designed to ensure robustness, longevity, reliability and precision, and is waterproof to a depth of 200m. It also comes with a variable inertia balance, which is maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge with a two-point fixation. Together with its non-magnetic silicon hairspring, the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 is chronometer-certified by the by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
The other tech details you should know is that COSC allows for an average variation in the daily running rate of a watch movement of between –4 and +6 seconds in relation to absolute time, Tudor applies an even stricter tolerance of between –2 and +4 seconds’ variation in its daily rate on the watch fully assembled.
The watch is also “weekend-proof”, meaning the Manufacture MT5402 Calibre has a power reserve of about 70 hours. I love this function as I could take the watch off on a Friday evening and put it back again on Monday morning without having to wind and reset it.
My verdict: It is a watch that you wear anytime of the day, play a sport with it, use it when dressed up or with jeans, lounge around at home with it while you prepare a meal and wash up after. Those were the things I did while the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue was on my wrist.
Here are a few of our favourite new launches
Here is a new interpretation to the Montblanc Star Legacy Exo Tourbillon Skeleton Limited Edition 8. Some of the features include a refined fully-skeletonised, three-dimensional movement that seem to float inside the watch. So, how did they achieve this visual effect? Five pillars support the main plate on the top, and the barrel and going train bridges on the bottom. It is completed on the front by the Exo Tourbillon balance wheel and the off-centered domed hour and minute dial at 12 o’clock. This 360° perspective offers a very rare view of the whole movement working from every angle. Each of the movement’s tiny components is meticulously decorated by hand, following traditional techniques that create a bright and airy timepiece. Due to the level of skeletonisation and decoration, its assembly requires particular dexterity and care in order to avoid scratches on the bevelled components. The movement took three years to develop and we say it is something that is worth waiting for.
The Big Bang Sang Bleu II is designed by tattoo artist Maxime Plescia-Büchi. He starts with the colour white and uses this bare landscape to create an amazing geometry in 3D. This grapho-typo-tattooartist lends his vision that is composed of perspectives, in which every point seems to naturally converge towards the other to sketch out forms that are as hypnotic as they are architectural. Look closely and you can see the angles, the facets and the lines of the Big Bang Sang Bleu II where incisions are chiselled from the case to the hexagonal bezel, from the sapphire glass to the hands. The watch is a lesson in balance and form as it comes together in one big harmony on the 45mm diameter timepiece.
Cannot decide whether to wear a watch or a bangle? Wear the Jaeger-LeCoultre 101 Bangle and you cannot go wrong. If you think that jewellery watches do not have its own in-house movement, the watch will astound you as it is powered by the Calibre 101 movement. Said to be the smallest mechanical movement in the world, only the most talented watchmaker can make this 14mm long and less than 55mm wide hand-wound calibre that weighs less than a gramme. The savoir-faire extends to the jewellery setting too. The 101 Bangle features 996 brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling 19.7 carats, and combines a griffe setting of 144 diamonds with a grain setting of 852 diamonds for a more multi-dimensional aesthetic. An added bonus is the bangle opens with a simple twist of the two sides, so that it forgoes the need for a clasp, which no matter how well-secured and well-made always comes with the risk of coming undone, especially if worn frequently over time.
Every aspect of nature such as fire, ice, magma, glaciers, lava and ice shelves have been examined by the creators at Ulysse Nardin and from that, Blast is born. Modelled on the same lines as a stealth aircraft, Blast offers a fresh, muscular and robust open-worked model that features an automatic silicium tourbillon nested in a totally redesigned X-shaped cage. On the face lies the coloured bezel, the verticality of the movement with the barrel at 12 o’clock and the flying tourbillon at six o’clock. The watch gets its heartbeat from the recently fashioned UN-172 movement (an evolution of the UN-171 movement) and has a three-day power reserve. From conception to creation, Ulysse Nardin took 18 months to create Blast. Every part of this new marvel was cleverly thought-out, from the triple-toothed round bezel to the double “X” that clamps the movements together in a sandwich, to the self-deploying buckle which releases effortlessly in just one click. Available in four distinct models.