There are a number of watches I’d suggest for inclusion in a starter collection and although they’d tend to be more vintage inspired sport, tool and dress watches, something like a thoroughly innovative Ressence Type 1 or 5 would definitely be on the list.
My favourite everyday watch is an elegant 1966 Tudor Prince Oysterdate with rotor self-winding movement. Its calibre ETA 2462 has maintained a reliable, steady beat over the decades as long as the watch is on my wrist. Despite her clean and understated styling, she’s a real attention grabber for her unusual slate grey dial, sleek golden rectangular hour markers and charming lollipop second hand. My Tudor is from a period in the company’s history where many parts from Rolex where still being used, like the Oyster case, crown and hands. It also has the original Tudor Rose emblem and Gothic Tudor logo on the dial.
At 34mm, she’s a little on the small side, but small is the new big. This trend is being driven by a number of factors including a huge focus on the women’s market, practical everyday wear mechanical watches for millennial's, the development of more sophisticated, smaller, thinner movements and of course the revival of iconic classics from the 50s and 60s over the last couple of years.
One of these is the very covetable 39mm Black Bay Fifty-Eight inspired by one of Tudor’s first diver’s watches from the 50s. The original Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7922 was launched four years earlier but the ‘Big Crown’ reference 7924 although similar to its predecessors, featured a major innovation that meant it was twice as waterproof to a depth of 200m. To achieve this, the Submariner’s 37mm diameter case was thicker and had a larger 8mm screw-down crown. It also had a new thicker and domed-shaped Plexiglas crystal for better resistance to pressure.
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight is powered by the new Tudor manufacture calibre MT5402 (COSC certified) self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system. Like the original, the Fifty-Eight features large gold trimmed hour markers and angular snowflake hands for perfect legibility against the black lacquered dial.
The unidirectional rotatable steel bezel has been updated with its graduated disc in matt-black anodised aluminium featuring pink gilded markings and numerals to precisely measure dive time. The steel screw-down winding crown features the classic Tudor rose recalling the brand’s emblem on early models. I’d stay true to the original format with a riveted steel bracelet but there is a choice of brown leather strap with folding clasp, or a black fabric strap with a gold-coloured band.