Luxury Fake Tudor Black Bay Chronograph, $4,900+
We know, we know — this is far from the first black bezel copy Tudor Black Bay Chrono you’ve come across on the pages of Gear Patrol, or elsewhere: there were black ones, special ones, steel and gold ones, etc. We get it. But this one is different.
This one resurrects the “panda” dial and the “reverse-panda” dial, classic, mid-century configurations that represent the pinnacle of chronograph aesthetics. Also — this version is thinner than past versions, which is welcome news for those of you with slimmer wrists, or who simply prefer the look and feel of vintage models. Let’s dive right in.
Case Diameter: 41mm
Case Depth: 14.4mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Movement: Tudor Cal. MT5813 (COSC)
The two new models — panda (white with black sub-registers) and reverse-panda (black with white sub-registers) — are each available in three configurations: on bracelet, on a “Bund”-style leather strap, and on a fabric strap. This gives the user a choice of two different price points as well as different band options. The case size has also been slimmed down somewhat to 14.4mm, which, while still chunky, is thinner that that of previous iterations. In short, this is a handsome, classically inspired take on the midcentury chronograph that should provide a great alternative to sister brand Rolex’s Daytona. It also stands well on its own.
If you want a Daytona but you can’t find one, or you can’t afford one, or you don’t wanna be yet another dude wearing a Daytona, then this is the watch for you. If you dig midcentury chronograph aesthetics — especially the whole “panda” dial thing — then this Tudor copy watch with steel bracelet is for you. If you just like chunkier, hefty tool watches, then this watch is for you. If you like to time things, like pasta boiling on the stove or how long you can stand on your head, then this watch is for you. In short: this is a watch for many, many different types of people.
Well, you could go for a Daytona. (LOL.) If you can get your hands on one of those in steel at retail, it’ll set you back $13,150. Despite a price difference of over 2x, there are still a fair number of similarities: sizing, dial configurations, in-house movements, etc. Though of course the Daytona uses a triple-register layout and leaves out the date.
Zenith’s Chronomaster Sport is a page out of the old Daytona book, and thus a good alternative to the BB Chrono — though it’ll run you $10,000 on a bracelet. Moving a bit downmarket but sticking with the dual-register-plus-date configuration, we’ve got the Intra-Matic Auto Chrono from Hamilton for $2,195, though it comes on a leather strap. The layout and similarities in look are striking, however. Another good reverse-pandal option is Yema’s Speedgraf, an awesome, affordable mechanical chrono with a dual-register layout and an uncommon movement from Seiko. They’re about $1,500.
We’re talking about a 41mm fake Tudor Black Bay chronograph with a 14.4mm depth and, on my review model, a matching steel bracelet. So first things first: this thing has some heft to it. And that’s welcome, frankly — a svelte, dressy Patek 1463 or 1518 this most certainly ain’t, but you also don’t have to worry about banging it around.