Hands-On With Tudor Heritage Black Bay ‘Orologi & Passioni’ Replica

Based on the Tudor Black Bay Replica Black with Tudor’s MT5602 in-house movement (hands-on review here), this very limited special edition was built exclusively for Italy’s most passionate collectors; members of the “Orologi & Passioni” watch forum. It’s the latest in a growing trend of powerful watch manufacturers recognizing the influence and importance of online communities. And while this Black Bay doesn’t get quite the full-custom treatment (or sizable production run) that we saw with the Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday,” its subtle differences are enough to yield a wholly unique watch, designed with direct input from the O&P community.
Hands-On With Tudor Heritage Black Bay ‘Orologi & Passioni’ Replica
It shares the same case and bezel of the ref. 79230N Black Bay Black, but this edition gets a subtly altered dial with three lines of red text in Italian, a red-tipped seconds hand, and an individually numbered case back engraved with the group’s logo painted black. The addition of red to the dial is a nice, on-trend touch, hailing other modern Tudor dive replica watches that deploy similar color coding to evoke a certain classic aesthetic, like the new 50th Anniversary Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 or the recently introduced Tudor Pelagos Left Hand Drive.
Hands-On With Tudor Heritage Black Bay ‘Orologi & Passioni’ Replica

Furthermore, the red detailing also unifies the bezel pip to the rest of the dial’s design while balancing out the rest of the gilt accents with sporty, nü-vintage panache. But what really sets this Tudor Black Bay apart from its peers is the 200 metri, chronometro text at 6:00. Rendered in Italian, it feels a little like the original Zenith Cronometro CP-2 watches (tastefully re-issued here, sans text), where the translation seems to lend further credence that this could have been a watch issued to some secretive unit of Italian commandos. Granted, it’s being issued to desk divers of the most passionate order (albeit ones with excellent taste), but that’s probably beside the point.

As mentioned, the guts of the Black Bay persist in this special edition – inside beats Tudor’s MT5602 automatic movement, an in-house-manufactured ufficialmente certificato chronometer with a healthy 70 hour power reserve and a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour.

A Complete Guidebook On Tudor Heritage Advisor Men’s Watch

I’ve got a bit of a thing for vintage-styled Tudor replica watches with two crowns; Longines’ Legend Diver, IWC’s Vintage Aquatimer, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Memovox and the oh-so-elegant Tudor Advisor are, to me, as close to wrist-worn nirvana as is possible. When Tudor revealed that they were going to produce a modern imagining of their 1957 original Advisor, I had high expectations—after all, the Heritage Chronograph and the more recent Heritage Black Bay both hit the mark.

A Complete Guidebook On Tudor Heritage Advisor Men's Watch
The Advisor, both new and old, is an alarm replica watch. Tudor’s modern Heritage Advisor bases its movement on the ETA 2892, with the addition of a few neat functions that make using the alarm surprisingly straightforward. Pressing the pusher at eight o’clock turns the alarm on, and a small window on the dial indicates its activation. A second crown at two o’clock is wound to power the alarm, whilst another useful indicator on the dial displays the power reserve of the alarm mainspring. The alarm time, indicated by the red hand, is set with the same crown. It’s as simple as that. A cursory glance is all that’s needed to know exactly what state the alarm is in, and the chime itself rings freely and is fairly pleasant, if perhaps not loud enough to be heard in a busy, outdoor environment.

A Complete Guidebook On Tudor Heritage Advisor Men's Watch
In usual Tudor fare, the case is well finished and the dial is too. Detailing is spot on, with no cut-corners or budget-restrained materials as is expected for its nearly £4,000 RRP, particularly for a replica watch that bases its movement on an ETA. It doesn’t feel quite up to the standards of its elder brother, Rolex, but then that’s no surprise. For the additional complications and the price difference, it’s about right.

It all sounds positive, and the sum of its parts should make for a great replica watch, but there’s something amiss. The size, the weight, the design—it doesn’t all gel properly and feels a little awkward for a replica watch that traces its roots back to stylish elegance and slender proportions. The heft of the case is not dissimilar to Tudor Heritage Watch offerings, but in those instances a slice of sporty chunkiness is befitting, whereas here it stands out like an unwelcome guest.

The Heritage Advisor feels like it doesn’t know what it wants to be; is it sporty, is it dressy, is simple, is it complicated—its messages are mixed. Granted, it does nothing drastically wrong and there is a lot to like, but when it comes to honouring a fifties classic, it falls just wide of the mark.