Last year, Tudor replica came with something quite surprising, a relatively unique take on the 1970s sports watch, something a bit more elegant than the rest of the crowd, the new Tudor Royal replica with steel bracelet.
If there’s a bit of baroque influence in this watch, with its patterned bezel, some Roman numerals on the dial and its Date-Day complication, it remains nevertheless in line with the codes of such watches, with its shaped case and integrated bracelet in stainless steel. Inside the case, no manufacture movement but a proven Sellita ébauche, as 41 mm copy Tudor positioned this model as a relatively accessible option, at least to its standards.
And despite being the least accessible here, at EUR 2,190, it offers the usual quality of an automatic movement fake Tudor watch, meaning top-notch. There’s also a 38mm time-and-date model available, if you’re into more compact watches. Quick Facts: 41mm x 10.5mm steel case – sapphire crystal – 100m water-resistant – Sellita SW240-1, automatic, 38h power reserve – integrated 5-link steel bracelet – M28600-0005 – EUR 2,190
It’s been five years since Swiss made fake Tudor launched their perfect replica Black Bay Bronze model in an attempt to diversify the popular Black Bay family into new materials and sizes. Measuring in at 43mm, it represented a notable size up from the standard 41mm Black Bay (these were pre-58 times), and featured a case constructed of bronze with a brown explorer dial. A year later, in collaboration with the retailer Bucherer, Tudor released the Black Bay Bronze Blue, which replaced the brown dial and bezel with deep blue units, bringing a welcome level of contrast to the watch. Sadly, it was only available in Bucherer retail locations, of which there are none in the US.
That changes this year as Tudor and Bucherer are bringing the watch to the US exclusively through Tourneau. The watch itself remains the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, this is a lot of watch. Literally. If you need or just plain like larger watches this one should be on your radar. It places the classic design language of the Black Bay into a far more substantial package, and even comes with details you won’t find anywhere else in the Black Bay family.
The BB Bronze uses a case made of …bronze, but it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. Bronze is an alloy typically consisting of brass and tin, and is known to age in peculiar ways when used in watch cases. 1:1 best copy Tudor is using an aluminum bronze mix, which they claim will develop a more subtle patina over time depending on your habits. When new, the case is bright, almost gold in appearance, and through oxidation it will gradually darken in time. You can see this process in Jack Forster’s take right here over at Hodinkee.
The blue of the dial and bezel insert is slightly desaturated, not entirely dissimilar to what appears on the Black Bay 58 Blue, though it appears darker and warmer here (to my eye). The color contrasts beautifully with the bronze case and gilt dial accents, and offers a unique character separate from the brown and slate colorways that also exist within the Bronze family. What sets this dial apart from other Black Bay models is the explorer dial, meaning Arabic numerals at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. This is a feature we’d love to see make its way into the 58, serving as a nod to the same configuration found on some vintage Submariner references during the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.
The Bronze wears well for its size, but if you’re accustomed to watches in the 40mm realm, this will feel big. Everything is well proportioned to scale up with the case, so it retains the familiar Black Bay vibe with ease. The case measures 43mm in diameter and 14mm in thickness, with a lug to lug measurement of 52.5mm.
Tudor is using their own MT5601 caliber here, which brings COSC certified accuracy and 70 hours of reserve to the Bronze. It also packs a silicone balance spring for a level of anti-magnetism. This movement has some years under its belt at this point and reliability hasn’t been an issue as of yet. It’s use helps justify the $4,150 price tag which, coupled with the trick case, feels reasonable here from a brand like Tudor.
The Bronze Blue is offered on a blue woven jacquard strap with a beige stripe down its center. It does not thread freely between the case and spring bars, rather, the strap is fitted with slots for the spring bars. This keeps things secure, but it means you won’t be swapping out straps as easily as you may like. Still, the lugs are drilled so it’s not too big an issue.
At its core, the RM 65-01 is the latest in a proud line of rugged, structurally advanced chronographs from AAA perfect replica Richard Mille. In basic terms, it is an automatic, split-seconds chronograph with 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers that displays the date and includes a function selector, rapid winding mechanism, and variable geometry winding rotor.
On top of that, the RM 65-01 features the brand’s now-characteristic Carbon TPT case and a movement made with extensive titanium components for lightness and rigidity. Perhaps most surprisingly, it is not a limited edition but part of the permanent collection.
This description doesn’t quite convey what is so awesome about the RM 65-01 since it does feel right in line with what Richard Mille does so well in all of its other watches. But when you dig in, it becomes clearer why those five years of development were worth it.
For me, it all begins with the variable geometry winding rotor and the rapid winding mechanism. These two elements combine to show that the Richard Mille team thought at length about the best ways to incorporate automatic winding into a split-seconds chronograph, a first for the brand.
Just adding a basic automatic mechanism wasn’t enough for the engineers and watchmakers behind the RM 65-01; no, they wanted to make sure that the movement lived up to the harsh demands of motorsports as this is intended to be a racing chronograph.
Since using the chronograph function drains a mainspring extra quickly, and the RM 65-01 uses a 5 Hz balance (more on that in a bit), this resulted in a couple key decisions. First, the power reserve has been pushed to 60 hours all while the barrel turns 20 percent faster in its rotation (6 hours per rotation vs. 7.5 hours). This helps provide higher and more consistent torque during the bulk of its power reserve.
This is crucial for a chronograph that is designed to be stable, consistent, and precise. It also helps to avoid the mainspring sticking to itself (from the slow unwinding) inside the barrel and altering the power output, a problem many may not even be aware of. If you take those changes and add in the variable geometry winding rotor, the watch becomes better at staying optimally wound.