A quickie?! I thought this blog was family-friendly?! How dare yo-
Okay, stop. First of all, if you’re offended by everything and anything, get off the Internet. Trust me, this is nothing compared to what you’ll be exposed to if you continue on. Now that those people are gone, let’s get on with the story. So, what’s the difference between a ‘Quickie’ and a ‘Review‘ on Centre Seconds? It’s simple, really. A ‘Quickie’ is basically us window shopping and trying on a watch there and then. Think of it as a 5-minute review.
Moving on, we have with us the Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36 and the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5. While both may appeal to different audiences, yours truly thinks that these are solid choices for those looking for a mid-tier, everyday watch with the oh-so-coveted ‘Swiss Made‘ badge.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36 Ref. 79500
Introduced at Baselworld 2016, the BB 36 could very well be the sleeper hit of the Black Bay collection. While all the attention is usually lavished on the original Black Bays, the BB 36 quietly ticks away with its modest 36 mm stainless steel case. I find this size near-perfect as it wears great on male and female wrists.
Elsewhere, the smooth bezel works in total harmony with the simple, flat black dial. Legibility looks to be top notch with Tudor’s trademark ‘Snowflake’ hands, large, easy-to-read indices and a generous helping of lume on said points. In addition, there’s no date window to spoil the symmetry here, either.
As for the movement, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36 contains a modified ETA 2824 calibre. The automatic 2824 beats at 4 Hz, has hacking capabilities and a power reserve of “approximately 38 hours” according to Tudor. It’s nothing outstanding but keep in mind that the 2824 is a renowned workhorse. Servicing costs should be manageable as well considering this movement is everywhere.
The BB 36 comes with four strap and two dial options. You can have it with a blue or black dial and choose between a steel bracelet, a beige or brown leather strap. Whichever one you go for, Tudor will include a black NATO strap. Personally, I prefer the beige strap after trying it on against the bracelet but then again, I have a leather fetish. The steel bracelet wears amazingly well and has just the right amount of heft in it. If you’re gonna’ pick the bracelet, rest assured you will have made an equally good choice.
Finally, you would also have spent a fair bit over the leather option as the steel bracelet version goes for RM11,240. The BB 36 with the leather strap costs RM9,990.
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Ref. WAR211A.BA0782, WAR211C.FC6336
Next is the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5. Before we begin, I know for a fact that some tend to roll their eyes whenever the name TAG comes up. Why? I have no clue.
The Carrera Calibre 5 is, in my opinion, one of the staple models in the company’s lineup. Sure you have the Aquaracers and all but they aren’t as versatile as the Carreras, I reckon. The 39 mm stainless steel case contains a dial that comes in either black, silver or a grey-anthracite finish. For someone with a 6.25-inch wrist, that measurement and lug-to-lug setup is the sweet spot.
Further helping things are the angled and narrow lugs that wear smaller than they look. Legibility is also fantastic on the Carrera Calibre 5 thanks to the (applied) polished indices and hands with decent lume treatment.
The Carrera Calibre 5 is powered by the, well, Calibre 5 which is a TAG-modified ETA 2824 (told you it was everywhere!). It beats at 4 Hz, has hand-winding and hacking with a power reserve of 38 hours. The only major difference between this movement and the one in the Tudor is the date function.
You get two strap options – a brushed-polished steel bracelet or an alligator leather strap. Now, this is one of the few cases where I’d go for the bracelet, no questions asked. Why? Well, there’s no better way to put this – the leather strap feels really cheap. It was stiff and rubbery in texture and not in any way acceptable for what you’re paying.
Which is all the better for it since both the steel and leather strap options costs the same at RM9,850. If you’re feeling lucky, try asking for a discount even. Who knows how much TAG will be willing to slice off, right?