30 minutes on the wrist - The 2015 Tudor Fastrider Chrono
The year 2015, as I stated already in a previous post about Tudor, has been regarded by many as the brand's year. Over the past few years the manufacturer has worked very hard to re-brand itself and its work has eventually paid off. Tudor started off with revamping its nicest past collections (like, for instance, the Heritage one), a smart move that, in everybody's eyes, might seem the easiest way to revamp a brand and its awareness, but not happy enough with that achievement the company has recently come up with brand new timepieces too. The Tudor Pelagos watches, for instance, have been very successful and this year the brand also placed its first in-house built movement within the Tudor North Flag and within the upgraded Pelagos (please see our post about this new feature on here), premium and cool watches with premium tech features retailing at a extremely affordable prices (the North Flag in particular.)
The 2015 Tudor Fastrider Chrono is the company's sporty take on the sports V-layout-three-counter-chronographs, something that the brand launched in 2011 to celebrate the beginning of its partnership with Ducati Motor. The Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is a full ceramic monobloc case chrono, which, from many points of view, draws inspiration from the Ducati Diavel (funny to say I am much more familiar with Ducati motorbikes rather than this watch since I'm used to ride a Diavel on a daily basis while commuting between Milan and my office but I haven't been able to get my hands on a Fastrider Black Shield just yet.)
What was still missing in Tudor's current offering was a sporty stainless steel chrono but this year the manufacturer eventually came up with a new chrono in three different color variations celebrating the launch of Ducati's revamped Scrambler. The watch comes in yellow, red and military green and it reminds us of the the Scrambler Icon (that is available in yellow or red) and of the Urban Enduro (military green).
The brand hasn't really changed the Fast Rider Black Shield's main layout, it has actually preserved its full ceramic black bezel along with its black PVD treated crown and its push-piece buttons. The case is made of brushed stainless steel and it comes with a rubber strap or a black leather strap that remind us of the “cannellè” style of sports car's seats from the 70s, this feature is definitely one of the nicest and retro-chic touches on this watch. Obviously, as I already said some time ago (take a look at our review of the Tudor Heritage Ranger on here), the watch has no tang buckle at all and a beautiful triple folding clasp with the Tudor logo on it completes the package.
I'm not fully convinced with the military green 2015 Tudor Fastrider Chrono because it has, in my opinion, the same “flaw” that I noticed on the Black Shield: the dial is a bit too dark. On the other hand I do like very much both the yellow and red dial on the other two colour versions (Tudor possibly adopted the same yellow and red that Ducati actually uses on its motorbikes), especially the red one that features a vivid and glossy red that perfectly fits the brushed stainless steel and the black ceramic insert.
Some tech features: this chrono adopts a sourced chrono caliber, the 7753, a 4Hz automatic movement with 46 hours of Power Reserve (we all hope that Tudor will soon upgrade its chrono offering with an upgraded version of its in-house-built caliber MT5621) and it comes with two straps. Some details: the date correction can be activated through a dedicated tool built in the shape of the Tudor logo that comes as standard, a very nice feature like the hollow placed at 9 o'clock (which is to be used in conjunction with this tool) that also resembles Tudor's logo in the shape of a shield.
The 2015 Tudor Fastrider Chrono is a nice addition to the brand's collection and despite my 41 years of age it would be the only chronograph I would buy either in yellow or red. Only time will tell whether this chronograph will be successful or not but I definitely don't agree with those who claim that this is just another chronograph for young and stylish guys, in my eyes it is a nice, well designed and bold chronograph with a cool leather strap and fine details that would suit an experienced audience too and, most important, it retails at a price a bit below the 4,000€ threshold (3,900€ to be more precise.)
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter