The Fastrider model by Tudor was first released in 2011 and this new version, the “Black Shield” was announced at Baselworld earlier this year and became available recently. In 2011 Tudor was announced as the ‘official timing partner’ of Ducati Motorcycles and this new model the first ceramic watch for Tudor is a another partnership with the famous Italian motorbike manufacturer.
The affordable brand of Rolex, Tudor has over the last few years been releasing watches increasingly different from those of Rolex. While Tudor watches are produced alongside Rolex timepieces, Tudor is different from Rolex in that they use ETA-sourced Swiss watch movements compared to movements made in-house for Rolex models. Although certainly not low-priced Tudor is a slightly more entry-level brand which in the past few years has been progressively separating themselves away from Rolex designs and develop a stronger identity.
Tudor are largely unknown in the US or if known at all most people dont realize that Tudor watches are owned and made by Rolex. One of the main reasons for this is that Tudor have not been doing business in the US for quite some time but earlier this year that changed when they announced their intent to bring the brand to the US.
Tudor Fastrider Black Shield: Case and Movement
And so to their latest model. The first thing you notice with the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield watch is that its quite a striking design. The bold contrast of the red on matte black not only gives the piece a stylish look but also makes it nicely legible, the red indices and hands clearly stand out aginst the black dial. The matte finish looks great and the design is fresh and cutting-edge, the black ceramic case really heightens the stealth-like appearance of the piece and I find the colours compliment each other well.
The bead blasted matte black ceramic monobloc case (connoisseurs will appreciate the technological challenge) measures 42mm wide and is virtually scratch-proof as well as being lightweight and hypoallergenic.
A monobloc case means its made from a single piece of material instead of multiple pieces attached to a subframe, this permits for the entire case structure to be fabricated in ceramic. According to Tudor they developed this technology as a result of the technical know-how they acquired when they developed the ceramic bezel used on their Pelagos diver model.
Located on the side of the case at 2 and 4 o’clock, the chronograph pushers are done in steel with a black PVD treatment -as is the crown. Tudor’s partnership with Ducati is enhanced by design features such as a PVD shield motif designed in the shape of the Ducati logo adorning a rapid date corrector on the side of the case at 9 o’clock. The watch is water-resistant to 150 meters and this is ensured by a screw-down crown with double gaskets.
The Tudor calibre 7753 powers the Fastrider Black Shield (ref 42000) and is an automatic chronograph movement based on an ETA 7753, with 27 jewels, a power reserve of 46 hours and a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz).
Tudor Fastrider Black Shield: Dial
The hour and minute hands are mostly solid with plenty of lume but are open-worked near their centre. There is a red central chronograph seconds hand with a black counterbalance and a 30-minute chronograph counter resides at 3 o’clock with a ‘snailed’ centre and marked with Arabic numerals. The 12-hour chronograph counter at 6 o’clock and the subsidiary seconds display at 9 o’clock are both presented in the same style.
Located at the 4.30 position is a circular date aperture with the date clearly stated using the signature red accent. The consistent use of red accents makes the dial feel a well balanced design and is an appealing combination. The tachymeter scale on the bezel whilst certainly not affording much in the way of ‘glanceability’ compliments the stealthy look of the design well. A glare-proofed sapphire crystal protects the dial and the case back is solid.
Tudor Fastrider Black Shield: Price and Conclusion
The striking Fastrider Black Shield with its bold red on matte-black design is a worthy companion piece for the Ducati motorcycle and will no doubt attract interest from watch lovers and bike riders too. Interestingly both companies were founded in 1926 surely to be regarded as a good omen and suggestive of a partnership meant to be perhaps..
The red version comes on either a black leather strap with red stitching or a black rubber strap. Apart from this version the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is also offered in a version combining the matt black of the case and dial with a bronze tint on the hands and hour-markers. This version is available with either a rubber strap or a beige Alcantara® strap with black stitching.
The Tudor Fastrider Black Ceramic retails with a price tag of 4700 CHF.