The Tudor Heritage Black Bay watch, presented for the first time in 2012 has been updated in 2016 with a mechanical movement developed, manufactured and assembled in-house by Tudor. #legend spoke with New York-based photographer and watch enthusiast Atom Moore on the occasion of his collaboration with the Tudor Heritage Black Bay about what makes Black Bay and the brand such a coveted one. Moore is also an active member, and official photographer, of the New York City chapter of RedBar Crew, the international watch collectors and enthusiasts group.
What’s your favourite Tudor reference?
As far as Black Bays go, the Black Bay Dark is my favourite. I mean, I’m from New York, and wearing black is kind of a New York thing. I couldn’t tell you the reference, but the one I have on now is a vintage oyster from the 1960s, and it’s the kind of thing that other brands try to emulate.
This watch is actually my wife’s. It’s her favourite design: black on black with just the black bezel. When this came out she said, “no, no, no, I’m getting that watch.” Women who are collecting are not necessarily out there saying, “I am a collector.”
The watch world is so male dominated. Is that changing?
Absolutely. My wife is one of those people. It’s a hobby we share. She talks up the membership of RedBar Crew women and helps promote the fact it’s not just men. I think that there are still a few brands out there who think women only want quartz and diamonds; that’s not necessarily the reality anymore. Tudor’s really good, for example, at coming up with watches that are not just quartz and diamonds.
So you are seeing more women at RedBar, for example?
I don’t know if it’s a growing trend at the moment, but women are getting together and talking about watches. It has been such a male-dominated thing, mainly, I think, because watches have been associated with sports like motorsport and diving, but it’s not going to stay like that for long.
What is it like as an artist working with Tudor?
Tudor approached me and gave me access to their full catalogue of watches and said, “you have free rein, make what you will, do what you will.” So I made a whole lot of images, some of which they absolutely loved. Because I’m a watch collector, and because I own some of these watches, working with Tudor was an honour.
What is your connection with RedBar?
A friend of my wife’s, Adam Craniotes, started RedBar 10 years ago in New York City, and three years ago we joined him.
I remember we walked into this dark bar. There were a group of guys bunched over a table, with this terrible lighting, and on the table were people’s watch collections. I’d always wanted to look at watches more closely, but if you go into some boutiques, you get the high-pressure sales thing and it can be off-putting. So it was really refreshing going to RedBar and seeing watches on the table, and being able to ask aficionados questions without them saying: “well who are you, why don’t you know that?”
Is RedBar having a moment?
At the beginning of 2016 we had about 15 chapters, mostly in the United States, and now, and at the end of this year, we’ll have over 30 chapters on four different continents.
What about the Horology Society of New York?
Funny you ask. I’m actually wearing a Horology Society pin right now. I’m a member and I actually did a talk there earlier this year on photographing watches. It’s also coincidental you mention the society because it’s sponsored by Tudor!
Apple Watch - do you have one?
I do not.
Probably not. The Apple Watch is a tool to work with your smartphone. For me, it’s not really a watch, it just happens to tell the time. But, I mean, good for them. I don’t dislike it in the way some people have railed against it, but for me it’s just a tool.
I feel like young people who have never worn a watch will put it on their wrist and then say, so what else can I put on my wrist. You know, Tudor is a perfect gateway into the watch world in that sense. Then you start to ask, why is Tudor interesting, why are mechanical watches interesting, you know. It’s this small machine running on your wrist, and maybe they’re into motorcycles or cameras at the same time. Those kind of mechanical things really draw people in.