Marketed as a sort of accessory for the 2016 Ducati XDiavel power cruiser that was presented at the 2015 EICMA international motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Ducati (ref. 42000CN) is as sporty and laconic as the Italian sports bike. While some may find its look a bit dated (while others may call it ‘classic’,) the choice of material for its chunky case easily compensates for its apparent lack of originality. It is a nice choice for a person willing to spend close to $5000 for a Swiss-made chronograph that offers you the same level of quality and functionality that we expect from a timekeeper in this price range.
It is easier for me to imagine a person driving an Italian sports bike wearing something like Seiko Astron GPS Stratosphere (Ref. SAS033) or even a Breitling Emergency II chronometer that is even more appropriate given their daredevil driving style. Yet, this new Fastrider Black Shield Ducati (ref. 42000CN) may still be a nice choice for a guy (or a girl for that matter) who prefers something fast, furious, and not exactly safe to a family sedan.
With the usual stainless steel replaced with a lot more appealing matte black ceramic, the device may strike a chord or two in a heart of a person who wants his or her traditional watch to sport a nice high-tech touch.
By the way, it is not the first time that the recently resurrected Swiss brand collaborates with the Italian maker of performance bikes. Back in 2011, two companies have combined their forces to offer a small Fastrider Chronograph Ducati collection that featured clever (albeit a tad generic) exterior design and a time-proven ETA 775x mechanism. Offered at a relatively affordable price (especially if you compare it to similar models made by Omega or Rolex themselves,) they were an interesting offer to the sort of people that is obsessed with watches as they are obsessed with motorbikes.
This new iteration looks a lot more extreme with its scratch-resistant matte black ceramic body and different color accents on the dial that still features the same traditional tri-compax chronograph layout: something that Ducati fans will probably like.
They will also love the fact that even despite featuring a ceramic case, this new timekeeper doesn’t command a prohibitively high price. Yes, its official minimum retail price of almost $5000 will probably prevent most potential customers from an impulse purchase, but it still looks reasonable enough for those who can afford to part with this sort of cash.
Perhaps, the only thing I can complain about is an apparent lack of a perforated leather strap available with this new collection.
Case & Strap
The black ceramic body of this new Fastrider looks deliberately massive.
With a diameter of just 42 millimeters and a set of relatively short integrated lugs, the piece will probably fit well an average wrist. However, you should take into account that it is also thick, which may make wearing it with a tight-cuffed shirt a bit problematic.
Its water resistance rating of 150 meters doesn’t look particularly impressive, but you can still find comfort in the fact that you can wear it in a shower and even take it for an occasional swim without the risk of destroying the gadget.
Its fixed bezel is, too, standard featuring the usual engraved tachymetric scale and so are the chronograph push-pieces that, while comfortable to operate, will not win any design award. Well, the same goes to the setting crown: while easy to grasp even with thicker fingers and short enough not to cause any discomfort, it is as plain as other parts of the ref. 42000CN.
As far as straps go, there are currently as many as three different bands available for this model with the one in ‘vintage’ beige nubuck looking the most interesting.
Predictably, you can get the Fastrider Black Shield Ducati with just one color of its dial, but there are at least three color accents that you can choose from. Tudor has issued this limited edition to attract some extra attention to the 2015 Ducati XDiavel “power-cruiser” boasting a crazy 1262cc two-cylinder Testastretta power plant and lots of customization options. It would probably be wise to choose a version with red accents since those match nicely the same accents on the new Italian bike.
Also, with this finish, the dial doesn’t look as plain as those on other members of the new collection while retaining almost the same daytime legibility due to its high-contrast layout.
As was the case with the 2011 version, this new model features a small date aperture making the calendar hard to read in certain conditions. However, the open-worked hour and minute hands are still wide enough for its strips of Superluminova to be perfectly visible in the darkness. The luminous hour markers are, too, large enough for easy readability, yet stay in proportion to other elements of the dial and don’t draw too much attention to themselves.
You can’t use the sub-dials (there is a small seconds display at 9 o’clock, as well as a 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph totalizers at 3 and 6 hours respectively) as an example of perfect legibility. Well, with a certain effort on your part, they can still be readable, although the hands could be a little bit wider to reflect just a tad more light and stay more in line with the beefier shape of the main indicators.
As for the caliber that keeps this thing ticking, Tudor still adheres to its original strategy of offering timekeepers that are powered by less advanced mechanisms than those animating watches manufactured by their parent brand, but are still at least on par with the competition when it comes to reliability and accuracy.
The “Tudor caliber 7753” self-winding movement is, as you have probably already guessed, based on the well-known ETA 7753 chronograph movement. Offering the same functionality and bullet-proof dependability, this refinished engine looks like an adequate choice for this model.
Pricing & Availability
Currently offered with a retail price of just below $5000, this ceramic watch is priced to sell even despite its rather generic mechanism and not particularly striking exterior.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Ducati (ref. 42000CN) specification
Price: $5000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Tudor caliber 7753 (base ETA Valjoux 7753), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case and Bezel: Matte black ceramic
Crown: Black PVD steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Luminous, open-worked
Water resistance: 150 meters
Strap: Black leather or rubber strap with folding clasp and safety catch in black PVD steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Solid, engraved