This year, TUDOR introduces stylish evolutions of three of its most popular models; the Black Bay Chrono, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight and the classic Black Bay. The Black Bay Chrono, first released in 2017, receives special attention this year to mark the 50th anniversary since TUDOR began manufacturing mechanical chronographs. The new version in steel features a reworked case that’s slimmer than its predecessor. (Yet still houses the same top-quality Manufacture chronograph Calibre MT5813.) With two dial options and three different watch bands on offer, there’s a combination to suit just about everyone’s tastes.
Joining the new Black Bay Chrono are two very special versions of the highly coveted Black Bay Fifty-Eight. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K introduces a solid gold model. While the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 gives us a unique new variation in silver. Both precious metals are a first for a TUDOR diver’s watch. And in another first, both feature open case backs for viewing of the MT5400 Manufacture movement inside. The dials – in olive green and warm taupe respectively – are framed by matching bezel inserts. Combined with the new case materials, they have been a hot talking point for watch lovers everywhere.
And in a very exciting development just announced, Tudor will also be introducing a ceramic version of its classic Black Bay dive watch this year. This is the first production model Black Bay to feature a ceramic case (you might recall they made a piece unique with a ceramic case for the charity auction Only Watch back in 2019) and it perfectly paired with a matching 60-minute graduated bezel insert in black ceramic with sunray satin finish and engraved markings and numerals. The stealth look is completed by black dial, with contrasting lume-filled silver hands and markers. The most exciting news though might just be what’s inside the case. A re-worked manufacture movement, certified by METAS! Read on for all the details.
A Little Bit Of History
TUDOR chronographs have commanded attention since the launch of the first Oysterdate model in 1970. Unconventional designs comprising imposing case diameters, pronounced bevel-edged lugs, muscular lines and very graphic style dials created a unique and noble look. Yet these were also inherently practical timekeepers, with strong ties to the world of motor sports. A particularity was that the chronograph minute counter went to 45 minutes, an unusual variation on the more common 30 minutes. Four significant series were produced between 1970 and 2000. In 2017, the Black Bay Chrono model combined these traditions with those of the brand’s famed diving watches.
TUDOR professional divers’ watches forged the legend the brand built its reputation on. Starting in 1954, with the TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner, the iconic tool-watch was continuously evolved to better meet the needs of many types of divers. The modern TUDOR Black Bay draws directly on these classic Submariners for inspiration, offering a watch that is equal parts functional and reliable, complete with rugged good looks. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight takes its name from the year 1958, in which TUDOR produced its first divers’ watch waterproof to 200 m (660 ft). (Reference 7924 or “Big Crown’.) The Black Bay Fifty-Eight watches retain aesthetic details from this historic watch, including a 39 mm case diameter. Making them suitable for slim wrists, people who like more compact watches and vintage enthusiasts alike.
Black Bay Chrono
Presented in a re-designed 41mm case, the new versions of the Black Bay Chrono are the slimmest yet. Two dial configurations are available: black with white sub-dials, or white with black sub-dials. Each one has the signature red text for the depth rating as well as a red arrow on the chronograph seconds hand (a feature carried over from the two-tone Black Bay Chrono). The case can be paired with one of three watch bands: a black Jacquard-woven fabric strap by the Julien Faure company in the St-Etienne region. A stainless steel bracelet inspired by the folding riveted bracelets made by TUDOR in the 1950s and 1960s. And finally, in keeping with the “1970s racing” spirit, a bund in aged black leather with ecru topstitching and folding clasp.
Inside is the Manufacture chronograph Calibre MT5813, which debuted as part of the 2017 BB Chrono launch. It displays hour, minute, second, chronograph and date functions. Employing a column wheel mechanism and vertical clutch, it presents extraordinary robustness and reliability. In addition to being COSC-certified, an array of additional extreme tests carried out by TUDOR guarantees performance. Equipped with a silicon balance spring, the self-winding movement boasts a 70-hour power reserve. That’s enough to set the watch down on Friday evening and pick it back up on Monday morning, without having to reset it.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K
For the first time on a TUDOR divers’ watch 18 k yellow gold is used to execute the 39 mm satin finished case, along with the unidirectional bezel and screw-down winding crown. The bezel accommodates an anodised aluminium disc in matt green, matching to the dial. Graduations for 60 minutes are rendered in gold gilded markings and numerals. The TUDOR rose appears in the relief of the crown. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is presented on a dark brown alligator strap with 18 k yellow gold buckle. An additional green fabric strap with gold-coloured band, also with 18 k yellow gold buckle, is provided complimentary.
Also, for the first time, an open case back with sapphire crystal reveals the movement. On show, the Manufacture Calibre MT5400 displays the finish typical of TUDOR Manufacture calibres. Designed to ensure robustness, longevity, reliability and precision. The self-winding mechanical movement has a variable inertia balance, maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge. And a non-magnetic silicon hairspring. Again, exceeding the performance requirements of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Its 70-hour power reserve makes for another “weekend-proof” watch, not that you’re going to want to take it off. As you would expect this model is waterproof to 200 m (660 ft).
Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 also offers a TUDOR divers’ watch in a debuting precious metal: 925 silver. This again includes the unidirectional bezel and screw-down crown. The anodised aluminium disc in matt taupe is graduated with silver gilded markings and numerals (for 60 minutes). Together with the dial in matching taupe, the combination creates a surprising incandescence. Presented on a brown leather strap with a 925 silver buckle, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 likewise features an open case back with sapphire crystal. It shares the same technical details as the 18K version.
Black Bay Ceramic
The 41mm case of the new Black Bay Ceramic is crafted from matte black ceramic with a micro-blasted finish and monobloc middle case architecture. It retains the same proportions as the standard Black Bay 41 and features a non-protected oversized crown. Unlike its stablemates, however, the new Black Bay Ceramic is equipped with a unidirectional bezel made from PVD-coated stainless steel and fitted with a black ceramic insert with sunray satin finish and engraved markings. Eagle-eyed readers will also notice that there is no luminous pearl at 12 o’clock. The domed, matte black dial has contrasting dark-grey coated applied indexes and Snowflake hands, all filled with grade A Swiss Super-LumiNova for excellent legibility in all conditions. The dial is protected by an ultra-domed sapphire crystal and offers a healthy 200m water-resistance. It’s worn on a hybrid leather and rubber strap closed by a black coated folding buckle. An additional textile strap with beige band and PVD coated hardware is also included.
Inside is the re-worked Manufacture Calibre MT5602-1U, the first TUDOR movement ever to be certified as a METAS Master Chronometer. This means it has been submitted to and satisfied stringent testing criteria, including being able to function within a 5-second range of variation each day (0 +5) and be able to withstand magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss. It also offers a weekend-proof power reserve of 70-hours. Visible through a sapphire case back, the decoration of the movement has been substantially upgraded. The rotor is now a monoblock construction and is made of openworked tungsten, with satin-brushed and sandblasted details. The bridges and plates, also now blackened, feature geometric patterns in relief with alternating sandblasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations. Each watch is offered with a 5-year transferable guarantee with no registration or periodic maintenance checks required.
Find Your Black Bay
With its signature snowflake hands and mixture of hour marker shapes, models in the TUDOR Black Bay collection are immediately recognizable on the wrist. Combine this with a stylish, divers’ watch-inspired case and some impressive specifications at very reasonable prices, it’s not hard to see why these watches are so popular. It comes as no surprise then that the response to these latest editions has been overwhelmingly positive. To discover more about these new models and to find your own Tudor Black Bay, please visit us in-store or online today.