One of the best-selling diving timepieces in the world, Tudor Black Bay derives its design inspiration from historical dive watches produced by Swiss manufacture.
Following the footsteps of Rolex, the company began producing diving watches in the 1950s. In 2012, this incredible legacy was revisited by introducing Black Bay under the Heritage series. Now, Tudor Black Bay is the most extensive watch family from the iconic Swiss brand.
Presently, the collection offers an extensive selection of wristwatches to satisfy the specific needs of customers with varying interests. Still maintaining their historical inspiration, this formidable pillar of Tudor’s present product portfolio is comprised of recreational dive watches, chronographs, GMT models and robust dress-watches.
History and Evolution of Tudor Black Bay
Introduced in 2012, the first ever Tudor Heritage Black Bay watch featured a 41mm diameter steel case, unidirectional rotatable bezel with burgundy red disc and black-chocolate dial with hour, minute and centre seconds hands. In 2013, this remarkable timepiece won the “Revival” category prize in Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards. In 2014, the brand added a new model featuring matt-blue bezel disc and black dial. In 2015, Tudor introduced a new version with matt-black bezel disc and black dial. These first-generation watches were equipped with customized ETA 2824 self-winding movements.
In 2016, the brand introduced three new Heritage Black Bay watches equipped with the in-house self-winding movement MT5601. Fitted with Blue, Black and Burgundy bezel discs respectively, they replaced the first-generation references. In the same year, Tudor Heritage Black Bay bronze, Heritage Black Bay 36 and Heritage Black Bay Dark models were launched. The Tudor Black Bay dark model has a black PVD coated case with matching color bezel and dial.
In 2017, the brand expanded the Heritage Black Bay collection by presenting Steel, Chrono, S&G (steel with gold) and Heritage Black Bay 41 models. The Tudor Heritage black steel model features a date display at 3 o’ clock.
In 2018, Tudor renamed the collection as ‘Black Bay’ and launched GMT, Fifty-Eight and new S&G models. In 2019, the Swiss manufacture added Black Bay 41/36/32 S&G, Black Bay P01, Black Bay Chrono S&G and Black Bay Bronze. Featuring a 43mm diameter case, the tudor bronze black bay model has slate-grey dial and bezel.
The brand included a new Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Navy Blue” watch in 2020. In 2021, Tudor Black Bay collection added Fifty-Eight 18K, Chrono and Fifty-Eight 925 models as well as new silver dial versions of the Black Bay 41, 36 and 32 series.
Although each Black Bay model has its own distinctive features, you can instantly find some common attributes in all the timepieces in the family. Many of the designs are drawn from vintage diving timepieces made by the iconic brand. The most important among them is the ‘snowflake’ hour hand, inspired by the characteristic angular hands of the Tudor dive watches produced from 1969 to 1999.
The so-called ‘Lollipop’ seconds hand is a common feature of all models in the collection except the Black Bay Chrono. This distinctive shaped seconds hand is inspired by that of vintage diving watches from the brand. Black Bay’s domed crystal and dial are reminiscent of that of the Tudor Submariner of 1954. The large winding crown is designed after the ‘Big Crown’ dive watch of 1958.
Tudor Black Bay Popular models
The Black Bay Classic watch remains the most admired member of this family. This 41mm stainless steel watch stands out with its vintage inspired design and the minimalistic time-only display. Enhanced with polished and satin finish, the case is topped with a stainless steel unidirectional bezel with anodized aluminium insert.
In this remarkable series, Tudor is offering three color choices of bezel insert: Burgundy, Black and Blue. Presently, all Black Bay Classic models feature domed black dials. It is worth mentioning that all Black Bay watches manufactured before 2016 are equipped with modified ETA 2824 automatic calibers. The models produced since 2016 house Tudor’s in-house self-winding movement MT 5602.
Tudor Black Bay Steel Date is another best-selling dive watch. Available in Steel and S&G (bi-metal) versions, this timepiece features 41mm diameter case. Equipped with MT5612 (COSC) in-house self-winding movement, this model displays date at 3 o’ clock.
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight watch is a sensational and promising member of the collection. True to the Black Bay‘s historic roots, this model features a 39mm diameter case and the new manufacture self-winding chronometer movement. Presently, this diving watch is available in stainless steel versions with the dial and bezel in black or blue combination, a 925 Silver case variant with Taupe dial and bezel, and an 18K yellow gold case version with green bezel and dial.
Black Bay GMT is a bestselling Tudor watch favored by adventurous globetrotters and global entrepreneurs. Driven by the in-house Calibre MT5652, this self-winding timepiece features a 41mm diameter stainless steel case and a bi-directional bezel with bi-color (burgundy and blue) disc with 24 hour scale. The second time-zone has been indicated by a red “Snowflake” hand. The watch displays the date at 3 o’ clock. Thanks to its dual-time zone function and the iconic ‘Pepsi’ style bezel, Tudor Black Bay gmt is one of the most popular watch models among frequent travelers.
Another successful timepiece from the collection is Tudor Black Bay Chrono, which features a 41mm diameter case and Calibre MT5813 (COSC) self-winding movement.
Tudor Black Bay: One of the most reliable diving watches
Tudor Black Bay offers various types of dive watches, and all of them maintain a water resistance up to 200 meters. The Classic, Date and Fifty-Eight are 41mm models whereas tudor black bay bronze has a 43mm case and Black Bay P01 features a 42mm diameter case. All the above timepieces are fitted with unidirectional rotating bezel, a necessary component of modern diving watches.
The suitability of a diving timepiece depends upon various factors, like depth rating, protection features and pricing. According to ISO 6425 standard, the minimum water-resistance of a dive watch should be 100 meters. This ISO specification also underlines several other requirements like diving time indicator, underwater dial visibility, and resistance to magnetic fields, shocks and corrosion.
The Black Bay dive watch is equipped with a robust yet easily operatable unidirectional bezel with clear markings. This superior bezel design assists the diver for quick setting of the countdown timer and clear monitoring of the immersion time.
All Tudor Black Bay watches offer exceptional visibility thanks to their domed, clutter-free dial with large hour-markers and broad-sized hands with distinctive shapes. Additionally, the powerful luminescent material on the hands and hour-markers provides excellent legibility underwater.
All present-generation Black Bay dive watches are equipped in-house movements. Driven by bidirectional rotor system these calibers boast robust architecture with excellent shock proof properties. Resistant to magnetic interferences, the silicon balance spring ensures precise timekeeping. While the chronometer certification assures optimum accuracy, the energy efficient movement offers an impressive power reserve of 70 hours. The above characteristics make each Black Bay a trustworthy diving timepiece.
Tudor Black Bay maintains its water-resistance to the optimum rating of 200 meters by integrating screwed down crown, screw-down case back and solid sapphire crystal glass. Based on these specifications, Black Bay are considered as one of the best dive watches suitable for professional marine activity, extreme water sports and scuba diving up to the depth of 200 meters. In fact it is one of the best medium priced diving wristwatches in the 200m category.
Although a vintage era inspired timepiece, the efficient utilization of modern, high-quality materials and excellent manufacturing procedures make Tudor Black Bay one of the most reliable diving watches in the market.