Two years after Tudor introduced their Heritage Black Bay model in 2012, they came with a variation. The Black Bay Blue. This watch I’ll wear for this 52Mondayz week #46 article.
While the first model in 2012 had a burgundy rotating bezel, gilt hands, and gilt script, the Black Bay Blue got a dark blue bezel, white hands, and white writing on the dial. The latter being my favorite over the first model.
I can hardly believe that it’s already 5 years ago that Tudor became the talk of Baselworld with the introduction their Heritage Black Bay. The Black Bay meanwhile gained such a position in watch land that it seems if it has been there for always.
Not totally surprising probably. Tudor really got everything right with the Black Bay. A new watch which immediately looked familiar because it uses many historic details. For instance, the dial and bezel were inspired by the first series of Tudor Submariners in the 1950’s, and the typical “Snowflake” hands from the second generation in the seventies.
Not only the general appearance is right, there are many details which make beautifully sense as well. Looking at the crown you’ll love Tudors historical Rose-logo embossed in it. I love the little dark blue ring in between the screw-down crown and the casing as a nice detail as well. Further, the edge of the rotating bezel has an elegant fine dented edge, still being very grippy though. And the model with dark blue leather strap, like the one I’m wearing, is equipped with a high-class folding buckle. Nicely finished and flip-lock secured.
Taking a look at the Black Bay models, there is definitely an aesthetic link to Rolex but nothing seems to be identical to the iconic Submariner design. Sure there are similarities. Like the high-quality finish of the casing. Polished on the sides and beveled edges, and brushed on top of the lugs. Even the quality of the dial and hands looks similar. Index dots not just painted on the dial, however encapsulated in little metal rings. But then, in the end, the Heritage Black Bay absolutely is a Tudor, and won’t be mistaken for a Rolex for a second.
Another important difference can be found in the use of the automatic movement. Tudor uses a modified and proved very reliable ETA 2824 caliber, while Rolex has their own, certainly proved reliable as well, in-house calibers. To me the ETA-based caliber is nothing to be sorry about. As said, these movements proved to be very very reliable, and are easy and quite cheap to maintain. Something someone choosing for Tudor will be happy with. Mind you, the price of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay is less than one/third of an equivalent Rolex.
Meanwhile Tudor has changed their Black Bay models and, among some other changes, equipped them with an in-house Tudor caliber MT5602. When the first Black Bay came onto the market in 2012 the price was around € 2.500,=. At the moment a Black Bay on leather strap has a price tag of almost € 3.200,=. It’s good to see that pre-owned models of the first version are still very much in demand and show a very steady value. A full set with box and papers, and the belonging extra NATO-type strap, can be found for around € 2.000,=. Another sign that Tudor indeed had everything right when presenting the Heritage Black Bay.
The diameter of the casing, without measuring the big crown is 41 mm. Thickness is with 12,8 mm less than expected when looking at the watch. Hands and dial-indexes are inlaid with Super-LumiNova luminous material to provide readability in the dark. The sapphire crystal is, when looking closely, not totally flat however slightly curved which enhances readability and adds some special presence to the watch. The automatic movement is based on the ETA 2824 and has a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. The Tudor Black Bay Blue is waterproof to 200 meters and thus can be used when diving.
More information on the current Tudor Heritage Black Bay models can be found at www.tudorwatch.com
Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he... read more