An open book on decades of deep-water adventures, steeped in the mysterious aura of a hidden bay that gradually reveals its secrets to those who venture there, the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay is a long-lost treasure, returning to the light of day. First presented in 2012 in an appealing version with warm colors, it was awarded the “revival” category prize by the jury of the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève the following year. The TUDOR Heritage Black Bay returns in a new version in 2014 that recalls the original purpose of the TUDOR Submariner tool watches, worn on the wrists of divers serving in some of the world’s greatest navies.
The TUDOR Heritage line is distinguished by the unique creative process of the brand’s Style Workshop as well as an exceptional attention to detail. The very opposite of a mere re-edition, a Heritage product is the powerful result of a true temporal and stylistic encounter of past, present and future. The aesthetic codes that contributed to the renown of these historic models are preserved and injected with modern touches to update their iconic status. The TUDOR Heritage Black Bay embodies the pinnacle of this creative approach, since its inspiration is anchored not in a single historical model, but rather in nearly 60 years’ worth of TUDOR divers’ watches.
The TUDOR Heritage Black Bay derives its overall lines and its domed crystal from the brand’s first divers’ watch, the TUDOR Submariner, Reference 7922, launched in 1954. It also owes to its ancestor its domed dial, a feature of the first TUDOR Submariner models that had since vanished. Its imposing winding crown is a nod to a model presented in 1958 (Reference 7924) and dubbed “Big Crown” by collectors. Its characteristic angular hands, known to connoisseurs as “Snowflakes,” were used from 1969 to the early 1980s. These multiple references to the brand’s aesthetic heritage, combined with contemporary design elements such as the robust, 41-mm steel case with a refined finish; a colored, anodized aluminum crown tube; and superbly crafted interchangeable bracelets make the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay a watch with a powerful identity that vividly embodies the brand’s revival.
The 2012 TUDOR Heritage Black Bay — with its black-chocolate dial; rose-gold hands and hour markers; creamy, luminescent material; and burgundy bezel — calls to mind the gentle, warm patina of an antique watch. It speaks to the nostalgia for objects whose appeal increases over time and plays on the charm of its attractive aura. For this second version, TUDOR’s Style Workshop sought to convey through design details the intention governing the creation of the brand’s first divers’ watch: namely, to produce a technical and reliable tool watch for divers. The result is the new TUDOR Heritage Black Bay, presented in cool colors accentuating this model’s inherent virtues of fine workmanship, finishing, and precision. While the first version radiated gentle, soft warmth, the dial of the second is icy, with sharp lines infusing it with a decidedly technical allure. Its deep-black dial strikes a cold, marked contrast with the silvery hour markers and their white luminescent material. The silver-colored, luminescent hands feature the same contrast as they cut across the dial with surgical precision. Finally, the midnight-blue bezel, which matches the color of the crown tube, tempers the vibrancy of the steel case, while lending an aquatic and highly functional dimension that echoes the military past of certain vintage TUDOR watches. During the second half of the 20th century, the Marine Nationale Française was equipped with TUDOR divers’ watches, which were generally blue. Like all models in the Heritage line, the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay comes with two bracelets or straps: an adjustable blue fabric strap with a sophisticated weave; and either a midnight-blue distressed leather strap matching the bezel or a satin-finished, polished steel bracelet. Both come with a folding clasp.
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