BASELWORLD 2016

Tudor Introduces the Heritage Black Bay in Bronze (Updated with Live Photos and Price)


Recently, every Baselworld watch fair has brought at least one new addition to Tudor’s popular, award-winning family of vintage-inspired divers’ watches, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay. One of the latest is the first Black Bay model with a bronze case and the first Tudor watch with a chocolate-brown dial.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay bronze - NATO - front

The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze, like its most recent predecessor, the Black Bay Black, shows the influence of the Tudor Submariner, Ref. 7922, launched in 1954, the brand’s first dedicated divers’ watch; the Ref. 7924 model, nicknamed “Big Crown,” from 1958; and to the Tudor dive watches sold from 1969 to the early 1980s with their prominent “snowflake”-style hour and minute hands. The snowflake hands, along with other historically inspired elements such as a domed crystal and chamfered lugs with drilled holes, are all present in the new model, and the brown dial and unidirectional rotating bezel is highlighted by golden and beige-colored accents. Elements new to this dial are the Arabic 3, 6, and 9 o’clock numerals, and the Tudor “shield” logo below 12 o’clock that replaces the Tudor rose logo found on other models.

The 43-mm case (previous Black Bay models have all had 41-mm cases) is made of a high-performance aluminum bronze alloy (bronze was used extensively in historic shipbuilding and for diving equipment) that will develop a unique patina over the years and thus become individual to its owner. The aluminum alloy is proprietary to Tudor. The entirely brushed finish ensures that the patina will develop homogenously. The caseback, made of stainless steel, is treated with bronze-colored PVD with a satin finish. The screw-down winding crown, engraved with the Tudor rose emblem, aids in the watch’s water-resistance of 200 meters.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay bronze - NATO - angle

The watch’s other noteworthy feature is its movement, Caliber MT5601, a variation on the brand’s first-ever in-house caliber, introduced just last year in the Tudor North Flag watch. The new movement, developed specifically to equip this model, is slightly larger in diameter than its predecessor, Caliber MT5621 (“MT” for “Manufacture Tudor”), has a frequency of 28,800 vph, and carries a 70-hour power reserve. It is regulated by a variable inertia oscillator with a silicon balance spring held in place by a traversing bridge. It features automatic winding via a bidirectional rotor and boasts a COSC chronometer certification.

Another nod to Tudor’s history as a purveyor of dive watches to the French Navy is evident on the watch’s strap, made of a beige-and-brown woven jacquard textile material with a central yellow thread — a look inspired by a vintage piece on which the owner had attached a makeshift strap recovered from an elastic French rescue parachute. (That watch, which Tudor showed us at Baselworld, is pictured below.)

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Each watch also comes with an aged brown leather strap (below), whose rustic look is bound to match up well with the patina of the bronze case. The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze will be available in May, priced at $3,975.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay bronze - leather - front

We had a chance to spend some time with the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze during our meeting with the brand at Baselworld. Below please find some hands-on photos.
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7 Responses to “Tudor Introduces the Heritage Black Bay in Bronze (Updated with Live Photos and Price)”

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  1. I would REALLY like to see a photo of one that has patina over time. If Tudor can claim that this watch will develop a subtle patina over time, then they should have photos.

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  2. I love this piece. And I actually like the Arabic font numerals. I will be jumping on this when its released.

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  3. Lee Cole

    Totally agree, the numeral font is horrid (on tudor bronze) The rest looks good.

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  4. Jacques G Lerner

    I’d like to see it in a brass metal band. Kind of nostalgic accent for those who don’t like (me) leather straps. I also would like to guess how well it develop a patina along time.

    Reply
  5. The Arabic font just kills it- dead. Beautiful execution, except for the numerals. Kind of amazing that watch stylists can get so much right but for some reason, when it comes to font selection, they can be so oddly tone deaf as to that side of design language. Others may think ‘whatever’ and it won’t bug them. That’s truly where the designers are coming from; others, like me, will be put off by the horrid choice. But no one, and I do mean no one, will be moved by the numerals as they are with the rest of the watch. That should send alarm bells ringing in the design studio. But it doesn’t. This is the ‘Invicta-zation’ of 21st century watch design: a dumbing down of design to allow for certain key standout elements, and the thoughtless application of others in hopes no one will notice or care. So frustrating.

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    • I couldn’t agree more with your opinion. I love everything else about the watch, but the Arabic numerals kill it. Tudor, we’re not 5 years old, we can count.

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