To many watch aficionados, Tudor emerged from the considerable shadow of its big brother Rolex in 2013, when its vintage-inspired divers’ watch, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay, won the “Revival” prize at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. That model, with its black dial and burgundy bezel, begat another version in 2014, with a bezel in dark blue (nicknamed by fans “Midnight Blue”). Now the brand has announced a third variation, in which both the dial and bezel are black.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay “Black” takes its design cues from the unique piece that the brand created for the 2015 Only Watch auction, which in turn was influenced (like all the Black Bay models, but this one by far the most heavily) by a historical Tudor watch beloved by collectors, the Tudor Submariner, Ref. 7922. Launched in 1954, this model was the Tudor brand’s first dedicated divers’ watch and was distinguished by its dome-shaped dial and domed crystal, two elements revived in the new Black Bay. A slightly later reference of the Tudor Submariner (Ref. 7924), launched in 1958 and nicknamed “Big Crown” by collectors, also provides historical inspiration, specifically for the large, screw-down winding crown, which is engraved with the Tudor rose emblem and outfitted with an anodized aluminum crown tube. The red triangle at 12 o’clock on the black, unidirectional bezel is an element common to vintage Tudor dive watches of the late 1950s. Finally, the Heritage Black Bay’s angular “snowflake” hour and minute hands trace their origins to Tudor Submariner models sold from 1969 to the early 1980s.
Despite the numerous nods to the model’s forebears, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay “Black” is by any standard a contemporary watch, with its 41-mm-diameter steel case with satin-brushed and polished finishing, water-resistant to 200 meters, and its self-winding movement, Tudor Caliber 2824 (based on the tried-and-true ETA 2824) carries a power reserve of 38 hours. And despite its unquestionable sporty appeal, the watch offers a touch of luxury as well, with its rose-gold hands and hour markers.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay “Black” will be available at retail on July 15. Prices are $3,425 on a steel bracelet and $3,100 on a distressed “aged” black leather strap, both with folding safety clasps. Each watch also comes with an additional black fabric strap with a buckle.