TUDOR is introducing an array of novelties at this year’s Watches & Wonders. One very important piece is an outgoing watch christened the Black Bay Pro. Other new models come in the form of a bicolour Black Bay GMT and Black Bay Chrono with new colour schemes, as well as Black Bay S&G watches with decorative dials and new sizes. Let’s get the lowdown on the talk of the town at TUDOR.
Black Bay Pro
This straight-to-the-point model is a tribute to the watch manufacture’s heritage of adventure and exploration. A rarity in the industry today, the 39 mm Pro is unapologetically first and foremost a tool watch. Practical features include an angular yellow “Snowflake” hand, a hardy fixed steel bezel, water-resistance to 200 m, and a 70-hour power reserve from the calibre MT5652. Notably, the MT5652 integrates jumping hours, as well as an instantaneous date.
In contrast to other Black Bay models, the crown showcases a new design which aims for improved grip. Additionally, the dial’s hour markers use monobloc luminous ceramic, adding to the watch’s technical aesthetic. The watch comes with either a riveted bracelet that is suitably old-school, a black and yellow NATO strap (which seems to be the most well-received option thus far) or a rustic leather bracelet. This is not a watch meant to be kept in perfect condition. Rather, it’s there to get used and be pushed to its limits, not least with the help of its COSC-certified movement. This Black Bay Pro is undoubtedly proving to be a hit for TUDOR at W&W 2022.
Black Bay Chrono S&G
The Black Bay Chrono is now emerging in a new colour scheme that focuses on legibility with contrasting sub-counters. This is executed with a domed champagne sunray dial with black subdial counters or vice versa. In addition, the fixed yellow-gold bezel has a matt-black anodised aluminium disc plus gold markings. This, alongside the yellow-gold pushers and crown, make it a flexible piece that works for both men and women – particularly when worn with the bicolour bracelet.
For a more definitively masculine vibe, one can opt for a black Jacquard fabric strap or dark brown leather strap. Last but not least, powering it is the high-performance automatic calibre MT5813, with column wheel and vertical clutch.
Black Bay GMT
TUDOR is spicing up its Black Bay GMT by introducing a bicolour steel and gold option. With its warm tones and contrasting colours, this feels like a piece that caters to specific tastes rather than serving as an all-round crowdpleaser. Stand-out features include the gold crown that sits against the steel case, as well as the bezel. This bidirectional rotating bezel comes in yellow gold, with an insert in black and brown anodised aluminium. What really strikes me seeing this piece in the metal is that this watch really transforms according to the bracelet or strap option. In this case, the NATO or leather strap certainly work best and make this piece more balanced and stylish, although the bicolour bracelet is certainly rather a statement.
Black Bay 31/36/39/41 S&G
For many, these watches open some doors with their more unisex and feminine spin on the BB. The new timepieces offer a real range of sizes, dials, and even the option of a diamond-embedded bezel. The models have new curved steel and yellow-gold cases, accompanied by a more curved crown. Furthermore, unlike its brushed predecessors, the crowns now have a polished finish. As with the above, this engages with the ongoing bicolour trend and gives Black Bay fans some room for manoeuvre with an array of options.
Another element adding to the flexible nature of these pieces is the five-link bracelet and clasp with rapid adjustment. The stand-out dials of this new series have to be the decorated versions, coming in either champagne or anthracite tones. The decorated dials feature stars with four stylised points across the surface. Pushing the glamour even further, one can also opt for diamonds replacing some of the hour markers.
Finally, the new COSC-certified calibre MT5201’s design specifically keeps smaller watches in mind. The manufacture movement comes in several variations, equipped with differing power reserves in alignment with the case size. Smaller watches use the MT5201 and have a 50 hour power reserve. Meanwhile, the others are powered by the MT54 (medium size) or MT56 (large size), both of which offer solid 70-hour power reserves.
W&W 2022 TUDOR Highlights: The Verdict
As the first day of Watches & Wonders draws to a close, it becomes clear that it is hands down the Black Bay Pro that is enamouring the majority of TUDOR fans. It is hard to think of how TUDOR could have created a better tribute to adventure than with the launch of the down-to-earth Pro. It will also likely bring joy to long-time fans of the brand, with its nods to the Rolex Explorer II and Reference 1655 plus general vintage touches.
Meanwhile, other updates within the Black Bay family seem to engage with the idea of flexibility, including the rise of unisex watches. Furthermore, as we’ve seen at the likes of Vacheron Constantin and Rolex this year, an increasing amount of attention is being paid to ladies’ watches – a trend that will hopefully continue.