Tudor Black Bay: Retro Watches, Modern Technology
The Black Bay is one of the most successful and popular collections from Swiss watch manufacturer Tudor. Harmonious retro designs and precise technology characterize this line. Top models are made of bronze and contain in-house movements.
Classic Design Reimagined
The Tudor Black Bay belongs to the retro Heritage collection and is one of the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer's flagship models. The Genevan company introduced the Black Bay diving watch in 2012 and continues to expand the line with new models to this day. Their vintage look is inspired by historic Tudor Submariner timepieces, which is why new models have domed crystal and large crowns with no protectors. So-called "snowflake hands" with square tips are another distinctive feature of this series.
Tudor has been outfitting almost every Black Bay model with in-house movements since 2016. These movements have an impressive 70-hour power reserve and a certificate from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
A highlight of the series is the Black Bay Chrono, which debuted at Baselworld 2017. This column-wheel chronograph boasts an in-house movement, chronometer certification, and a nearly three-day power reserve. The bronze Black Bay Bronze and the two-tone Black Bay S&G in stainless steel and yellow gold are both in line with current trends.
In 2018, Tudor released the Black Bay GMT, also powered by an in-house caliber. This timepiece bears a strong resemblance to the Rolex GMT-Master. In fact, Rolex launched a new GMT-Master in the same year. Tudor simultaneously presented a smaller version of the Black Bay known as the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. This model is the perfect choice for people who like the look of the Black Bay but found previous editions too large. The Black Bay Chrono Dark followed in 2019. This solid black watch is a limited edition, making it both rare and highly coveted. It premiered alongside the Black Bay P01 – a watch no one was expecting. This unique timepiece is a remake of a prototype Tudor developed for the U.S. Navy in the 1960s.
The Black Bay collection also contains watches without a diving bezel. These timepieces are known as the Black Bay 32, 36, and 41, with each number referencing the case size. They come with a polished bezel and are also available in a two-tone design.
Reasons to Buy a Tudor Black Bay
- Retro sports watches with state-of-the-art technology
- Chronometer-certified in-house calibers
- In-house movements with a 70-hour power reserve
- Black Bay Dark: Solid black watches
- 39-mm Fifty-Eight watches
Prices at a Glance: Tudor Black Bay
|Black Bay, ref. 79220B||4,300 USD new||Former model with an ETA caliber|
|Black Bay Chrono, ref. 79350||4,100 USD||Chronograph, tachymeter, date, in-house caliber|
|Black Bay S&G, ref. 79733N||4,000 USD||Diving bezel, date, two-tone, in-house caliber|
|Black Bay GMT, ref. 79830RB||4,000 USD||GMT function, Pepsi bezel, in-house caliber|
|Black Bay P01, ref. 70150||4,000 USD||Crown at 4 o'clock, lugs with a locking clamp|
|Black Bay Fifty-Eight, ref. 79030N||4,000 USD||39 mm, gilt dial, in-house caliber|
|Black Bay Dark, ref. 79230DK||3,600 USD||Solid black, diving bezel, in-house caliber|
|Black Bay Bronze, ref. 79250BM||3,500 USD||Diving bezel, bronze case, in-house caliber|
|Black Bay 36, ref. 79503||3,400 USD||36 mm, two-tone, owned by Lady Gaga|
|Heritage Black Bay Steel, ref. 79730||2,900 USD||Stainless steel diving bezel, date, in-house caliber|
|Black Bay, ref. 79230B||2,800 USD||Blue diving bezel, in-house caliber|
|Black Bay 32, ref. 79580||2,200 USD||Stainless steel, 32 mm, ETA caliber|
About the Tudor Black Bay
There are numerous versions of this retro diving watch available. The first model came to market in 2012 and has a red bezel. The Black Bay Blue with a blue bezel appeared two years later, followed by the long-desired Black Bay Black with a black bezel in 2015. The year 2016 saw the release of the Black Bay Bronze, as well as the Black Bay Dark with a black coating on its stainless steel case and bracelet. These are the first timepieces to feature the Tudor caliber MT5612. Earlier models used ETA calibers. No matter which version you choose, it will be water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft).
Black Bay Watches with ETA Calibers
The Black Bay watches on a stainless steel bracelet bear the reference numbers 79220N (black), 79220B (blue), and 79220R (red). Since Tudor ceased production of these models several years ago, the number of watches on the market is limited. Even so, you'll still regularly find well-maintained versions, including those on a textile or leather strap.
Like similar Rolex models, these timepieces continue to increase in value. For example, a mint-condition ref. 79220N will cost you well over 4,300 USD. If you're looking for a pre-owned watch, the price falls to around 3,700 USD. The blue and red editions generally cost a bit less.
Black Bay with an In-House Caliber
Those looking for a 41-mm Black Bay with an in-house caliber should turn to more recent models. In addition to classic stainless steel models with a red, black, or blue bezel, there are also two-tone watches, solid black models, and timepieces with stainless steel bezels. Unlike the standard editions, those with a stainless steel bezel have a date display at 3 o'clock. The Black Bay Bronze completes this diving watch series.
The Genevan manufacturer uses a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) process to coat the stainless steel case and bracelet of the Black Bay Dark in black. Its appearance is both sporty and restrained at the same time. This timepiece costs around 3,700 USD with a metal bracelet. Pre-owned models change hands for about 3,300 USD on Chrono24.
Tudor's bronze watch is available as a standard model with a brown leather strap. The 43-mm aluminum bronze case is completely satin-brushed. Over time, this material will develop a distinctive patina, bringing to mind historic diving equipment and ship components. You can purchase a new Black Bay Bronze for roughly 3,500 USD. You'll also find listings for pre-owned watches for as little as 3,000 USD on Chrono24.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight is one of this collection's most popular watches. When Tudor first presented this model in 2018, it received near-universal praise. Some even went as far as to say it was the world's best diving watch. Up to that point, many Black Bay fans had expressed frustration at the watch's bulky, 41-mm case. Tudor took their concerns to heart when crafting the Fifty-Eight, shrinking the case to 39 mm and giving it a flatter, more elegant design. If you'd like to buy this watch directly from the manufacturer, expect to be put on a lengthy waiting list.
On Chrono24, you'll find listings for new and pre-owned Fifty-Eight watches paired with your choice of a stainless steel bracelet, leather strap, or NATO strap. Plan to spend about 4,100 USD for a new ref. 79030N on a stainless steel bracelet. You can save over 500 USD by purchasing a pre-owned timepiece instead.
With a Date: Black Bay Steel, S&G, and P01
If you're on the market for a Black Bay but can't do without a date display, you should take a closer look at the Steel, S&G, and P01 models. The Steel versions feature a stainless steel bezel and a date display at 3 o'clock. These watches come with a black dial and are available on a stainless steel bracelet, leather strap, or textile strap. Tudor mounts the ref. 79730 on a stainless steel bracelet. This timepieces sells for around 2,900 USD new and 2,800 USD pre-owned.
The two-tone Black Bay S&G is markedly more eye-catching. You can choose from a black or gold dial. While the black version – apart from its two-tone bracelet – is nearly as subtle as a normal Black Bay, the gold edition is a true attention-grabber. The hands, bezel scale, and crown are also gold. Prices for this watch, the ref. 79733N, range from 3,500 USD used to 4,000 USD in mint condition.
Those with more extravagant tastes may enjoy the Heritage Black Bay P01. This isn't your average wristwatch. Its design comes from a diving watch prototype Tudor developed for the U.S. Navy in the 1960s. However, the public didn't get their first glimpse of this once-secret watch until the 2019 release of its remake, the P01. Defining details include a crown at 4 o'clock and bulging lugs with locking clamps – a feature unique to this timepiece alone. At 42 mm in diameter, this watch is also the largest three-hand Black Bay model. The P01 ref. 70150 has an official list price of 3,950 USD. You can find mint-condition models on Chrono24 for roughly 4,200 USD.
The Black Bay with a GMT Function
Are you frequently on the go and need to know the time in two places at once? If so, the Tudor Black Bay GMT is the right watch for you. Like other stainless steel Black Bay models, this timepiece measures 41 mm in diameter. Most notably, it has a coveted blue and red Pepsi bezel. The COSC-certified in-house caliber MT5652 powers this watch and comes with a 70-hour power reserve. You can call the 79830RB on a stainless steel strap your own for about 4,000 USD new and 3,800 USD pre-owned.
Features of Black Bay Diving Watches
- Unmistakable retro design
- Newer models with in-house calibers
- Black Bay Fifty-Eight: 39 mm in diameter
- Especially bold: Black Bay S&G and Dark
- Various strap and bracelet options
A Chronograph with In-House Movements
A highlight within this series is the Tudor Black Bay Chrono, an automatic chronograph with two subdials and a date display. The manufacturer launched this watch with stopwatch functionality in 2017 and equips it with the caliber MT5813, which has a 70-hour power reserve. The chronograph operates using a column wheel, which many consider to be a higher-end and more prestigious alternative to the cam-actuated chronograph. The latter is used in the iconic Valjoux 7750 movement, among others.
The MT5813 is based on the Breitling B01, as seen in current Navitimer models. In return, Tudor provides Breitling with their own in-house automatic movement MT5612 with three hands. Furthermore, the Rolex sister company modifies the B01 by using their own winding rotor, as well as adding a silicon balance spring for more precise timekeeping.
Thanks to the screw-down crown, pushers, and case back, the Tudor Black Bay Chrono is water resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). The manufacturer chose to make the inscription of the water resistance red in the style of historic diving watches. A tachymeter scale on the fixed bezel can be used to calculate speed. You can measure periods of time up to 45 minutes using the subdial at 3 o'clock. There's also a small seconds dial at 9 and a date display at 6 o'clock.
Tudor released new versions of the Black Bay Chrono in 2018 and 2019: the S&G and the Dark. The former is a classic two-tone watch. Two golden subdials help this model stand out from the crowd. This distinctive chronograph is available on a two-tone stainless steel bracelet, a textile strap, or a brown leather strap with a removable bund and white stitching. Prices for a never-worn ref. 79363N on a steel bracelet sit around 6,500 USD. Tudor lists the same timepiece for 6,800 USD.
You can never go wrong with black, as demonstrated by the Tudor Black Bay Chrono Dark. The manufacturer launched this solid black model in 2019 in honor of the New Zealand All Blacks and the Rugby World Cup. To date, Tudor has produced 1,181 copies of this watch – one for every player who has been called up to the national team since 1884. While limited, the numbers will grow over time as new players make their international debuts. The Black Bay Chrono Dark comes with a black-coated stainless steel case. These timepieces rarely appear for sale and when they do, they demand some 8,700 USD.
The standard stainless steel model comes on a leather strap, stainless steel bracelet, or textile strap. The version on a brown leather strap costs about 3,700 USD new and 3,500 USD pre-owned. The same watch on a stainless steel bracelet sells for between 3,800 and 4,200 USD.
Features of the Black Bay Chrono
- Column wheel chronograph
- 41-mm case
- Available in stainless steel, black, or as a two-tone watch
- Limited edition: Black Bay Chrono Dark
- Screw-down pushers for diving
Elegant Black Bay Watches
Those on the lookout for a more elegant sports watch should take a closer look at the Tudor Black Bay 32, 36, or 41. As their names imply, these models differ only in their case sizes. They look a bit more formal than the collection's diving watches and chronographs due to their polished, fixed bezel. The two-tone S&G models are especially refined. Thanks to a water resistance of 150 m (15 bar, 492 ft), you can keep the Black Bay 32, 36, or 41 on while swimming.
Instead of an in-house movement, the caliber 2824 ticks away inside these watches. This movement has a power reserve of 38 hours. As for the band, you once again have the choice between stainless steel and numerous leather straps. You can get a 32-mm model in mint condition for less than 2,200 USD, regardless of the band. The 41-mm version costs only slightly more at around 2,400 USD.
The S&G editions are available with a black or golden dial. As a brand ambassador, Lady Gaga is the face of the 36-mm version with a black dial and stainless steel bracelet. This model bears the reference number 79503 and changes hands for roughly 3,400 USD on Chrono24. Tudor lists this watch for 3,820 euros (approx. 4,200 USD).