debuted the Black Bay in 2012 as part of its Heritage line. The watch combines the company's philosophy of attractive pricing with accuracy and pleasing aesthetics. When Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf registered the company Montres Tudor S.A. in 1946, he was attempting to offer Rolex-quality watches at more affordable prices. To this day, Tudor builds on the experiences and achievements of its parent company, and the Black Bay is further proof of this. Its design is reminiscent of the 1954 diving watch Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner, and the older version featured the Oyster case from the Rolex Submariner
. However, it wasn't powered by a Rolex caliber, but rather the automatic movement 390, which is based on a movement from the Swiss manufacturer Fleurier.
Things remain similar today: The Black Bay is powered by the ETA automatic caliber 2824. The watch's thin lugs, as well as its domed glass and dial, are all identical to the first version. The watch is more than just a reproduction, however. It blends the past, future, and present. One year after it was introduced, the Black Bay won the "Revival" category at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, a prestigious award from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.
This retro watch has a diameter of 41 mm and is available in three versions, either with a red, black, or blue bezel. Every version features a black dial. The watch's bright hands and indexes make it easy to read, even in the dark. The black model features a red triangle at the zero marking on the bezel, a reference to the Tudor Submariner with a large crown from 1958. The red and blue models also have the so-called "big crown." The band is available as a stainless steel bracelet or a textile or aged leather strap, which emphasizes the overall vintage feel of the series. For those looking to dive a bit deeper with their watch, the Tudor Pelagos
can withstand depths up to 500 m. The titanium watch is powered by one of Tudor's first in-house calibers. The automatic caliber MT5612 has a power reserve of 70 hours, a date display at the three o'clock position, and a chronometer certificate from the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.
An Alternative: The Divers Sixty-Five from Oris
The Swiss manufacturer Oris
offers an alternative to the Black Bay: the Divers Sixty-Five. As its name suggests, the diving watch has a 1960s design and combines retro elements with 21st century technology. Its stainless steel case measures 40 mm in diameter. Watches from the 1960s were made of Plexiglas, which quickly accumulated scratches. The Divers Sixty-Five uses bubble-curved sapphire glass instead. It is scratch resistant and has anti-reflective coating on the inside, which reduces reflections and improves readability. The watch features a stainless steel screwed case back. Unlike the Black Bay, this Oris watch can withstand water pressure up to 10 bar (100 m), making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
The Sixty-Five is powered by the Oris caliber 733 with the Sellita SW 200-1 as a base. The automatic movement has a stop-second mechanism so the watch can be set to the exact time and a power reserve of 38 hours. Its balance wheel vibrates at 28,800 A/h per hour. It also features an instantaneous date setting, which allows the wearer to adjust the date display at the six o'clock position. The SW 200-1 caliber is a reproduction of the ETA movement 2824-2.
The Sixty-Five's gray-blue dial is particularly eye-catching. The 3, 6, 9, and 12 are bordered by beige squares with the numbers written in blue. The indexes and hands are also beige and covered with a layer of SuperLuminova. This coloring hearkens back to the time when luminosity was achieved via the use of radium - but, of course, this watch is not radioactive. The second hand has an additional luminous point right before its tip. The dial of the gray-blue version features a light blue border. The watch has three different band options: textile, rubber, or stainless steel.
Keeper of the Tudor Tradition
Following in the footsteps of Wilsdorf's ideas, the Black Bay combines robust and reliable technology with an aesthetically pleasing retro design. It remains moderately priced thanks to its ETA caliber, and it fulfills the prerequisites for diving watches with its unidirectional bezel and 200 m water resistance. The watch has more than one use, though - not only is it a handy diving instrument, but it's also perfect for looking stylish in the office.