Tudor Black Bay 36: Sporty, Retro Elegance
The Tudor Black Bay 36 is defined by its snowflake hands, polished bezel, and 36-mm case. Its moderate size makes it the perfect unisex watch. Those with a passion for 80s style are sure to enjoy the two-tone S&G models.
Modern Watches with a Retro Twist
At first glance, you might mistake the Tudor Black Bay 36 for the Rolex Explorer. Its polished bezel, case shape and size, and lugs are all strikingly similar to those of the Rolex classic. However, upon closer inspection, the differences are immediately clear. Square-tipped snowflake hands, applied dot and bar indices, and Tudor's logo make the Tudor Black Bay 36 its own unique timepiece. For comparison, the Explorer has applied Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock with bar indices marking the other hours.
Historical diving watches from the 1950s served as a blueprint for the Black Bay 36's dial design. Unlike most Black Bay models, the 36-mm version features a polished, stationary bezel. While a water resistance of 150 m (15 bar, 492 ft) means this edition can't go diving, it is still robust enough for swimming and snorkeling. If you're looking for a Black Bay to join you on your dives, you should take a closer look at the versions with a unidirectional rotatable bezel and water resistance of 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft).
The Black Bay 36 S&G stands out with its two-tone gold and stainless steel case. This combination of materials feels especially elegant and stylish. It's also a great choice for anyone with an interest in 1980s fashion. At 36 mm in diameter, it looks fantastic on men's and women's wrists alike.
Reasons to Buy a Tudor Black Bay 36
- Entry-level Black Bay model
- 36-mm case that looks good on nearly every wrist
- Recognizable retro design
- Proven Swiss automatic calibers
How much does a Tudor Black Bay 36 cost?
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Feature(s)|
|M79503-0002||3,600 USD||Two-tone, champagne dial|
|M79500-0007||2,700 USD||Stainless steel bracelet, black dial|
|M79500-0006||2,100 USD||Leather strap, blue dial|
|M79500-0010||2,100 USD||Textile strap, black dial|
Black Bay 36 S&G in Steel and Gold
Tudor released the Black Bay 36 S&G – or Steel and Gold – at Baselworld 2019. This two-tone watch comes with a satin-brushed gold bezel and gold crown. The top of the stainless steel case also has a brushed finished, while its sides are polished.
You can choose between a matte black or champagne dial. The latter boasts a beautiful sunburst pattern. As with all Black Bay watches, there's an inverted triangle at 12 o'clock and applied bar indices at 3, 6, and 9, with dot indices marking the hours in between. Tudor fills each index with luminous material to guarantee optimal readability under all lighting conditions. A minute track also makes it easier to tell the time to the exact minute. The Tudor shield logo and inscription sit below 12 o'clock. One of the Black Bay 36's defining features are the "ROTOR" and bowed "SELF-WINDING" inscriptions printed just above 6 o'clock.
A five-piece link two-tone bracelet holds the Black Bay S&G securely on the wrist. It has brushed stainless steel outer links and a central row of polished stainless steel links flanked by a line of satin-brushed gold links on either side. The final design looks quite similar to the Jubilee bracelet used on the Rolex Datejust.
This particular Black Bay S&G has a list price of 3,820 euros (approx. 4,100 USD). However, you can find mint-condition watches on Chrono24 for as little as 3,600 USD. Pre-owned pieces are still quite rare.
Black Bay 36 with a Black or Blue Dial
The stainless steel Black Bay 36 is available with a blue or black dial. Both dials have a glossy finish; otherwise, they share their design with the Black Bay 36 S&G. As for the band, your options include stainless steel, leather, and textile. The stainless steel version has three links and resembles Rolex's famous Oyster bracelet. The aged leather strap comes in your choice of brown or beige. Finally, Tudor has the black textile straps produced by a traditional family business in Saint-Étienne, France.
Tudor lists the models on a leather or textile strap for 2,450 euros (approx. 2,700 USD). The same timepieces sell on Chrono24 for 2,100 USD new and 1,800 USD pre-owned. A mint-condition Black Bay 36 on a steel bracelet demands around 2,700 USD. You can save around 760 USD by purchasing a pre-owned watch. This version has a list price of 2,740 euros (approx. 3,000 USD).
Reliable Swiss Calibers
Tudor outfits the Black Bay 36 with the time-tested and robust caliber 2824 from movement manufacturer ETA. This model – along with the Black Bay 32 and 41 – is one of the few Tudor watches without an in-house caliber, hence its lower production and service costs. That being said, Tudor modifies each movement in house and uses only "Top"-grade calibers. These movements have a higher level of finishing and are more accurate than the "Standard"-grade movements you'll find in more affordable watches from brands like Tissot or Certina.
The ETA 2824 has a 38-hour power reserve and can wind itself thanks to its automatic rotor. Tudor leaves the date display off the Black Bay 36, resulting in a more symmetrical and tidy dial.