It always seems unfair to call Tudor the cooler, younger sibling of Rolex but here we are. The latest version of the Black Bay might ostensibly be a diver – it certainly has some diving credentials – but with its high-contrast dials and newly-fixed tachymeter bezel… well, if you’ve always loved the Daytona Paul Newman but can’t afford the insane prices, this might well be the release for you.
Don’t worry, I’m not about to start decrying this as an homage or dub it the ‘Baby Newman’, however tempting. The bi-compax dial layout is different enough that, while there are certainly comparisons to be made, the new Black Bay is its own animal. Plus, Tudor does have their own 50-year history with the humble chronograph – not as long as, say Breitling but solid all the same.
The result is a pair of Black Bay Chronos that are dressed in quintessential racing livery. That’s in large part due to its high contrast panda dials, available in either the standard black subdials on white or the reverse white subdials on black. For me, it’s all about the standard panda, especially with the black anodised aluminium bezel engraved with a tachymeter scale.
To take away some of the chunkiness that comes with a diving watch base, the 41mm case and movement have both been refined to take a millimetre or two off the sapphire crystal and moving a few calibre components about. As a finishing touch – alongside the signature Tudor snowflake hand, obviously – the new Black Bays use chronograph pushers taken from the very first generation of Tudor chronos.
Inside is Tudor’s own MT5813, which not only has the kind of silicon balance spring that’s becoming an industry standard (at least for in-house calibres) but a column wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch and a solid 70-hour power reserve.
Both versions are available on three different strap variations. There’s the jacquard-woven fabric, which is incredibly comfortable, the more standard steel if you actually want to take it underwater and the militaristic bund cuff. I love the fabric but, as someone that avoids bunds, I actually like Tudor’s version.
Whichever you go for, you’re getting an archetypal racing watch with tachymeter scale and high contrast, bicompax dial mixed with Black Bay diving watch proportions and 200m depth resistance. All in all, a pretty damn cool watch.
Price & Specs:
Model: Tudor Black Bay Chrono
Ref: M79360N-0001 (stainless steel case, black with silver counter, stainless steel bracelet)
M79360N-0002 (stainless steel case, opaline with black counter, stainless steel bracelet)
M79360N-0006 (stainless steel case, opaline with black counter, black leather strap with removable bund)
M79360N-0008 (stainless steel case, opaline with black counter, black fabric strap)
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter, stainless steel case with polished and satin finish, black with silver counters or opaline with black counters
Movement: In-house Calibre MT5813, automatic, 41 jewels, Swiss chronometer officially certified by COSC
Water Resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 70h
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph seconds, chronograph 45-minute counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, date at 6 o’clock, stop-seconds for precise time setting
Strap: Riveted stainless steel with polished and satin finish, black leather or black fabric
Price/Availability: £3,900 (M79360N-0001 & M79360N-0002) and £3,660 (M79360N-0006 & M79360N-0008)
More details at Tudor.