Tudor Heritage Ranger

People often overlook the Tudor Ranger and its qualities. Tudor, being the little brother of Rolex, easily garnered attention among the collecting and professional circle. You may be more familiar with the Tudor Heritage Chronograph or the Tudor Black Bay. Both watches have endured their times being number one, not only for the brand but for their respective categories in general. These are amazing watches themselves, but there’s something about the humble Tudor Ranger that makes it a true classic.

No, you won’t find any record-breaking or historic moment anchored with it. No deep seas, high mountains, or never-travelled-before routes, but it surely has its merits. The Tudor Ranger is more than just a tool watch. It’s an everyday piece with an appeal and aesthetic that not all watches can carry. We all know how some watches simply like to serve a certain purpose. For instance, the Rolex Submariner functions mainly as a dive watch. You may not find the same features from such a powerful and expensive watch, but its simplicity is what people vie for in the Tudor Ranger.
If you’re an experienced collector, a quick look at the Tudor Ranger will give you the Rolex Explorer vibe. Don’t dismiss it as it’s mostly compared to the timepiece. This is due to the fact that the Ranger and the Explorer are almost the same age. It’s most likely that the Ranger launched in response to the Explorer. Just like the Explorer, the Ranger features a black dial with Arabic numerals for the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Many people refer to this as the “Explorer Dial.” The vintage Ranger, however, measures 2mm short of the vintage Explorer.

While the vintage Explorer focused mainly on time, Tudor produced date iterations of the Ranger. Not to mention, the vintage Explorer only had one reference throughout its production; the Ranger has a few. As expected, these references have variations from each other, no matter how small they may be. Generally, the Ranger features the usual stainless steel case. It went into production from the late 1960s through the 1980s.
Come 2014, Tudor launched the Tudor Heritage Ranger at BaselWorld. It came as a surprise for many people. It doesn’t have any innovative features. In fact, it’s the most honest iteration of a vintage one can find in the 21st century. Collectors especially had positive reviews of the watch. The watch doesn’t have any unnecessary feats like a ceramic bezel, sapphire casebacks, or even an added complication. It’s as if Tudor really meant to bring an old timepiece back to life, period.

Today, we’ll take a look at the 2014 Tudor Ranger and what makes it special. But to understand the great thing about the Ranger, we must first get deep into the history of the Tudor Oyster.
While the origin of the Tudor Ranger is no secret, it’s not a parade either. Tudor has been keeping it low when it comes to this watch. Perhaps, this is how the Ranger’s “most faked vintage watch” title comes from. A lot of people can be dismissive of certain Ranger references, while others can be fooled by faked ones. This is because there isn’t a lot going on about this watch. Not even Tudor themselves provide a comprehensive guide on this watch.
The challenge with the Tudor Oyster relies on the fact that it’s not necessarily a reference of its own. Assembled right in Geneva, the Ranger isn’t much of an identity in itself when it first launched but an iteration of a Tudor Oyster. People would always refer to the number in between the lugs of the watch’s case where Rolex and Tudor would typically place it at. Collectors would often refer to this as one of the indicators of a watch’s heritage and even authenticity. However, the serial and reference number of the Ranger isn’t as clear as others would assume. It doesn’t have a unique reference number for its case. In fact, in the 1960s and 1970s, The Ranger comes in the same case as the Tudor Oyster, Oyster Prince, and Oysterdate. Therefore, it possesses similar reference case numbers to the aforementioned Tudor watches.

So, what exactly is a Tudor Ranger? It’s easiest to describe the watch as a 34mm Tudor Oyster. It also has a matte black dial and an “Explorer dial” with Arabic numerals at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock mark. Its hands also come in a distinguishable shovel hour hand. Now, the rest of the watch feels like an amalgamation of everything great about watchmaking at the time of its launch. It features an ETA calibre with a crown signed with the Rolex insignia, available with an Oyster bracelet. Still with us?

Tudor Heritage Advisor

The Tudor Heritage Advisor is, from historical, horological and aesthetic perspectives, perhaps the most interesting watch the brand has ever made. It’s also, not coincidentally, the only alarm watch that Tudor has ever produced.[/ I’ve been pretty open about my love for the rather underappreciated Advisor for some time now. The Advisor is precisely my kind of watch because it’s so interesting from every angle you can look at a watch. It’s got an interesting history, it’s got an interesting movement, and it’s got an interesting design. Quite obviously, this is the most complicated dial that Tudor makes. For that matter, it’s the most complicated dial Tudor has ever made, even including the original Advisors. That’s mostly because it’s the only watch with an alarm complication that Tudor makes, and much of the complexity of the dial is dedicated to that function.
Before I jump into the alarm complication and the design of the watch, it’s worth noting the historic importance of the Tudor Heritage Advisor . The Advisor was, and is, the only alarm watch that Tudor has ever made, which is significant enough by itself, but it’s important to remember that, in 1957, Tudor was nearly an identical clone of Rolex, albeit at more affordable price points. The Advisor was one of two early watches (the other being the Ranger) that brought Tudor out of Rolex’s shadow because it was the first watch that Tudor made with no Rolex equivalent whatsoever, which remains true today. Here we can examine an unusual element to the alarm complication. You might guess, as I think most experienced watch collectors will, that this is the power reserve of the watch, but this is actually dedicated exclusively to the power reserve of the alarm complication, which has its own crown to both set and wind. Winding the alarm is manual, as is typical in the genre. Here we can see a very straightforward on/off mode selector. This has two uses, the first of which is obviously to disable the alarm. It’s also useful in setting the alarm because in the fairly likely event the alarm hand crosses the hour hand, the alarm will sound unless it was disabled beforehand. Here we can see the pusher that controls the on/off switch. This is oversized and very thoughtfully placed to be easily accessible while the watch is on your wrist.
Now we can take a look at the simple, and classic, dauphine hands, as well as the alarm hand. The red alarm hand, which many will guess is a GMT hand, is very straightforward, although oddly, it can only be set counterclockwise. One minor criticism I have is that I feel the alarm hand should also have some lume, as I can definitely see someone wanting to know what their alarm is set for in the middle of the night. Here we can see the dual crowns, one with the rose emblem and the other emblazoned with Advisor. The lower crown is basically a conventional crown and is used to set the time and date, as well as to wind the mainspring if you want to (the watch is automatic, so this isn’t necessary). The upper crown winds and sets the alarm. This works well enough, but I wish I could wind the alarm complication without pulling it out to the first step, and it’s not clear to me why this wasn’t done, as neither crown screws down. Tudor has also opted for a pointer date subdial, which looks terrifically classical and fits with the overall theme nicely. Ironically, this vintage touch is entirely modern as the original Advisor simply had no date.
As was the case with the Tangente Sport I recently reviewed, I was surprised how bright the deceptively tiny application of lume was. The Advisor certainly doesn’t wow anyone with the intensity of its lume, but in a genre of watches that often has no lume at all, finding a useful amount like this is a very nice touch. Again, I would advise (get it?) Tudor to consider putting a luminescent triangle on the alarm hand to make this complication visible at night.
So how does it sound? It’s surprisingly loud and has a pleasant bell quality to it. There’s quite a bit of vibration too, which may make it useful in noisy environments or, for those who sleep with their watch on, in waking its wearer up. All in all, it’s much more powerful than I expected and I believe this would reliably wake people up and certainly get your attention that it’s time to leave for a dinner engagement.
The 42mm case is quite interesting, from the sense of pushers and crowns, but it’s also interesting in terms of composition. While the bezel is steel, the back and central case are apparently made from titanium, which is said to have superior acoustic properties for applications like this or perhaps minute repeaters. The steel bezel will assist in scratch resistance, although looking closely at the watch, it’s surprisingly difficult to see a color difference between steel and titanium components, making it hard to tell which is which. This is a bit unusual as titanium is typically a darker gray, but custom alloys have reduced that appearance in other watches, like Grand Seikos, so perhaps Tudor has used a similar approach h
Another area that distinguishes the Advisor is the movement. While Tudor is now quite well known for its in-house movements in the North Flag, Pelagos and recently the Black Bay, the Advisor is actually Tudor’s first serious foray into movement design. The alarm complication, which is far more sophisticated than something like a date, moon phase or GMT complication, was developed entirely by Tudor. Thus, this movement, which is based on the excellent ETA 2892, has a substantial in-house character to it. While it remains exclusive even within Tudor, it can also be seen from the historical perspective as the beginning of Tudor as a manufacture, which it appears to be transitioning to.
For all of these wonderful historical and horological traits, my favorite aspect of the watch is simply how it looks. As I’ve said before, I like basically two kinds of watches: the super clean designs, as typified by Nomos or Grand Seiko, or the crazy complex ones, like you might find in my recent Zenith Chronomaster review. The Advisor obviously falls into the latter, albeit in a very reserved and subtle way. Yes, it’s a dial brimming with features, but it doesn’t overwhelm you in the way other busy watches might. It’s a crazy complex watch that is intended to be worn every day. In fact, after my own North Flag, I’d say the Tudor Heritage Advisor is my favorite Tudor watch. Few other models within Tudor, or in the watch market generally, can be so compelling from this many different angles.

Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Ceramic

Tudor just released a new version of the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield, this time in a less wild, but no less bold, monochromatic look. This model was designed after the new Ducati xDiavel, a suitably awesome looking bike which sports a similar finish. Like all Black Shield models, its pièce de résistance is its super tough ceramic case.
The Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is, unlike many other popular Tudor models, a watch that belongs squarely in the present. Even in these times when vintage watches are extremely popular, it’s crucial for brands like Tudor to also maintain a solid lineup of contemporary models. That’s not only because not all watch collectors are into vintage styling, but also because the company must continue to innovate, both horologically, like with their new movements, but also stylistically. The Black Shield may not do anything particularly radical, design wise, but it does set itself apart from other Tudor chronographs, like the Chrono Blue and the regular Fastrider.
The most remarkable aspect of a Black Shield, however, is clearly its case. All feature a ceramic monobloc middle case and all in this nice matte black finish. Ceramic is a wonderful material for watch cases, particularly if you like black watches, because not only is it extremely scratch resistant, the black coloration will never come off.
If the new Black Bay with black bezel is the Black Bay Black, should this be called the Black Shield Black? Well, I’ll leave those questions to the forums, but I have noticed something intriguing here. This watch features a black ceramic case, a black dial, a tachymeter bezel and a chronograph. Is it possible that Tudor was targeting the far more expensive Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon watches? There’s no way to say for sure, and the massive price differential likely means few will cross shop the two, but perhaps they ought to be looked at together.
The dial, although not particularly vintage, is certainly not out of line with Tudor’s design credentials. It’s a little more stylized in some areas than Tudor’s more tool watch designs, but legibility is not sacrificed. It’s particularly difficult to make a chronograph, especially one with three subdials and a date complication, easy to read, but Tudor has done a good job here.
That legibility is mainly the product of an extremely high contrast between white accents, not all luminescent, and the black dial. It is, nonetheless, fairly busy, which is pretty much inescapable given this movement (Valjoux 7753). The dial’s texture itself is not entirely flat black as the subdials receive a subtle black guilloche finish. Even more subtle is the sunburst finish to the rest of the dial, which you’ll need bright, direct light to appreciate. In most lighting it appears matte.
The hands are among the Black Shield’s most interesting features and bring some artistic flourishes to the watch. The minute and hour hands are partially skeletonized, allowing the owner to see through to the subdials underneath, although this is more for looks than utility. The chronograph seconds, as well as all subdial hands, have white tips, likely to make them more legible. The main hands have luminous paint on the last half or third of them to provide similar clarity. Perhaps most intriguing are the diamond shapes throughout, like on the counterbalance of the seconds hand.
This area of the dial is very interesting. For one thing, it features the name of the particular watch quite prominently, which is atypical. For another, although you can’t easily see it in this photo, the TUDOR GENEVE area is actually applied and apparently PVD coated black (or perhaps also ceramic?). It’s also somewhat 3 dimensional, with the GENEVE section sloping downward from the flat TUDOR area, not unlike a desk nameplate. But I think the best aspect of this view is the applied Tudor Shield logo. I think it looks great (although I wish it were luminescent), but mostly I just enjoy the fact that the shield on the Black Shield is white.
I find the applied hour markers particularly cool. They’re solid white, like the shield, and very three dimensional in appearance. The subdials each receive what appears to be an applied border. It’s very subtle from most angles, given that they’re solid black against solid black, but it’s a nice touch The date is extremely subtle, just a tiny porthole between 4:00 and 5:00. It’s not particularly difficult to read but it’s very out of the way. The lume isn’t bad at all for a watch in this genre, particularly against the black dial, although it’s unfortunate that Tudor didn’t take the opportunity to add lume to the hour markers and shield. As usual, neither the color or intensity of the lume has been altered in this photo.
The 42mm case of the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is its most crucial feature, thanks to its ceramic composition. Ceramic cases offer a big advantage for watch collectors because they are much, much harder than a comparable steel case. They are far harder to scratch, and this is especially true when comparing them to their most direct analog, steel watches with a black coating. Black coatings can be made very tough, but they are not invincible, and with a serious enough impact the black coating can be removed in a scratch, revealing the shiny steel behind it. This black case, however, is not a coating and cannot be separated from any other part of the case. Thus, the Black Shield will remain new looking for a very long time. It’s not the only interesting feature, however. Notice this shape on the 9:00 side of the case, which strongly reminds me of the Mazda rotary logo. This is actually where the date is set. Using an included red Tudor shield-shaped pusher device, you push the center of the logo to advance the date. Now, in general, I always prefer to have a date set from the crown, but I will say that Tudor’s implementation is much better than many others I’ve seen. Generally the pusher is tiny and recessed and the tool is steel, which looks nice, but poses a hazard to the case if you get careless. I prefer the large red plastic one it comes with. It’s easier to hold, harder to lose and is unlikely to ever scratch the case (this is one instance in which plastic is probably superior to steel). The target is also very large, and, thanks to a concave portion at the center, the pusher will slide into the perfect spot every time.
The crown is emblazoned with the the shield logo. The shield logo is indeed best associated with Tudor’s contemporary pieces, like this one, and it was obviously the way to go on a watch named the Black Shield. The crown screws down and while the pushers do not, it is rated for 150 meters, so with the rubber strap (this one is on leather) it should be plenty good for swimming. The black strap that it comes with accents the watch well, particularly with the white stitch. As is virtually always the case with Tudors, a solid back hides the movement, in this case a Tudor Calibre 7753, which is based on the Valjoux/ETA 7753.
The Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is one of the edgiest and most contemporary designs from Tudor and it needs to be put in context. First, how does this new model, in black and white, compare to the other Black Shields? In my opinion, this is the Black Shield to get. The other two are great in their own right, one of which even has a bit of a vintage flair to it, but the monochrome incarnation is the most serious of them and has more of a tool watch feel to it. It’s also much more versatile. The more interesting comparison, I think, would be with the Omega Dark Side of the Moon. Of course, it can never be a direct comparison because not only does the Omega have an in-house 9300 movement, but it also costs much, much more. And yet, I can’t help but feel that the same collector could wear both. They’re not really all that similar to each other, but blacked out ceramic chronographs are not altogether common, at least not yet. The Black Shield is a great looking sports watch, but it’s surprisingly tough too. Hardened cases are becoming more common, with options from Bremont, Sinn and Damasko for instance. It’s nice to see Tudor’s entrant into this category, and opting for ceramic over hardened steel makes it somewhat more unique in its price point. I’d love to see a Black Shield three hander to round out the ceramic options, but that seems improbable. Right now, if you’re looking for the toughest Tudor watch you can get, it’s probably either this or the Pelagos, although the titanium middle case of the Pelagos is more vulnerable to scratches (on the other hand, it has much better water resistance). If you happen to be lucky enough to have a Ducati Dieval, however, this is a no brainer.

Tudor Grantour Flyback Stainless Steel

Looking at the new Tudor Grantour Chrono Fly-Back that was officially presented last March during the annual Baselworld 2011 show, I can’t figure out whether Rolex is serious about its resurrected entry-luxury sub-brand or just amuses itself with an old toy.

From the exterior point of view, the new timekeeper looks good, even classy. Although the black bezel with stylized Arabic numerals is not a polished ceramic, the lacquer is of great quality and it nicely echoes the black background of the dial.

Unlike another model from the same collection, the bezel is fixed, so you can’t use the Tudor Grantour Flyback Stainless Steel as a GMT watch: the Arabic numerals are here just for extra legibility. Well, I can live with that.
The bistable lockable chronograph pusher at 2 o’clock features a bright red marking supported by red accents on the dial.

The layout of the dial with the small seconds indicator at 9 o’clock, a chronograph counter at 3 hours, and a date aperture at 6 o’clock is also okay. Their source of inspiration seems to be the 1970s Tudor Monte Carlo Heritage Chronograph.

Originally, the vintage timekeeper sported the good old Rolex Valjoux Caliber 234 hand-wound movement. However, around 30 years ago the Swiss brand reintroduced the model with the well-known Valjoux 7750 caliber.

I am not sure about this particular model (in its press release Tudor only says that it is animated by an “automatic” caliber,) but, sold under an “entry-level” brand, it may also be powered by a mass-produced Swiss-made movement. Most probably, it features the same ETA 2892 automatic movement with the Dubois-Depraz DD 2054 module that powered the 2010 “re-edition” of the Monte Carlo. If that’s indeed the case, then Rolex stepped on the same rake twice.
The problem is not only that a model of this class must be equipped with a natural-born chronograph caliber (we understand that Rolex won’t equip Tudor watches with its own in-house movement,) but that the DD 2054 piggy-back module is known for its reliability issues.

And when it comes to repairing the module, it is easier to buy a new one, which may be a cause of severe headaches after the module is discontinued and will definitely significantly reduce the resale value of the ref. 20550N.

Well, if this doesn’t bother you and if you do not treat it as an investment (which it isn’t) then there is no reason not to get one.

It looks great, fits both casual and formal dress, and must feel great on a wrist thanks to its relatively compact size of 42 millimeters.

Tudor Pelagos watches

How good is the Tudor Pelagos?

The Tudor brand was founded in 1926 on behalf of the Rolex founder. This is an immediate sign of quality.

Tudor recently released a new version of their famous model, the Pelagos. This used design elements of their Submarina which was designed for the Navy in France, but widely popular in the 70s.

There are some aesthetic changes from the original but they’ve stuck to the design very well. At $4,400 this isn’t a cheap investment, so it really needs looking over in detail.

The Pelagos case has the very same design as the original. It has a 42mm by 50mm by 14.5mm case, which is huge! This case is made of titanium and is bigger than Tudor’s other signature timepiece, the Black Bay. Despite the size, it’s still very comfortable thanks to the lightweight material.

Visually-speaking the design is also similar to the Black Bay, but has a crown guard and escape valve for helium.

The mid-case has thickset lugs running on the side of the case.
The side that has the corn has a bevel that runs smoothly into the guards.

On the reverse you’ll see a number, which is a prime feature for keen collectors.

The titanium on the case is brushed for a sophisticated finish.

The bezel offers impeccable action. It’s wide and flat and easy to grab. It’s unidirectional and offers sixty clicks then locks at the 60 position; a subtle benefit.

The Pelagos has a ceramic bezel insert that’s matte, where it would typically be gloss. This gives exceptional scratch-resistance.

The crown guard and escape value for helium aren’t unique features on a dive watch, they simply offer impact protection. They’re both there as an indication that this watch has expert capabilities. Which it actually does. It offers 500m water-resistance.

The dial has a traditional Pelagos look. The surface is both matt and satin in part. There’s a triangular marker at the 12 position and slimline rectangular ones at 6 and 9. All other hours have a small square.

The markers are beige to match the bezel insert. This small detail gives the whole timepiece a vintage vibe.

At the 3 position there’s a window telling you the date. The cool bit is that it’s on a roulette ring so every day it’ll flick between red and black. This doesn’t give any benefit, per se, it’s just a cool feature of vintage watches.

At 6 you’ll notice five lines of text. This was seen on the older versions and divides opinion on whether or not it clutters the face. Depending on the colour, this can impact how obtrusive it is.

The hands are traditional. They are stocky. The hour is a wide diamond style whereas the minute is more slight, like a sword. They’re luminous, too. The stick-thin second hand offers luminosity, too. In dark lighting it’ll give off a greenish-colour.

Inside the Pelagos is a 26 jewelled automatic with hand-winding movement. You get 70 hours of power reserve with this. You also get a chronometer, which aids the roulette date function.

There’s credibility from this movement being in-house. You get a lot for the actual price of the watch. A lot of technological development from Tudor has been folded into this watch. The only issue here is that you need to take it directly to either Tudor or Rolex to get it serviced.
The Pelagos has a titanium wristband but also comes with a rubber one featuring titanium links on the ends.

The latter is pretty minimal. The links are a bit marmite, but ultimately boil down to personal taste. The rubber makes the watch look more modern, which is why it divides opinion. The Pelagos is a nod to the past, so it’s up to you if you want to adjust the look to suit today or not.

The titanium bracelet has a Tudor-patented clasp that offers expansion of the band. It has ceramic components that make for a smooth and satisfying ‘click’. You can get ½ an in expansion on this band which is just enough allowance to give you the level of comfort you might need in a given situation, without having to take it to a Rolex expert for additional links or a new bracelet altogether.

On the whole, it’s a very comfortable wear. It’s not too large at 42mm (although if you have small wrists, the recommended max case size is 40mm. You can read more about that here.)

The height is a potential barrier. At 14.45mm it’s on the large side and a long cry from svelte, and this is down to the in-house movements on the inside. Saying that it’s a meagre 1mm wider than the Black Bay so if you’re able to notice that, congratulations, you are a genuine watch expert.

The Pelagos is a delicious-looking watch. The classic version in black is considered by many to be dressier than the blue, but again this is a personal choice. The use of beige brings out a retro feel that’s hard not to love. The markers have been added with precision and care has been made to not overly-clutter the face (and again, it depends how you feel about those five lines of text).

It exudes sophistication.

The Tudor Pelagos doesn’t attract the praise it deserves. It’s certainly the best timepiece in the Tudor collection.

The attention to detail and use of only the best materials proves it’s more than style. It offers exceptional accuracy and precision. Titanium and ceramic components mean this is a lightweight but incredibly durable.

It’s got an impressive specification and pays a wonderful homage to the original version.

It’s neither more or less impressive than any of its siblings, a lot of whether you think this is worth the investment is purely down to your own tastes. If you’re curious about Tudor watches, compare this with the Black Bay.

If you’re in the market for luxury watches, our review of the kinds of timepieces worn by stockbrokers and investors will be the perfect eye candy for you; read it here.
The Tudor Pelagos. This is a watch I’ve been dying to get my hands-on for an extended period of time since I first saw it at Basel World in March of last year. And, despite the fact that Tudor isn’t even sold in the country in which I reside, I still felt strongly that we needed to review this watch in detail, for your sake. You see, there seems to be an almost preternatural desire to learn more about Tudor from readers. We’ve received countless emails, tweets, and message about both the Pelagos and the vintage inspired Black Bay, so we did everything we could to get our hands on one. So, without further ado, here is your Week On The Wrist review of the Tudor Pelagos.
And now for the bad news. The Pelagos, and in fact the entire Tudor line is not currently sold in the United States. As I mentioned above, it has been this way since the early 2000s when the brand was not nearly as strong as it is now. I personally believe this is ripe to change, but there is little word on when that might happen. So if you want one of these watches, you’re going to have to work for it (unless you’re based outside of the US, in which case you can just walk down to your local authorized dealer). Should any of that change, you can guarantee we’ll be the first to let you know.

In summary, I loved the Tudor Pelagos. I also love the Black Bay and hope to review it soon. I think these two watches, plus the Heritage Chrono, are exceptionally cool watches for guys that have any appreciation for the great sport watches of the 20th century – especially these prices. I will, after reviewing the Black Bay, probably buy a Tudor dive watch as my summer watch. I will be sure to chime back in when I make that decision to let you know.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250

Perpetually remembered as the “little brother of Rolex”, Tudor has been exponentially gaining momentum and lining dealer exhibits with bold and captivating watch releases.

Equally as promising is their value proposition, given the exceptional quality and aggressive price point that characterizes the brand.

Today, we’re reviewing the now-discontinued Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM. Ahead of the bronze craze when it was initially released, this 43mm Black Bay set the bar for future bronze watches to come.

We’ll be reviewing this Tudor 79250BM, as well as taking a look at the latest Tudor Black Bay Bronze release, via the following sections:
This Black Bay Bronze 79250BM, while a true Black Bay through-and-through, represented the first time that Tudor changed the case size on a variant in the popular model line.
The case is 43mm as opposed to the standard 41mm, and is constructed of a copper-aluminum alloy. Without diving into a chemistry lesson, the importance here is that the particular bronze employed by Tudor lends to a unique and more even patina.
On the other hand, this same metal alloy is also deemed the culprit for the case size increase. Apparently, when crafted in a 41mm case size, the structural integrity of the watch was not to Tudor’s standard.

Once on the wrist, this Bronze Black Bay wears tall and wide. The base Heritage Black Bay model has a case depth of ~14.5mm, a dimension which has gone unchanged in the Black Bay Bronze 79250.

The sporty nature of this Tudor diver easily lends itself to the larger case size; we certainly didn’t find it to detract from the watch’s appeal. At the same time, it’s easy to see how the case size can be the main point of contention on this watch.
Size aside, the case itself is phenomenal. The satin finish of the bronze makes for a rugged look. Conversely, the sharp edges and delicate details, like the rose on the crown and the lug holes, bring in an element of finesse.

One thing is evident after handling the watch – the construction is remarkable. The watch head is sturdy, although not too heavy. Likewise, the click of the diver’s bezel inspires confidence in the longevity of the timepiece.

Tudor has established a standard of quality, one which was not overlooked when crafting the Tudor Black Bay Bronze 79250BM.
On the back side, the contrasting caseback represent’s Tudor’s response to a problem encountered with bronze watches. A PVD-coated steel caseback maintains the color scheme while also preventing oxidation stains when on the wrist.

Powering this 2016 Baselworld premiere is the Tudor Manufacture MT5601 calibre. The first in-house movement in the brand’s history, the MT5601 boasts a 70 hour power reserve as well as a COSC-chronometer certification.
The box set that accompanies this Black Bay Bronze is the standard black lacquered Tudor-branded box. To protect its glossy finish, a brown outer box is also included.
As has become customary with the Tudor Black Bay line, this Black Bay Bronze brings with it an additional NATO-style strap. This secondary strap is olive / khaki green in color and made of a springy fabric. Naturally, this fabric strap also possesses a bronze buckle.
The 79250BM is primarily displayed on a distressed calf leather strap. Undoubtedly, this strap is sure to develop some character with wear and time, not unlike the change expected on the case itself. Similarly, this effect is to be expected on the buckle, given that it’s presented in bronze as well.

In addition to the above accessories, the box set also includes an instruction booklet, a warranty booklet, and a document holder for both as well as the warranty card. Given that the Black Bay Bronze we review here was purchased pre-owned, it did not happen to include the original warranty card.

The only issue we can find with the box set is the fact that there’s no strap-changing tool included. Indeed, it is clear that the intention is for customers to change the strap on their timepiece; so why not include some sort of tool to help them do it without risking damage?

Panerai, among other brands, is known for including a small plastic tool in their box sets for strap-changing needs. Likewise, Tudor could have included something similar here, even if its presence tipped the retail price over $4,000. Surely the box set would have been better for it.
In its own right, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM is an incredible watch. Not to mention the fact that it was ahead of the curve of the bronze trend, it also established a standard of value and quality for future bronze watches to measure against.
The muted gold and brown hues give it a unique look, while the case size provides the wrist presence expected from a true tool watch.
Moreover, the size almost ensures that it’s worn in the proper environments, notably outside an office. This watch deserves to be worn outdoors, where the environment can take its toll and be reflected in the unique patina.

Finally, we were quite surprised to learn how well the watch paired with different strap combinations. At the beach, the Tudor Black Bay Bronze 79250BM looked surprisingly attractive on a purple perlon strap. Indeed, this Tudor Black Bay Bronze 79250BM is assured to hold “classic” status for years to come.

In March of 2019, Tudor made a foreseeable move – they continued to expand on their already successful Black Bay line. Interestingly, the new variations that we are accustomed to seeing year after year from Tudor have yet to become boring.
Among the premieres was a new dial variant of the TUDOR Black Bay Bronze, the Tudor Reference 79250BA. Outside of the dial and bezel colors, there’s not many new things to unpack here.
Nevertheless, this slate grey dial Black Bay looks outstanding. The fumee effect on the dial, along with the presentation of the bezel and straps in black, play wonderfully against the golden hue of the bronze case.

Previous to this year’s show, Tudor had deviated from the brown dial and bezel only for special editions, such as the blue seen in the Carl F. Bucherer Black Bay Bronze. With this Baselworld 2019 release, they’ve dared to push their own boundaries once more, and they’ve made it accessible for the masses.

Tudor Black Bay Black 79220N

The Tudor Black Bay Black – sorry everyone, BBB is going to be the name, as unadventurous as it is – was the watch we had to have. When the Black Bay first came out back in 2012, a large part of its appeal lay in the warm combo of rich red and deep gold. Clearly this was not just another sterile diver. It had personality, and its vintage aesthetic both contributed to and crested the zeitgeist.
Just days after its release, speculation had already begun mounting about it being released in other versions – and by Baselworld 2014, it had reached fever pitch. When the Black Bay Blue arrived, its genius was that it wasn’t a carbon copy of the original. It provided enough points of difference to make it a great watch in its own right. Where the first variant was fire, this was ice. Where the first was warm, this was glacial and crisp.
Of course, five minutes later we were asking, “When will the next one come out”? Not if – when. Tudor kept us on our toes when they didn’t release any new Heritage novelties at Baselworld 2015, focusing instead on the North Flag. But when they unveiled the unique Black Bay One for the Only Watch auction, it reopened the debate. We hoped and prayed that the wait was almost over
Today, practically out of nowhere, Tudor will not just announce, but deliver the Black Bay Black to the salivating public. We were lucky enough to receive an exclusive sneak peak ahead of the drop, as well as a chance to compare it with its direct ancestor, the first diver Tudor made, the reference 7922 Tudor Submariner from 1954.
The first striking thing about the Black Bay Black is just how different it looks to its brethren. Especially when you consider that it’s structurally almost identical. Same case and bracelet as the others, same ETA 2824 movement, same matte black dial, and the same gilt dial print and rich gold hands and indices that give the Black Bay Red its warm vintage tone. The only substantial difference is the bezel – now a crisp black instead of burgundy or midnight blue – yet this single tweak adds up to a huge change in the piece’s personality.
In a nutshell, the Black Bay Black is far more formal (and dare we say it for a diver, but it’s luxurious too) than the red or blue. That’s often the case with black, though it’s amplified even further with those gold accents. But it’s also because this watch bears such a strong resemblance to the Rolex Submariner – a timepiece deeply entrenched as a formal style icon and a luxury object. What’s more, it bears a striking similarity to the reference 6538 – the ‘Big Crown’ Submariner – most famously worn by James Bond in Dr. No. Tudor produced a very similar version, the 1958 reference 7924.
This resemblance is down to the Black Bay Black’s oversized crown, which lacks the crown guards characteristic of later Submariners (from both Tudor and Rolex). Then there’s the small red triangle on the bezel, under the luminous pip at 12. The only other new design element, it speaks directly to heritage Submariners.
While it’s not a reissue of any particular historic reference, this is undoubtedly the most uncompromisingly ‘vintage’ watch in Tudor’s entire Heritage collection.
You only need glance at the comparison shot between the Black Bay Black and the 1954 Submariner to see what we mean. Sure, the Black Bay Black is a bulkier design in line with modern tastes, but the commonalities far outweigh the differences.
Strapping into the Black Bay Black for the day, I wasn’t expecting to be surprised – after all I’ve worn the red and the blue, so nothing new to see, right? But it doesn’t just look different – it wears differently too. Sleeker, less playful. On a bracelet it’s a commanding watch – made for 007-esque black tie. But put it on the nylon strap and it wouldn’t look out of place on a marine commando.
There’s no doubt this watch will be a phenomenal hit for Tudor, with its obvious appeal to so many audiences. Love the Black Bay but don’t care for colour? This is the watch for you. Love the vintage Submariner but not the premium price tag? This is the watch for you. Already own the red and blue versions and need to complete the set? This is the watch for you. You get the gist.
So, yes, it’s been a long wait. But with Tudor once again proving their mastery in accessible heritage pieces, it’s been well worth holding out for. Though of course, we’re already wondering what we might be on the cards for next year…
The Tudor Black Bay was upon its release an instant success. In the Tudor brand’s relaunch, the Black Bay played an important role in the reestablishing of the brand and helped Tudor establish itself as a strong brand that proved itself to be strong enough to stand on its own legs, and not dependent on its bigger brother Rolex.

The Tudor Heritage Black Bay is today arguably the most important model of Tudor, and in this article, we’re looking closer at the collection that helped Tudor ”become great again”.
After a week of wearing this watch, I’ve really fallen for it. (I ended up bonding with it more once I switched to the cloth strap over the “aaaaaaalmost-Oyster” link bracelet.) This is one of those watches that’s hard to beat. Its price makes it easy for first-time collectors to grab one, and allows longer-standing enthusiasts a chance to remember what made collecting so exciting in the first place: that when a watch finds balance in the elements of its own design, and then balance with the essence of the story it’s attempting to tell, it’s always worth owning. Pull out your suit, find a great NATO strap like James Bond wore, and throw this watch on. You’ll see what I mean.

tudor black bay gmt watch

Sport watches come in many shapes and sizes. While I may love a good dive watch, or the old-school charm of a racing chronograph, for me, nothing matches the appeal of a solid GMT. A good example is built like a dive watch and wouldn’t look out of place anywhere in the world. I think there is something special about GMTs, about their ethos, their simple but powerful functionality, and their ability to ground you in your roots while adapting to wherever it is you want to go in life.
This past March at Baselworld, Tudor announced the Tudor Black Bay GMT , a handsome stainless steel travel watch based on the format established by their Black Bay dive watches, while offering true GMT functionality too. Following the Pepsi-colored bezel established by Tudor’s sibling brand Rolex, the Black Bay GMT is a rather new path for Tudor, but one that is recognizable both for its general Black Bay roots and for its aesthetic and functional similarities to one of the all-time great travel watches, the Rolex GMT-Master II.
With a strong value proposition backed by excellent design and a new movement offering true GMT functionality, the Black Bay GMT has the makings of a quintessential sport watch for the avid traveler.
Looking at Tudor’s past, the brand has never really produced anything that could be considered a true precursor to the Black Bay GMT. Sure, they’ve produced some GMT watches in their history, and even fitted the Heritage Chronograph with a smart 12-hour bezel, but the Black Bay GMT is distinct within their product legacy and does not refer back to any specific Tudor reference or model.
If we zoom out just a little, we find Tudor’s older brother, Rolex, who do producea very similar watch in the GMT-Master II. Originally launched in 1983 as the reference 16760, the GMT-Master II built upon the travel-ready appeal of the original GMT-Master that Rolex developed for Pan Am pilots in the mid 1950s. For the GMT-Master II, Rolex created the model around a new movement that offered local jumping hours. So when you landed in a new time zone, you could change the local time in either direction by jump-setting the hour hand via the crown. This functionality also included the ability to progress or retract the date (should you fly through midnight), and the whole process could be done without stopping the watch or even disrupting the position of the other hands. If you fly a lot, this functionality is next level.

Since its inception as reference 6542, the GMT-Master has offered a 24-hour bezel in a split blue/red color scheme that enthusiasts call a “Pepsi” bezel. Other colors have been offered, including red/black which is called a “Coke” bezel. The split colors help to delineate day/night in the second time zone, and the color scheme has become a one of the most noteworthy visual design cues of the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II. While there was a brief pause while Rolex developed the ability to produce a red/blue Cerachrom bezel (their application of a ceramic bezel insert), the Pepsi look returned to the line up at Baselworld 2014 with the white gold reference 116719.
Earlier this year, while entirely sharing the stage with the not-dissimilar Tudor Black Bay GMT , Rolex released a steel version of the Pepsi GMT-Master II in the reference 126710BLRO. With that blue/red bezel on a full steel case and jubilee bracelet, Rolex established the new steel Pepsi that had been missing from the market since the brand discontinued the previous generation 16710 around 2007.
While I know it’s strange to highlight the history of one watch to contextualize another, the decision to design the Black Bay GMT with not only the same functionality (which is awesome) but also a direct aesthetic nod to the GMT-Master series from Rolex is extremely noteworthy. Within both the context of the history of Tudor’s relationship with Rolex (at a product level) and the more recent development of their distinctly non-Rolex Black Bay line, the Black Bay GMT is a watch that I believe few, if anyone, expected. Furthermore, I believe it’s existence is nothing short of a clear vote of confidence from Rolex that there is an undeniable play that exists downmarket from the Submariner and, more crucially, the GMT-Master II.
As much as the aesthetics are a focusing point for the discussion surrounding this watch (and we’ll get there), I believe that the functionality is also a huge aspect to consider, not only in terms of the Black Bay GMT’s proximity to a GMT-Master II but also in its relationship to the current GMT watch market more generally.

Speaking rather broadly, modern GMT watches are generally divided into two categories: Independent 24 Hour and Local Jumping Hour. The division speaks to the underlying realities of movement production, as the Independent 24 Hour GMT market is almost entirely owned by ETA and their ubiquitous 2893-2 movement (there are also derivations of Sellita movements, but the end realities are the same), which uses an independently set 24-hour hand which tracks a timezone of your choosing via a 24 hour scale or bezel. I call these “Caller GMTs” as they are great for tracking other time zones from home, but as all of the hands function together when changing the main time display, this layout is not all that adept at quickly changing to a new time zone when actively traveling.
The other option, Local Jumping Hour, is more complicated but offers more flexibility for actual travel. Along with a 24-hour hand, watches that offer a Local Jumping Hour GMT functionality have the ability to jump the main (local) hour hand in one-hour increments in either direction to update to a new time zone. If the ebb or flow of zones passes midnight, then the date updates as well. This methodology allows you to preserve both the general timekeeping (the movement does not stop when jumping the hour hand), and whatever time zone was being managed by the 24-hour hand. For this reason, I call this methodology a “Flyer GMT.” If you’re changing time zones, it’s practical and easy. And, once you get a handle on the 24-hour bezel offered by watches like the Black Bay GMT, you’ve hit that next level.
The issue here is that ETA, or any other third party movement manufacturer (to my knowledge), does not make a Local Jumping Hour movement. So if you want to make a watch like the Black Bay GMT, you have to either extensively modify an existing caliber (like Omega did with the wonderful, but long since discontinued, caliber 1128 that was seen in some great past-gen Seamasters like the 2234.50 and the mega cool 2538.20 “Great White”), or just make it yourself. Tudor opted for the latter with their new MT5652 in-house movement and made the Black Bay GMT a legit travel watch with functionality identical to that of the GMT-Master II. Are we all doing the same math here?
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of testing a great deal of GMT watches, let me explain the functionality as it’s actually used. With the crown unscrewed, you can isolate the local time display with the first position. Jumping in one-hour increments to update to the local time and bring the date with you, if required. To actually set the Black Bay GMT, pull the crown to the second position and you can update all of the hands at once. Using the bezel to set the GMT hand to your desired reference time zone, then set the minutes and click back to position one (on the crown) to correct for the local time.
Now, to show a second time zone, rotate the bezel to reflect the offset of your local time vs. the 24-hour hand, in this case, if I want to see the time in NYC it would be -4 hours, or eight clicks clockwise, placing “20” at the top position of 12 o’clock. You can now quickly read the time in New York off of the bezel (see the included video for a complete demonstration). Additionally, with some simple math, you get a third time zone by converting the GMT hand to its 24 display against the main hour markers on the dial. This style of GMT display has lasted the test of time and offers enough flexibility to suit a wide range of uses, especially when traveling.
Thankfully, aside from the GMT functionality, the Black Bay GMT is just another Tudor Black Bay. The case is made of stainless steel with mixed brushed and polished finishing and measures some 41mm wide, about 15mm thick, and some 50mm lug to lug. The sizing manages to thread the needle between big and small, with a generally well-loved case width but a bit more thickness than would be preferable. In fairness, the 15mm thickness is to the top of the exposed sapphire crystal, and the case/bezel edge is a bit thinner. On my wrist I noticed the tall case edge, but not the full thickness to the top of the crystal, essentially splitting the difference in the metal.

The case shape has that chunky quality to it but makes use of polished flanks and a polished lug facet to keep things from feeling too visually heavy. The combination of a large screw down crown and a wide-set bezel edge makes for excellent control over the two main touch points. Indeed, with the big crown, I could actually update the local time display without taking the Black Bay GMT off my wrist.
The case is nicely finished but retains a certain toolish charm that preserves the go-anywhere-do-anything intent of a good GMT. Furthermore, the Black Bay GMT retains the 200M water resistance of its dive watch siblings, so whether its a dip in a hotel pool or a quick dive during a long layover, the Black Bay GMT can stay on wrist without a second thought. Having dived with both a Black Bay (an earlier ETA model) and the brand’s more specific dive watch, the Pelagos, I can say that few watches feel more at home in the water than Tudor divers.
The bi-directional 24-hour bezel may be spiritually similar to the GMT-Master, but in details it is quite different. Its aluminum bezel lacks the brightness of color seen in the 16710 and is entirely different from the heavily saturated colors of Rolex’s current red/blue Cerachrom bezel. Instead, the Black Bay GMT opts for a subtle combo of a desaturated deep navy blue and a sort of reddish-burgundy, both colors that are known quantities within the Black Bay spectrum. Matte in finish, I think the choice to go with an aluminum insert (vs ceramic) is nothing short of excellent. Not only does it make for a much less shiny watch, it also better matches the toolish vibe of the overall package and will undoubtedly age with more character than anything made of ceramic (I love a scratched-up bezel). You are of course welcome to disagree, but I really appreciate the subtlety of the color choice, the matte appearance, and the ability to add my own patina over the course of my travels.
In usual Black Bay fashion, the GMT’s dial is a matte black, with large applied markers, a legible and Snowflake-heavy handset (including that long red GMT hand), and a balanced use of text. There is a nicely implemented and simple date window at three which uses black text on a white background for maximum legibility. A GMT watch needs a date display, and I think three o’clock is a nicely balanced choice and I’m glad that Tudor opted to skip the cyclops. With ample lume and strong general legibility, the Black Bay GMT dial is handsome, well balanced, and nicely detailed with white metal surrounds for the hands and markers.

While I figure this is relatively clear in the above text, I really like the look of the Black Bay GMT. I like that it’s less shiny than a modern GMT-Master II, and I like that it preserves much of the appeal of the original Black Bay design language.
The Tudor Black Bay GMT wears almost like any other Black Bay. It’s slightly chunky (in a good way), with tall polished flanks and a squarish profile that wears really well. When I say slightly, I’m eluding to one small change to the case shape that Tudor appears to have debuted with the Black Bay GMT. The change is that of a bevel on the underside of the case that removes the hard edge where the case meets your wrist (see below).
I’ve looked at both ETA and the later MT-based examples of the Black Bay, and the GMT is the only model I’ve found with this ergonomic update. I specifically recall the case edge being fairly sharp on the ETA Black Bay I reviewed several years ago, so I think this is an excellent tweak to the case shape and it undoubtedly makes the Black Bay GMT easier to wear. As a side note, the new Black Bay Fifty-Eight does not have this bevel either, so it really does seem to be a GMT exclusive (for now).
Case edges aside, as I’ve mentioned, I found the Black Bay GMT on its bracelet to be a bit heavy, but I definitely attribute that to my general attitude towards bracelets. If you like a sport watch on a bracelet, the Black Bay GMT won’t feel especially heavy on your wrist. Comfort is good and with a few micro positions in the clasp, it was no issue to get a proper fit.

Wrist presence is very similar to any other Black Bay, with lots of legibility, good lume, and a bezel you just want to play with. I really liked the Black Bay GMT on wrist and given that the Black Bay diver is an entirely known quantity at this point, many of you will already have a feel for how it wears.
While most of the included images are from a trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles (in which I didn’t change timezones from my home in Vancouver), I was able to use the Black Bay GMT’s time zone jumping functionality on a previous trip. If, like me, you travel a lot, the functionality is so handy you get kinda spoiled by it. My day-to-day travel watch is a Rolex Explorer II (16570) and the Black Bay GMT offers the same base functionality but takes it a step further with the 24-hour bezel. When the plane lands, you just unscrew the crown, jump back or forwards to match the new zone, and join the herd in getting off the plane.

As much as I like the philosophy of a travel watch like the Tudor Black Bay GMT , I might like the general casual-but-flexible style of the watch even more. Not unlike the GMT-Master II, there is a certain laissez-faire attitude to the Tudor Black Bay GMT. While definitely not dressy, if you’re hopping over to London for a meeting and then on to Geneva that evening, the Black Bay GMT won’t be out of place or seem inappropriate on your wrist. With its nicely muted colors, boyish go-anywhere charm, and the ability to suit a wide range of straps, the Black Bay GMT is more sport coat than tailored suit, and that fits me just fine.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve likely been doing some of the mental math of a watch nerd along the way, and yes, the Black Bay GMT offers a remarkable value for a mechanical watch with its functionality, even disregarding its other qualities. Direct competition is almost entirely non-existent. In an attempt to elaborate, there are two major considerations here: feature set and price. For feature set, we’ve established a GMT function with jumping local hour and coordinated date along with a 24-hour rotating bezel. For price, this watch sits at $3,900 as you see it here. Honestly, good luck competing with that.
I picked this watch for a recent Editor Roundup of One Watch Options, and I stand by it. While I won’t deny that the ideal is something like a 16710 (I like the thinner and more elegant case shape), those GMT-Master IIs are both discontinued and quite expensive, costing literal multiples of the retail price of the Black Bay GMT. Is the Black Bay GMT perfect? No, but it is very close. I think it’s a touch too thick for my preference, but that took maybe a day for me to forget about. I didn’t get the chance to try it on a NATO, but given its similarity in size to a watch like the Seiko SKX007, I think it would be excellent. Also, while I am far from the first to suggest it (don’t get it twisted, I see you all on Instagram and in the comments), a Black Bay Fifty-Eight GMT would be BONKERS.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black S&G

Steel and gold watches have been around for years. Hitting peak popularity around 30 years ago, they were the epitome of ’80s style, but, then again, so were pastel polos with double popped collars. However, while the mix of these two metals has been used by countless manufacturers, I’ve just never been a two-tone guy. It’s not that I have anything against the combination (double popped collars are a different story), it’s just that they were never for me. This year, something happened that I think no one saw coming. Tudor released a two-toned Black Bay, and, I have to say, I think they’ve changed my mind.
Apart from the obvious, not much has changed with the 41mm case of the new Black Bay. It still holds that same classic tool watch shape, with high, polished sides, chamfered lugs, and oversized crown. On top, the satin-brushed finish is still there, as is the black 60-minute bezel, which surrounds that wonderfully domed sapphire crystal. It’s even still water resistant to 200 metres. What has been changed, though, makes all the difference. The bezel is now a solid piece of yellow gold, and while that may sound a tad ostentatious, it’s really not.
The gold is low-key and contrasts nicely with the black anodised aluminium insert, particularly when combined with its gilt markings. Where the yellow gold is most obvious however is on the crown. But this time it isn’t a solid piece; instead the gold is capped around a stainless-steel inside. Still, there’s nothing showy about it and when combined with the black, and steel, it only accentuates the vintage feel of the Black Bay.
It’s safe to say that the biggest point of difference of this new Black Bay is the case. However, it’s the dial where you’ll find the most controversial change. The Black Bay now has a date (gasp). You’ll either love it, hate it, or be indifferent to it. Personally, I like the added functionality of a date window, and on the S&G it’s very nicely done. Without intruding into the clean symmetry of the dial, it replaces the hour marker at 3 o’clock. Sure, some may say it’s not perfect, but as far as date windows go, it hits all the right notes. Looking past the addition of a date, with gilt surround hour markers and snowflake hands — which are set on a matt black dial with matching gold writing — it’s the same dial you’d find on the Black Bay Red, and Black. Only now, the warmth of the golden accents is amplified by the gold of the case.
Bringing the added complication of a date window is the same movement you’ll find in the Black Bay Steel and the Pelagos, Tudor’s own caliber MT5612. With a silicon balance spring, it’s COSC certified, and has a 70-hour power reserve. Which means you can take it off Friday evening and not have to re-set and wind it come Monday morning. Handy.
Although available with an aged black leather strap, it’s on the rivet-style bracelet where the S&G really shines. Just like the case, it’s been given the two-tone treatment. The end links are solid steel and gold, while the rest of the centre links are gold-capped. They’re not polished either; instead they’re satin-brushed, and given a level of discretion not normally associated with gold, while emphasising their texture. Overall, it’s a well-built and comfortable bracelet, and once again the gold only enriches the vintage vibe.
Putting the S&G on my wrist, it feels like every other Black Bay I’ve ever worn. But that’s a good thing — you can sense the commitment to build quality, the crispness of the case, the sturdiness of the bracelet. You can see the vintage elements, which, while noticeably more modern, are still faithful and playful. However, while the Black Bay has always been able to bridge the gap between tool and dress, the S&G goes that one step further. It feels warmer, more formal, more luxurious, and that little bit more timeless.
Sure, it’s not a revolutionary design or even a brand new one. But Tudor have once again released another solid and well-priced watch. The Black Bay was already considered a near-perfect entry-level luxury watch. Now they’ve just stepped it up a notch, and I’ll admit that when I first saw the Black Bay S&G, I was surprised and a little unsure. But now I can say I’m a two-tone guy.
As with most timepieces from TUDOR’s illustrious portfolio, the Black Bay S&G draws direct inspiration from the brand’s rich diving heritage of the exploration golden era which commenced with the arrival of Reference 7922 in 1954. The goal: an ergonomic, legible, accurate and highly robust diver’s piece inspired by the words of architect Louis Sullivan who said that form must always follow its function.

It was this very element of design that would form the DNA of a TUDOR diver’s watch, an integral backbone faithfully reproduced in the Heritage Black Bay S&G sixty years on. Today the Heritage Black Bay S&G is a signature model which pays homage to this tradition whilst showcasing today’s most extraordinary craftsmanship in watchmaking.

A closer look at the new Tudor Heritage Black Bay S&G will reveal the general lines alongside a domed dial and crystal which graced one of TUDOR’s first diving watches. The gold winding crown, affably known as Big Crown, is taken directly from Reference 7924 of 1958 and features the same angular hands which was the preferred design of the French National Navy during the 1970s.
Sophistication, style and sportsmanship are the key elements that run deep in the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay S&G.

A watch of such calibre needs to manifest itself as an extension of its wearer’s own tenacity and there’s no better example of men to do that than global football star David Beckham and New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks.

Both Beckham and the All Blacks are leading men in their respective fields with the latter holding first place in the World Rugby ranking and the former having played for over five premiere teams in an illustrious career that excels beyond the football pitch.

The message is therefore pretty clear. TUDOR Heritage Black Bay S&G is made for those who thrive on competition and aspire to be the best at their game.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

There is no archetype in the history of horology that has generated more variations, more interpretations, and more attempts at reinvention than the mid-century dive watch. I don’t even have to say the names of the watches that started this genre, since you probably spoke them out loud to yourself at the end of my previous sentence. But it’s fair to say that for many people, this is what they think of when someone says the word “watch.” The mid-century dive watch, with its rotating timing bezel, it’s clean, no-fuss dial, and its sturdy case and bracelet profile, transcends any one watch at this point. It’s an idea as much as a thing itself.

That’s why a watch like the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is so interesting to me. Tudor essentially created its modern update to the dive watch in 2012, with the introduction of the Heritage Black Bay. At the time, it was just one watch, but in the nearly eight years since, it’s grown into a family of watches at Tudor and a formula for other brands to follow. But while the Black Bay takes a number of cues from old-school dive watches, it doesn’t make any attempt to actually be one. It’s 41mm across, it’s relatively thick, and it’s styled in such a way that you’d never mistake it for something from the 1950s. The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is something different entirely.
With the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, Tudor splits the difference between the Black Bay and the original Tudor dive watches from the late ’50s. It balances a smaller case size and throw-back dial and bezel details with a brand new movement and modern build quality. It’s an homage that doesn’t have to feel like one if you don’t want it to. It moves seamlessly between the worlds of the old and the new in a way that feels unique and refreshing.
The very first Tudor dive watch, the reference 7922, was presented in 1954. The watch was commonly called the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner and it came just a year after Rolex unveiled the ref. 6204 Submariner. The two shared a lot of traits. Both had simple no-date dials, bold timing bezels, and cases with small crowns and no crown guards. These traits would become archetypes in no time, spawning generations of dive watches from Tudor, Rolex, and nearly every other watch company on planet Earth.

More than half a century later, the first Heritage Black Bay model was unveiled, just ahead of Baselworld 2012. Ben reported on the release, and it’s interesting to look back at his coverage (and coverage from others) to see reactions at the time. The kind of vintage throwback watches that we’re so used to seeing today were entirely absent from the market and Tudor opened a lot of eyes with this new model.
One of the most fascinating things about the Black Bay is the way that it created its own identity out of bits and pieces from Tudor’s past. There’s the gilt dial from the earliest 1954 Tudor diver, there’s the oversized crown from late 1950s and early 1960s divers, there are the Snowflake hands from ’70s military watches, and there’s the faded red color scheme pulled from a piece in Tudor’s archive. But all of this is put together in a package that’s the size and proportions of a modern watch, utilizing modern manufacturing techniques and finishes. It’s six different vintage watches, and also none of them.

From here, we saw the Black Bay emerge as its own blueprint. New colors, new materials, and even new sizes and form factors entered the picture. I don’t think anyone would try to argue that the Black Bay Bronze, for example, is a vintage homage watch. No, it’s a Black Bay. In less than eight years, the Black Bay has become its own thing, and I can’t say I’m all that surprised.
And that brings us to the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight . It is yet another distinct moment for Tudor, in terms of how the brand thinks about its historical legacy, its modern identity, and how the two can interact. It is neither a straight homage watch, nor is it a Black Bay in the typical sense. It is its own third way – and a compelling one at that.
When it was announced at Baselworld 2018, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight quickly became one of the most-talked-about watches of the year (alongside its sibling, the Black Bay GMT). For good reason. The BB58 did a great job splitting the difference between upending the Black Bay archetype and simply offering a new color combination. You get a new form factor, a new set of historically grounded design choices, and even a new movement to power it all. This is a new watch, but a new watch that’s firmly anchored in a storied past.
The moment you put the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight on your wrist, you know you’re dealing with something special. It’s a modern watch – there’s no doubt about that. It’s sturdy, it feels like it can take anything you throw at it, and it’s got that bit of sparkle and shine that only new creations have. But it’s got an old soul. I imagine it feels something like what it might have felt like to strap on a Big Crown back in 1958. I might be spoiling my own review here, but this isn’t one of those watches that takes easing into or requires mental somersaults to come to terms with. I put it on my wrist and I knew I didn’t want to take it off.

The case is basically the perfect proportions for a sport watch, as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t look dainty, but it doesn’t hang over the edges of my relatively small wrist. The fact that the bezel and dial are the same color scheme allows it to look a bit larger and stronger on the wrist, since the visual cues are uninterrupted. The contrast between the brushed tops of the lugs and the polished sides of the case is more pronounced once you start wearing the watch. It will catch the light unexpectedly and recapture your attention. I found the case to have some unexpected dynamism on the wrist, and I really enjoyed it.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight biggest selling point, though, might be its versatility. Because it’s essentially monochromatic, is a medium size, and looks good on the bracelet or nearly any strap, it’s a great candidate for a first serious watch or a one-watch collection. I could see myself wearing this watch a ton to travel, since it goes with anything. It’s slim enough that I didn’t mind wearing it with a sweater (no cuff snagging issue), but I’d be equally excited to wear it to the beach with a t-shirt and trunks. Not too many watches can do this, but the Black Bay Fifty-Eight is a pretty perfect go-anywhere, do-anything watch.
I’m not normally someone obsessed with chronometry. From time to time I find myself setting my watches to the second and checking in on them, but typically, as long as I’m not late for anything, I consider myself well within an acceptable range. Just out of curiosity, I did time this watch, and the results blew me away. After seven days and six nights, the watch was running at a total of plus two seconds. Plus two. That’s wild stuff and about as good as any modern mechanical timekeeper can do. So, if you’re a timing nerd, this one might just be for you, too.

As far as comfort is concerned, I’ve only got one gripe, and I mentioned it above: I really wish the bracelet had more micro-adjustment positions. I’m somewhere between sizes, and dialing in the perfect fit is tough. With four links out and the clasp on the largest setting, it’s a bit small; with three links out and the clasp on the smallest setting, it jangles around a bit. I’ve landed on the latter position, and it’s mostly fine, but another millimeter or two and we’d be perfect.
Ultimately, after my week with the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight , I found it hard to take off (just as I thought I would). It’s a watch that hits a lot of the right notes, either despite its simplicity or because of it – I can’t quite make up my mind. It’s easy to wear, but still interesting; it’s robust but well-sized; it’s a throw-back but totally modern. It’s a watch of quiet contrasts and it’s just flat-out fun to wear.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight might have made waves when it was first released, but that’s no guarantee of longterm success. Here we are, nearly two years since that initial frenzy, and I think the watch is more appealing than ever. I’m not the only one either – wait lists are still months-long at most retailers here in the United States. The watch starts with a great idea and then delivers on it big time. You get a vintage-inspired watch that doesn’t look like a cheesy replica, in a size and build quality that make it an outstanding daily wearer. The way it bridges modern and vintage watches so effectively still impresses me.

Whether you’re a new collector looking to buy his or her first serious piece or a seasoned veteran who probably doesn’t need another watch at all, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is well worth taking a look at. It’s a watch that shines in its simplicity, doing a whole lot with not very much at all, and it only gets better the more time you spend with it.