Ever since the Tudor Black Bay was first introduced at Baselworld in 2012, it’s been THE dive watch to have if you weren’t already saving for a Submariner, and it’s easy to understand why once you get it strapped on your wrist. FYI: This article is opinion-based, and will not be a spec-sheet for this watch – if you’re here, you already know that stuff.
It’s undoubtedly a great watch, but, for some reason, I just can’t connect with it in a way I do with some other watches; like my Oris Divers for example. Some watches ARE great, and some make you FEEL great; this one falling into the former for me.
I wear it regularly, and have considered selling it more than a few times. It’s hard to put into words what keeps me coming back to Black Bay, but I do. There’s a charm it possesses that I haven’t seen replicated by any other watch besides my vintage Speedmaster, or an old 5513 Sub. Sure, I’ve nearly flipped it for a Pelagos at least 25 times, which is undoubtedly the “better” watch of the two, but I always change my mind in the end.
The things that keep me from loving the Tudor Black Bay: 1) it’s a blatant copy of many designs from the mid-20th century (yes, I know this is the whole point of the watch, don’t care). 2) the lack of a diver’s extension. 3) no half-links for the otherwise stellar bracelet. C’mon Tudor.. 4) case size/dimensions – this thing is THICK.
Honestly, I can’t think of a scenario where I’d actually sell it, but I would also struggle to tell you precisely why that is – maybe someday. Until then, you’ll find it on my wrist while doing a number of mundane/daily activities – ie. walking the dog, running errands, working, but probably not diving..
Final Thoughts: What we have here, is an extremely well-built watch, with great history, and ties to the largest luxury watch manufacturer in the world (ROLEX). At its suggested retail price of $3725, it’s a decent value, but my suggestion would be to buy secondhand. For +/- $2500 you can find numerous lightly-used offerings, and, in that case, makes this one of the best “bang for your buck” watches out there. The Tudor HERITAGE Black Bay may look 50 years old, but it feels brand new. This watch is just as it’s name suggests; an homage to the past – a new dog with old tricks.
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*Featured Image background sourced from “A Man and His Watch” by Matt Hranek.