The TUDOR Black Bay watch is one of the most popular luxury timepieces on the market. Its innovative and attractive design is enhanced by the materials and systems of Rolex which means that this model is outstanding in terms of look and functionality. In addition, the TUDOR Black Bay was born from an extraordinary heritage dating back to the 1950s which adds further appeal for consumers and collectors. Explore the TUDOR Black Bay legacy and discover how this iconic watch was perfected.
TUDOR’s first dive watch
The TUDOR Black Bay was inspired by the company’s first-ever divers’ watch – the Oyster Prince Submariner which was released in 1954.
This model was an utter dedication to providing perfect performance underwater: a screw-down back case and crown waterproof to 100m protected the watch from damage, while large hands luminous in deep water and a bidirectional rotatable bezel enhanced the diving experience. TUDOR went further to dedicate this watch to divers by marking the bezel with five-minute intervals. This allowed for precise measurement of dive time which assisted divers with planning safe decompression stages on their return to the surface.
A decade of development
Following the release of the Oyster Prince Submariner, TUDOR spent over a decade perfecting the model. In 1958, the addition of a ‘big crown’ increased the water resistance to 200m, and just a year later crown guards were added to protect the watch from shocks. But it wasn’t until 1969 that the second era of the TUDOR Submariner began.
The 1969 TUDOR Submariner was a design that would endure as one of the most coveted watches in the TUDOR collection for 30 years. Characterised by highly resistant sapphire crystals, new dials, and unique square hour markers paired with matching hands that were termed ‘snowflakes’, this was a watch face that would become famous when replicated in the modern Black Bay models.
The dive watch is reborn
The TUDOR Submariner collection ran for almost 50 years but began to fall out of favour with the publication in the early 90s. For two decades, TUDOR worked on reforming the watch, re-releasing it in 2012 as the TUDOR Black Bay with the striking burgundy bezel that is instantly recognisable to this day.
Featuring the first Manufacture Calibre in TUDOR’s history, the TUDOR Black Bay was certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute as a Master Chronometer. This means that, following extensive tests, the watch has been proven to be exceptional in terms of precise timekeeping, resistance to magnetic fields, and waterproofness. The latest versions of the TUDOR Black Bay also feature a ‘weekend-proof’ power reserve of up to 70 hours.
Black Bay today
The TUDOR Black Bay today is beloved by celebrities across the globe, including ex-professional footballer David Beckham and the national New Zealand rugby team the All Blacks. The loyalty from athlete ambassadors is because the timepiece has developed from its diving heritage into an unbeatable sports watch.
Available in various versions including fabric straps and metal bracelets and several different colourways, the TUDOR Black Bay offers high robustness without compromising on style. Its strong case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass, and buckled clasp ensure that the watch will remain secure and undamaged during workouts. The Black Bay also retains the Submariner’s original water resistance of 200m making it a great choice for those who like to indulge in water sports.