As we’re getting closer and closer to the year’s end, and probably looking to put 2021 behind us quickly for several no-need-to-mention reasons, we’re also looking back on what has been a very interesting year in watchmaking. Not only did we see a very impressive run of new watches, but several brands have seemingly stepped up their game and brought us some exciting news. New colours, new materials, entirely new models, and more. Tudor has been one of the most active brands this year and today we’re looking back at what we think are the best novelties by Tudor in 2021. And as you’d expect, there are multiple Black Bay models listed, with one obvious exception.
Tudor Black Bay Chrono Panda
The first Tudor Black Bay Chrono appeared on the market in 2017 but was received with mixed emotions. This year we saw a new and improved take on the concept, in the popular “Panda” style (or Reverse Panda of course). The Tudor Black Bay Chrono Panda features all the hallmarks that make the Black Bay such a success and adds in the attractive look of a white dial with black sub-registers or vice versa. The biggest evolution next to the dial is the bezel, which is now made in contrasting black anodized aluminium and dramatically increases the contrast and visually reduces its size. Power still comes from the MT5813 chronograph movement, similar to earlier Black Bay chronographs.
Quick Facts: 41mm x 14.2mm – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – fixed bezel with anodised aluminium insert – screw-down crown and pushers – 200m water-resistance – domed dial in opaline white with black-coloured counters or black with silver-coloured counters – snowflake hands, applied indices, Super-LumiNova on all elements – MT5813 integrated chronograph movement (Breitling B01 base) – automatic winding – column-wheel and vertical clutch – 28,800vph – variable inertia balance and silicon hairspring – 70h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 45-minute counter and date – EUR 4,920
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925
A surprise choice of materials by Tudor, as back in April they presented the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925. The use of silver for cases is nothing new, as back in the early days of watchmaking it was a very common material to use. Next to the gold and bronze edition, this completes the full podium for Rolex’s sister brand. An unexpected move for sure, executed with a brilliant taupe colour scheme for dial, bezel and strap. According to Tudor, the undisclosed specific alloy used in the 925 comes with properties “such that use does not affect the appearance of the case”. The result is a unique looking watch with an unusual shine to it, something that comes across far better live than it does in any image. It also comes with a see-through caseback, a first for the Black Bay line-up, revealing the manufacture Calibre MT5400.
Quick Facts: 39mm x 12mm – 925 silver case (special alloy) – entirely brushed finish – unidirectional rotating bezel in 925 silver – anodised aluminium taupe insert with silver 60-minute scale – screw-down crown with rose logo – sapphire crystal and caseback – 200m water-resistance – domed taupe-coloured dial – applied silver-coloured indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – Calibre MT5400, manufacture – COSC-certified – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 70h power reserve – variable inertia balance with silicon balance spring – 70h power reserve – dark brown grained leather strap with 925 silver pin buckle – EUR 4,050
Tudor Black Bay Ceramic
Perhaps the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic is the most important Black Bay we’ve seen from a technical perspective. With a full matte-black ceramic case and of course, the METAS Master Chronometer certified movement, it elevates the watch into much more than a basic retro-inspired dive watch. It combines the scratch-resistant and tactile nature of ceramics with a movement that is tested far beyond the classic chronometer certification. What’s important to distinguish is while COSC focuses on movement performance alone, METAS covers all aspects of the watch; precision, water-resistance, power-reserve, magnetic resistance, origin. To successfully pass all tests, Tudor developed an upgraded movement based on its existing MT56xx series, the MT5602-1U.
Quick Facts: 41mm diameter – matte black ceramic case, micro-blasted finish and monobloc middle case – unidirectional rotating bezel in black PVD coated steel – black ceramic insert with 60-minute scale – screw-down crown – sapphire crystal and caseback – 200m water-resistance – matte black domed dial with applied indices and beige Super-LumiNova – Snowflake hands with beige Super-LumiNova – MT5602-1U manufacture movement, COSC and METAS Master Chronometer certified – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 70h power reserve -blackened bridges with geometric patterns – black tungsten rotor – hybrid leather and rubber strap with additional fabric strap – EUR 4,440
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze
While bronze watches have been somewhat of a trend for several years, there’s a very good reason the material is usually reserved for a watch’s case only; Patina. This is the prime reason the material has a solid fanbase, but also the prime reason virtually no manufacturer will offer more than just a bronze cased watch. One exception is Tudor, who presented the full bronze Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight. This has a unique alloy that should patinate far slower and more stable than regular bronze. An important technical update that sets this apart from other BB58’s (or BB’s for that matter) is the micro-adjustment clasp in the bracelet.
Quick Facts: 39mm x 11.9mm – bronze case, brushed – unidirectional bronze rotating bezel – matte-brown anodised bezel insert – screw-down crown – 200m water-resistance – gradient brown-bronze domed dial – gold-coloured applied indices – hands and indices filled with Super-LumiNova – MT5400 manufacture movement – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 70h power reserve – solid bronze bracelet with micro-adjustment clasp – non-limited edition available in Tudor boutiques only – EUR 4,250
Tudor Pelagos FXD
We have to include pretty much the only non-Black Bay release by Tudor this year, but it caused quite a sensation when presented; the Tudor Pelagos FXD. This new mil-spec dive watch, based on the Pelagos architecture yet designed and built in accordance with the requirements of actual combat divers. And as such, it has a few tricks up its sleeve. The first thing people might notice is the “backwards” diving scale on the bezel, which is actually a countdown timer used for navigational purposes by “frogmen”. The second distinct feature is the inclusion of fixed lugs, allowing for one-piece straps only. And finally, as combat divers rarely exceed 30m of depth, the water-resistance was reduced to 200m, allowing for a slimmer case, less likely to get stuck on anything.
Quick Facts: 42mm x 12.75mm – monobloc titanium case – fixed lugs – bidirectional titanium rotating bezel with ceramic insert – 60-minute countdown scale – 200m water-resistance – navy blue dial with white applied indices – snowflake hour hand with sword-shaped minute hand – white and blue snowflake seconds hand – Super-LumiNova – MT5602 manufacture calibre – automatic winding – COSC-certified – 28,800vph – 70h power reserve – one-piece blue fabric strap and blue rubber strap with titanium buckle – EUR 3,650
For more information, please visit www.tudorwatch.com.