The Tudor Black Bay is undoubtably a success story. You can’t deny its beauty, its quality or its darn right coolness. We loved it at first sight here, on Monochrome-Watches, whether in its first Burgundy / Red 79220R execution and even more with the Midnight Blue 79220B edition, with it’s more subdued colour pallet. With the latest novelties from the brand (Pelagos & North Flag), we we concerned Tudor may not continue to the evolution of the Black Bay – but thankfully, they didn’t, and we now have now a new edition, the Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle ref. 79220N. And here is our exclusive hands-on review of it.
Designed by / for Monochrome-Watches?
Well, clearly this is presumptuous of us. Of course, we didn’t designed it and we didn’t participate in the conception of this new Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N. However, let’s rewind and look back a few weeks before Baselword 2014. If you’re a regular reader of our magazine, you probably know that we LOVE attempting to predict what watches that Rolex or Tudor will present at the Basel Watch Fair. So, in early 2014, we did this article, where we tried to guess the watches that Tudor could possibly introduced at Baselworld 2014. And guess what…? There was a Tudor Black Bay Black bezel in it (and a Pelagos blue too, that has been launched this year). Except on little detail (the red triangle), our photoshop mockup is 100% faithful to the actual watch we’re about to review. Well Tudor, if your out there listening and you need designers for your watches in the future? We can help… all joking aside, of course we didn’t participate in the creation of the new Black Bay 79220N but… let’s dream a bit and let us think that we gave Tudor the idea (just a bit)…
The Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N in the flesh and in details
Basically, there’s no big changes on this edition of the Tudor Black Bay. In our mind, it is a combination of existing editions: the case and dial of Burgundy Red 79220R fitted with the bezel of the unique Tudor Black Bay One ref. 7923/001 made for Only Watch 2015. Like the rest of the Heritage collection, the Tudor Black Bay is inspired by vintage watches made by Tudor – mainly during the late 1950s, the 1960s and the early 1970s, this was, what many describe as the “golden ages” of sports watches. When launched in 2012, the Black Bay didn’t hide its inspirations, it was clear to see the similarity to many vintage Submariner references, for example ref. 7922, ref. 7923, ref. 7924 and the Mk I and Mk II versions of the ref. 7928. Then came the blue edition, that unearthed some design clues from the Tudor Marine Nationale 9401 (same snowflake hands, same blue bezel). Finally, the unique Tudor Black Bay One ref. 7923/001 paid tribute to the Ref. 7923, with its baton hands, a lollipop second hand, a black bezel, a black gilt dial and a bracelet without end-links.
For the new Tudor Black Bay Black 79220N, we can see the obvious links with the early Tudor Submariner Ref. 7922 (a link that is now even stronger than with the Burgundy edition). The Submariner 7922 (you can see an example here) came with a straight case (no crown protection), a big crown, a black gilt dial with gilt hands (Mercedes hands however, and not the snowflake hands that came later at Tudor), a 200m depth rating and a black bezel, with 60-minute diver scale. Some even featured a red triangle on the bezel at 12. All of these features are now reinterpreted in a single watch, the Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N. Let’s have a look at all these details.
- The case of the Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N
No big deal here compared to the previous Red 79220R and Blue 79220B editions. We found the same 41mm stainless steel case, with a typical Submariner design – straight flanks, tapered lugs – that is a feature shared by the other two references. We also have the same execution, with polished casebands, satin-finish flat surfaces and bevelled angles on the lugs. The crown is still the same, with no protection and a large diameter – so called big-crown – and with the Tudor Logo engraved on it (the Rose). The only noticeable difference is the insert around the crown tube, that is matching with the bezel, like the two other references. Thus, it’s now black.
The shape of the bezel is still the same, with 60 clicks and a notched profile. As the rest of the collection, the Tudor Black Bay Black 79220N will be available on stainless steel bracelet (a typical 3-link oyster bracelet, with superb quality and great comfort) or with an aged, black leather strap mounted on a deployant buckle. In addition, whatever the edition you’ll choose, you’ll get a black fabric strap in the box (the one you can see here on the photos).
- The dial and hands of the Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N
For this Black Edition ref. 79220R, Tudor brings back to life the old Ref. 7922 that came with a black gilt dial, meaning the hands are in gold and the dial has golden inscriptions and a minute track. Thus, it feels natural to find back here the dial of the Black Bay Burgundy / Red without any updates or modifications. It the exactly the same.
So, on this Tudor Black Bay Black 79220N, the dial is matt black with a grainy surface and slightly domed on the periphery (something that gives an interesting vintage-look). It features the gilt minute track around the dial and the logo and inscriptions at 6 are still the same and using a golden paint. The applied indexes, as well as the snowflake hands, are made in rose gold and filed with faux-patina luminous paint (main difference here between the Red and the Black editions compared to the Blue one, is that it comes with silver hands and indexes and white luminous paint). In every aspects, this Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel features the same dial / hands as the Burgundy edition.
- The bezel of the Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N
Here is the focal novelty. As stated in it’s name, the new Tudor Black Bay Black 79220N has… a black bezel, with a red triangle marker at 12. Here’s the link with the unique Tudor Black Bay One ref. 7923/001 of Only Watch 2015. It utilizes the same design and the same execution. While the bezel is red on the 79220R and dark blue on the 79220B, here we have a bezel with a black inset, but still with the same 60-minute diver scale, with one-minute markers from 0 to 15. The only difference being, the burgundy and the blue bezel were a slightly glossy and metallised, this black bezel is matt and uniform. For the rest, the design, the pearl at 12 and the manipulation of the bezel are identical to the two other editions.
The other novelty is of course the red triangle (the burgundy and the blue editions have a silver triangle, like the rest of the inscriptions of the bezel). This red triangle is reminiscent of some editions of vintage Submariners – not all of them, making the red triangle watches kind of rare – and this feels appropriate in the context of this new Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N. The inspiration of the old Tudor Ref. 7922 is clearer than ever.
- The new in-house movement on the Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N
Sorry to disappoint some of you, but there’s no evolution on the technical side. You won’t see the new in-house calibre MT5612 (revealed in the new North Flag and that is now in the Pelagos 2015 edition) in the Black Bay (at least for the moment).
The Tudor Black Bay, even this new Black Bezel 79220R, still relies on the Calibre 2824, which basically is an ETA 2824 (top grade) with a few modifications (Tudor removes the date function, changes the anti-shock mechanism and updates slightly the hairspring stud). This movement runs at a modern 28,800 bhp frequency, features a hacking second mechanism and boasts 38 hours of power reserve. It is a realible and precise movement that will perfectly do the job in this kind of sports watch. It will run for years and be very easy and cheap to service.
- The Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N compared to the two other editions
When having the there editions in the hands, and as there is no real technical or visual difference between them (except the hands, the indexes and the bezel), it’s more a matter of tastes. The Burgundy edition was a bit noisy and too coloured for some. The blue one, that came two years later in 2014, was on the other hand really cold – which hasn’t prevented it from being a great commercial success. To conclude, this Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N is a wonderful achievement for the brand. In our mind it is the the one that everybody was expecting, the one made for the hardcore collectors. It boasts all the vintage details, so dear to collectors: the black bezel, the red-triangle, the gilt dial, the snowflake hands, the bevelled lugs, the big crown, the domed dial and sapphire, the straight case… all of these are very cool tribute to the past and create in the end, a very cool collection – which now feels finished, with the black edition on the front cover of the book.
The Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel / Red Triangle 79220N feels a bit more serious than the two previous colored editions and will clearly be a success. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. When comes the question of the choice, let’s say that it’s difficult and that remains a matter of tastes and of feeling on the wrist. The main issue is that, on a personal basis, I wouldn’t mind having the Black one next to my own Blue edition…
Specifications & Price
Like its blue and red siblings, the priced will be:
- Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel 79220N – Stainless Steel bracelet: 3,210 Euros
- Tudor Black Bay Black Bezel 79220N – aged leather strap: 2,910 Euros
- CASE: Steel case, 41 mm, polished and satin finish
- BEZEL: Unidirectional rotatable steel bezel with matt black disc
- MOVEMENT: Self-winding mechanical movement, TUDOR calibre 2824
- POWER RESERVE: Power reserve of approximately 38 hours
- WINDING CROWN: Screw-down winding crown in steel engraved with the TUDOR rose, with black anodized aluminium crown tube
- DIAL: Black, pink gold applied indexes, pink gold hands
- CRYSTAL: Domed sapphire crystal
- WATERPROOFNESS: Waterproof to 200 metres
- BRACELET: Steel bracelet or aged leather strap with folding clasp and safety catch. Additional fabric strap with buckle supplied with watch