Monochrome Watches
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The New Tudor Black Bay Master Chronometer is a Classic Monochrome Diver

Some will call it boring... I prefer to call it a superb watch for the next 20 years.

| By Brice Goulard | 8 min read |

A classic that has been in the collection for over 12 years and, without a doubt, the brand’s cornerstone model, the classic 41mm Tudor Black Bay is now in its third generation. If design-wise not much has changed at first sight, the watch you see today is, in many ways, a much more advanced instrument than when it was first released in 2012. Following last year’s major update applied to the burgundy-gilt version, the Tudor Black Bay Master Chronometer collection has been expanded with the replacement of the black version, now offered in an ultra-classic, no-gilt, all-monochrome model. And I have a few (positive) things to say about it.

Evolution, not revolution, is the motto that we have long associated with Rolex, and it seems to also apply to Tudor in a slightly less strict manner. Rolex and its Submariner are the perfect example of keeping things as evolutionary as possible. In a way, this might be how you create an icon – I’m pretty sure Porsche with its 911, Apple with its iPhone or Omega with its Moonwatch won’t disagree. While Tudor has shown that it could take some liberties and be far more creative than mother brand Rolex, the Black Bay (understand by this short name the classic time-only 41mm version, not the more compact Black Bay 58 or the even more compact Black Bay 54) is the timeless model of the brand.

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An instrumental watch in the brand’s resurrection, the Black Bay launched in 2012 was first presented with a burgundy-coloured bezel. Later released with a blue bezel, and then with a black bezel, the first major update appeared in 2016. Tudor decided to replace the outsourced ETA movement with a manufacture calibre by Kenissi (a movement maker partially owned by Tudor) but kept the design almost intact, save for different printings on the dial. Last year, the Black Bay entered its third generation, marking the most profound update on this model: new case, new bracelets, revamped dial, reworked dimensions and a Master Chronometer certification for the manufacture movement. And yet, it retained the same overall design. Maybe for the best.

2023 Tudor Black Bay Burgundy Master Chronometer M7941A1A0RU
The burgundy version of 2023.

While many were predicting the release of the classic 41mm Black Bay in a blue bezel edition, the brand decided to (slightly) surprise us by relaunching the bl ck model. But not exactly as we’ve known it in the past. For nine years, the Black Bay black bezel was fitted with gilt accents on the dial. Well, this is not the case anymore, as we are now treated to the so-called Black Bay Monochrome (nothing to do with us… even though this might be how we’d envision our own take on the BB). Why such a move? I think that it has to do with how each model in the Black Bay collection is positioned. The BB58 and BB54 are retro-inspired takes on the dive watch, while the BB now seems to be positioned as the classic, contemporary version – the brand’s Submariner, in a way.

The updated design

With this new Black Bay Master Chronometer Monochrome, there’s really nothing that we haven’t talked about last year, at least for the case and technical specifications. As such, the case retains the proportions of last year’s burgundy version, meaning that we’re looking at a fairly reproportioned watch. Tudor corrected one of the main flaws of the BB, its thickness. The previous manufacture models were 41mm in diameter and about 14.8mm in thickness. The third generation Black Bay is now 13.6mm in height, yet with the same 41mm diameter and a lug-to-lug measurement of about 50mm.

It isn’t a small watch by any means (if you want that, look at the BB58 and BB54), but it offers a pleasant ride. What’s more important than the numbers is the work done on the shape of the case, with thinner flanks and a more pronounced d med back. The thinner measurement is thus visually reinforced by this design trick, as well as the box-shaped sapphire crystal that accounts for at least 1mm. We can only wish for this to be applied to the BB GMT and BB Pro… For the rest, it’s classic Black Bay, with satin-finished and polished surfaces, a 200m water-resistance and a nice polished bevel on the sides. But there were some updates last year on the bezel, with a more pronounced fluting on the edge for a better grip, as well as a new crown, which has a more traditional fluted design, a Tudor rose in relief, and that sits closer to the case.

2023 Tudor Black Bay Burgundy Master Chronometer M7941A1A0RU

For this second edition of the Black Bay Master Chronometer, Tudor treats us to a black version. While not much has changed on the side of the bezel – still aluminium, still black with silver markings, still equipped with a luminous pearl – the brand has given this watch a full monochromatic treatment. First, the red triangle on the bezel has been removed. I don’t know yet if I’m happy or not about that, but it fits the overall monochrome idea. Then, the dial has been reworked and is now a “no gilt” version. Gone are the gold-coloured hands, markers and tracks. Everything you see is either black, silver-coloured or white. There is not a single touch of colour on this reference 7941A1A0NU. Compared to the polarizing burgundy version, it’s really night and day. Some small updates have been carried over here, such as the lightly sunray-brushed dial (matte previously) and the redesigned handset (lollipop second, pencil-style minute).

Besides these visual updates, the main change on the Black Bay is the movement. Well, to be precise, the certifications applied to the movement. The calibre MT5602-U is, technically speaking, almost identical to the movement used since 2016, but now it’s been Master Chronometer-certified according to the METAS testing procedure. Launched in 2015 by METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology and Omega, it’s been used by Tudor since 2021. This certification includes certifying the watches as chronometers first by COSC (-4/+6 sec/day), then Tudor applies a 6-second (-2/+4) variation standard on its fully assembled watches, and finally, METAS requires a Master Chronometer-certified watch to run within a tolerance range of 5 seconds (0/+5). It also controls that the watch is impervious to magnetic fields below 15,000 gauss, as well as the waterproofness, power reserve and Swissness of the watch.

The rest of the movement is classic Tudor x Kenissi, with a silicon hairspring, a variable inertia balance, a transversal balance bridge, a 4Hz frequency and a 70h of power reserve. But now it comes with one of the most demanding certifications on the market.

Finally, just like the burgundy version, Tudor offers three different options to strap this monochrome Black Bay on the wrist. First, there’s the classic rivet-style Oyster 3-link bracelet. Then, there’s a new 5-link, Jubilee-style bracelet with polished central links, giving the watch a slightly more retro look. And, on the more modern side, Tudor offers a black rubber strap, which comes with end-links. Importantly, all options are equipped with a folding clasp and the brand’s T-F system. Offering five positions, this practical micro-adjustment system allows wearers to carry out a fine, instant adjustment of the total length of the bracelet along an adjustment window of 8mm. Also, a small detail that shows the brand’s dedication to durability, the clasp is fitted with ceramic ball bearings.

Personal thoughts

This watch might sound boring to some. But to me, this monochrome Black Bay Master Chronometer is simply one of the best classic dive watches currently available, a watch that packs feature after feature, one that will still look purposeful many years from now, one that is probably not the most striking or original but that comes with a timelessness that is highly important to the end consumer. In many ways, the Tudor Black Bay was already the Submariner alternative that many could consider acquiring (not only because of its price but also its avai ability). With this new monochrome version (which we like, of course), considering everything that the watch offers, it’s becoming more than just an alternative. It’s one of the main options to consider if you’re looking to buy yourself a great, classic-looking dive watch for the next two or three decades to come.

Whether you like it or not (and I can’t argue with your personal tastes), we must recognize that, objectively, Tudor is doing an impressive job in delivering superb quality and advanced technical features at a price that still seems fair – something that’s rare enough in the current market. If you compare it to a no-date Submariner 124060 (priced at EUR 9,400 now, so more than twice the Tudor), the BB offers a lot. It might not have the same fine details and prestige as the Rolex, but it compensates with a no-nonsense appeal and a purposefulness that makes it highly desirable, too. And as said, while you might consider its looks slightly mundane, this BB actually is a great example of a classic, timeless dive watch that won’t go out of fashion. And when you’re spending your hard-earned money, I do think it matters.

Availability & Price

The Tudor Black Bay Master Chronometer 7941A1A0NU is now available from boutiques and retailers and is part of the permanent collection. It retails at EUR 4,260 on the rubber strap, EUR 4,470 on the rivet-like bracelet and EUR 4,580 on the 5-link bracelet. For more details, please visit

9 responses

  1. This has to be the most boring release of the year, i would just get a 14060, a lot more iconic, why get a copy?

  2. @Mandy Gelien – it is a Master Chronometer, thus far exceeding the classic requirements of a standard chronometer… It’s fully explained in the article!

  3. I’m still sticking with my Pelagos 39, similar colour way, better size and just as attractively anonymous

  4. I won’t discuss the look and the notoriety of the brand as they are very subjectives topics, but specs wise i still find it too thick, the lug to lug is also too long re and the METAS movement can only be take care of by Tudor which can be long and expensive.

    Brand like Formex for example will give you with their Reef a 11.4 mm thick, 39,5 mm and 45.5 mm L2L, 300m wr case with a Cosc SW300 movement that any proper watchmaker would fix for a reasonable amount, and the all thing for less than half the price of this Tudor.

    To me the 3k/5k price range in watches industry might get in trouble at some point justifying their prices, but it’s just my two cents, i might be totally wrong .

    Oh, by the way, i own a Tudor BB 36 and an Omega PO 39.5 ( too thick as well) so there is no Tudor or Metas bashing in my comment 😉 !

  5. @phil a 14060 is smaller, arguably not as well built, at least twice the price and says Rolex on the dial.

    For people that have issues with any of the above then this is a great option.

    For those that don’t then for sure go with the 14060.

  6. I prefer the Pelagos 39, it looks cleaner. The hand stack also looks better blacked out.


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