The Tudor Heritage Black Bay needs no introduction anymore. Despite its short life (launched in 2012), this watch made it to the status of modern icon, known by most, respected by many, envied by some. This watch has been the main contributor to Tudor’s recent success, and the brand quickly capitalized on this status, creating many variations. The latest to date will surprise, not because of its nice brushed-steel bezel and its usual vintage-inspired details but because, for the first time, a Tudor Heritage Black Bay features a calendar function. Introducing the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel 79730, now WITH DATE.
“Wait, a date in the Tudor BB? Yes sir, the date function made it to this usually time-only vintage-inspired model. Ok, but why? Wasn’t this watch supposed to be a re-interpretation of the past, of vintage Tudor Submariner watches? Yes, it was and it still does.”
However, while most other editions were based on 1950s and 1960s models, the new Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel 79730 Date is looking at another period, the “young-timers“, the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, the new Black Bay Steel immediately made me think of one specific model, the late 1990s Tudor Prince Date Submariner 79190 (a 39mm Sub with date function and steel bezel, polished however, and with triangular indexes, introduced in 1997 – you can read details about this watch on the official website of Tudor, in the history section). This watch was actually the last of the Subs, before the comeback of Tudor in the dive watch field, with the Black Bay.
So, what do we have with this new Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel 79730 Date? Well, basically, the same good-old Tudor Black Bay. The case, the dial, the hands, the vintage details… Everything that made the model so successful and praised by collectors is there. The steel case is still the 41mm wide one, with large crown (to match the dial, the crown tube is in black anodized aluminum), the same finishing as other BB watches (polished casebands, large polished bevel running from a lug to another, brushed surfaces on top), a 22mm lug width, the choice between the cool riveted steel bracelet and a khaki green fabric strap, for a more casual and military look (a version with black aged leather strap with folding clasp will also be available). Faithful to the rest of the collection, the Black Bay Steel 79730 is waterproof to 200m.
Now comes the differences. First of all, as indicated by its name, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel 79730 features a steel bezel insert. The base of the bezel remains the same, meaning a uni-directional diving bezel with 60 clicks and a 60-minute scale. The insert, instead of the burgundy, blue or black aluminum insert used on other versions, is now steel, with a circular brushing, giving a even more toolish but also slightly more modern look to the Black Bay – more uniform also. The scale and markers are not printed as it used to be before but engraved and then filled with black paint. The luminous pointer at 12 is again here matched with a red triangle (a desirable vintage reference).
Now, what about the big deal: the date function? For the first time, the Black Bay is featured with a date window. Instead of the traditional rectangular index at 3, there’s now a small date feature, printed on a white disc, yet without the cyclops used in past models. For the rest, the dial remains the same, meaning domed, matte black, with silver applied indexes and tracks, white luminous paint (no faux-patina here), the snow-flake hands and the depth-range printed in red. The addition of a date also means a change of movement. For the occasion, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel 79730 Date takes its movement from the Pelagos (see here), the Calibre MT5612. Compared to the movement used in the Manufacture Black Bay without date ref. 79230, it only differs by the addition of the date function.
This movement is produced by Tudor, exclusive to the brand and comes with serious modern construction and functions. Robust, precise and reliable were the main objectives here. The Calibre MT5612 boasts a comfortable 70-hour power reserve, beats at 4Hz and is regulated by a variable inertia oscillator with antimagnetic silicon balance spring (held in place by a traversing bridge guaranteeing its robustness). This movement is chronometer certified by COSC. The date has instantaneous jumps with rapid adjustment.
Overall, Tudor brings a more modern, slightly more practical version with this Heritage Black Bay Steel 79730 Date. Some of the previous Black Bay owners will potentially dislike the addition of the date, yet many possible customers will be pleased to see the addition of this practical feature. The steel bezel on the other hand brings a properly toolish aspect to the watch, and this might attract quite a few watch lovers again… Price to be conformed during Baselworld 2017. More details on tudorwatch.com.
Specifications of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel 79730 Date
- Case: 41mm diameter – stainless steel with polished and brushed surfaced – screw-down winding crown – domed sapphire crystal – 200m water resistance
- Dial / Bezel – matte black dial, domed, applied indexes – unidirectional rotating bezel in steel with 60-minute graduated steel disc, black engraved markings
- Movement: Calibre MT5612, in-house – chronometer certified by COSC – automatic – 70h power reserve – 4Hz frequency – silicon balance spring – hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Strap: riveted steel bracelet or black aged leather strap with folding clasp – both versions with an additional khaki green fabric strap
- Reference: 79730