BY ERIK SLAVEN
Tudor launched the Black Bay collection back in 2012 and it’s since become a best seller with many variations to choose from. It started life as a vintage-inspired diver and that’s generally where it remains, but chronographs and other variants have become popular alternatives. The latest model moves away from its diving roots by morphing into a stylish GMT watch with a fixed steel bezel à la the Rolex Explorer II (ref. 1655). The dial also has a bit of the (now discontinued) North Flag vibe, but is clearly based on the traditional Black bay design.
The stainless steel case is very wearable at 39mm in diameter and has a satin brushed finish with a matching 24-hour steel bezel. This isn’t the first GMT Black Bay model as a second sports a rotating 24-hour Pepsi bezel (ref. 79830RB), but it definitely has a distinctive personality. The signed crown (with Tudor rose) screws down and water resistance is rated at 200 meters. It’s not a dive watch per se, but you can certainly dive with it. Lug width is 20mm, so it’ll be easy to find alternatives if you’re not happy with what’s offered. Options include a three-link steel bracelet with folding clasp, a fabric and rubber hybrid with folding buckle or black fabric with a pin buckle and yellow stripe. All work well with the case.
The domed black lacquered dial features applied ceramic indices in beige with Super-LumiNova. Classic Black Bay snowflake and sword-style hour and minute hands are here and also filled with Super-LumiNova, and the seconds hand has lume as well. The 24-hour snowflake hand is bright yellow, contrasting with the beige dial elements, and an instantaneous jumping date sits at 3 o’clock with a beige background. A retro domed sapphire crystal protects the dial and provides nice distortions at angles like old-school acrylic.
Powering the watch is Tudor’s latest in-house caliber MT5652, which is running the other GMT model as well. It’s a COSC-certified chronometer and features an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring. It has 28 jewels, beats at 4Hz with a 70-hour power reserve. The local hour hand can jump forward or backwards via the crown in one-hour increments, and the date jumps forward or backwards as well with the hour hand. In lieu of a gradual shift between hour indices, the hour hand jumps per hour during normal operation. This GMT functionality is integrated and not a separate module.
The new Tudor Black Bay Pro retails for EUR 3,480 or USD 3,675 with either strap option (ref. M79470-003 rubber/fabric hybrid and ref. M79470-002 black fabric). The steel bracelet brings it to EUR 3,770 or USD 4,000 (ref. M79470-0001). Not bad at all for a GMT Black Bay with in-house automatic and silicon balance spring. Visit Tudor here.