The Tudor Black Bay is an iconic model for Tudor. It was the line that revived the Tudor name when it was first released back in 2012. When it was released and ever since then, it has struck a chord with collectors and it has consistently been seen as one of the best value watches in the market. The Black Bay was a reinterpretation of Tudor’s rich dive watch history and the brand drew upon design cues from their early Submariners in the 20th century, including the iconic ‘Snowflake’ hands, the ‘Big Crown’ no crown guard stainless steel case and the stainless steel riveted bracelet. With its vintage roots and that famous Rolex quality at such an attractive price point, it is hard not to love the Black Bay.
After quite a few years of production, there is now a whole range of Black Bays varying in colours and case material. That being said, my favourite would certainly have to be this version. This Black Bay was made in collaboration with the famous British department store, Harrods and is sold exclusively through the Harrods Fine Watch Room. While I am always sceptical of brands releasing new models with colour changes as the only difference, this one would have to be the exception for me. The Harrods Black Bay comes with a never before seen green bezel, which is the same iconic green that has represented Harrods ever since its inception and green accents in its depth rating and the tip of the seconds hand. The chapter ring, logo and chronometer rating is all in gilt alongside the gold hour marker surrounds, which is also a nice nod to the gold font of the Harrods logo. Another nice touch is the reversal of the depth rating, where Tudor put the feet first (660ft/200m) as a tribute to the ‘Britishness’ of Harrods.
While this is not strictly a limited edition as Tudor doesn’t do limiteds, there is a huge waitlist and Tudor aren’t making many of these. I have heard of clients waiting well over a year for their piece and the demand is out there. The green bezel is reminiscent of the Rolex ‘Kermit’ Submariner with its similar green bezel and I would certainly consider this the ‘Baby Kermit’.
For a long time, Tudor has been seen as the ‘Poor Man’s Rolex’ as when they were first created, their philosophy was to use Rolex cases and outsourced movements to save on cost. The old Tudor Submariners used ETA movements and for awhile the Black Bay did too. Now though, this Black Bay is powered by an in-house self-winding calibre MT5602, housed in a 41mm stainless steel bevelled case and takes on its own design cues without having to follow its big brother. Today, Tudor is seen as a brand that stands on its own two feet and has cemented itself as a powerful brand in its own right.