With parts of its body borrowed from vintage models that were in production fifty or even seventy years ago, the new Tudor Heritage Black Bay automatic diver looks not like a tribute to classic “Rolex’s smaller brothers”, but rather like a Frankenstein’s monster of a watch. A very handsome-looking Frankenstein’s monster, for that matter. Perhaps, not even a monster at all.
Judging by the photos and information materials that I was able to find on the Internet (I would like to especially thank tudorcollector.com for that,) the watch uses two historic Tudor models as a source of inspiration.
Its barrel-shaped body with long lugs, as well as the luminous hour markers derivate from the 1954 Ref. 7922 model.
Introduced in 1954 or 1956 together with the legendary Rolex Submariner Ref. 6200 that lived a short life, but spawned the gorgeous Submariner Ref. 6538, the timekeeper from Tudor sported the same dial and an oversized 8 mm “Brevet +” crown but sported a different, lesser-grade movement.
However, the unidirectional rotating bezel and a rather unusual hour hand come courtesy of another model: a 1968 Tudor Snowflake Ref. 7021 that was first released as a simple three-hander, although later a date window with the famous magnifying lens was added.
To make the watch stand out, Tudor repainted the bezel disk in an attractive-looking Burgundy Red and added a more ergonomically shaped setting crown that, too, has a wine-red color accent.
Although the aforementioned historic watches had their crowns stamped with the Rolex, um, Crown, the new version has the element decorated with the Tudor Rose (also known as the Union Rose): an emblem that was introduced by Kink Henry VII back in late XV century and combined the Rosa Alba of York (inner part,) and the Red Rose of Lancaster (outer part) heraldic symbols.
As to the specs, the new timekeeper is offered in a pleasantly small (for a diver rated for 200 meters, at least) stainless steel case that combines polished and satin-finished surfaces. Being just 41 millimeters in diameter, the watch will be good enough not only for scuba diving but will also look great with jeans (on a textile NATO strap) and even with a business suit if worn on a bracelet.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay first emerged last week during Baselworld 2012 show and will possibly soon hit stores around the world.
It is expected to sell for as low as $3200 (on a “worn” leather strap,) while the version on a steel Oyster bracelet will set you back for some $3500.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay 200M (Ref. 79220R) specification
Price: $3100 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA 2892, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 41.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous, edged with 18-karat rose gold
Hands: Luminous, edged with 18-karat rose gold
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Aged brown leather strap or steel bracelet with folding clasp and safety catch, and a second black “NATO” textile strap with buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, domed
Back: Solid, engraved