Watches & Wonders: A Comprehensive Round-Up Of Tudor’s 2021 Releases
The brand’s 2021 novelties are bound to please devotees with sport-chic, formal, and more affordable offerings.
We’ve all been waiting with bated breath to see Tudor’s 2021 releases. The brand has gone from strength to strength in the last decade, presenting good-looking timepieces, interesting in-house movements, and providing exceptional value for money.
At Watches & Wonders Geneva this year, Tudor announced five new launches to their collection. While there was nothing revolutionary like the Tudor Black Bay P01 that debuted at Baselworld 2019, sometimes small incremental changes can have a big impact. Here’s a round-up up of Tudor’s 2021 transformational collection.
Black Bay Chrono
The biggest story from Tudor this year is the new white-on-black and black-on-white Black Bay Chronos. These models pay homage to the 1970 Oysterdate model — its first chronograph. The manufacture is also honoring its ties to motorsport. By placing these new pieces into the Black Bay family, the brand hopes to marry both driving and diving to create something sleeker, thinner, and very new.
Moreover, the Black Bay Chrono model were designed for purists. There are two new faces in the Black Bay Chrono collection, a panda and a reverse panda with either an opaline (panda) or a matte black (reverse panda) domed dial. The 41mm case has been reworked in satin-brushed and polished stainless steel, with a fixed bezel (also in steel) and a black anodized aluminum insert with a tachymetric scale. Fans will also want to take note of the “Snowflake” hands, a Tudor divers’ watch signature.
Its minimalistic dial layout makes the Black Bay Chrono even more recognizable. The classic characteristics of the Black Bay have been refined by the ingenious cut of the lower part of the sapphire crystal and a repositioned movement.
And even though the look of the watch is unmistakable, it is still very versatile. It comes with a choice of three strap designs: black Jacquard fabric, a black aged leather bund, or riveted steel bracelet. Plus, the inner workings are solid as well. It is powered by a COSC certified Manufacture Chronograph Calibre MT5813 with a silicon balance spring, a 70-hour power reserve, a column wheel, and vertical clutch. It’s also waterproof to 200m (660 ft).
This mechanism was derived from the high-precision chronograph calibre Breitling 01, the result of a lasting collaboration between the two brands, which have chosen to pool their expertise in the design and production of certain mechanical movements.
Available now, the Black Bay Chrono with a reverse panda dial on a black leather bund (ref. M79360N-0005), the Black Bay Chrono with a panda dial on a black leather bund (ref. M79360N-0006), the Black Bay Chrono with a reverse panda dial on a black Jacquard fabric strap (ref. M79360N-0007), and the Black Bay Chrono with a panda dial on a black Jacquard fabric strap (ref. M79360N-0008) are non-limited and priced at $4,900.
Also non-limited and available now, the Black Bay Chrono with a reverse panda dial on a steel bracelet (ref. M79360N-0001) and the Black Bay Chrono with a panda dial on a steel bracelet (ref. M79360N-0002) are priced at $5,225.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925
Tudor also announced a unique new version of its popular Black Bay Fifty-Eight model in 925 silver with an open caseback – two firsts for a Tudor divers' watch.
Silver once was a mainstay of watch cases, with the finish providing a superlative glow. As a material, however, it was not impervious to scratches, dings and tarnish. With the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925, Tudor has developed a top-secret but stable alloy of 925 silver designed to protect the appearance of the case.
It is an amazing proposition, and the immediate reaction from the watch community was enthusiastic. The 39mm case of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 is satin-finished for an incandescent matte look. And the dial and aluminum bezel have been executed in taupe, which plays up the vividness of the silver case and crown. The size and unexpected use of this precious metal present an arresting aesthetic dichotomy — is it a tool watch, or is it something more elegant?
The answer is that it is both. Its robust nature is reinforced by its Manufacture Calibre MT5400, certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) with a silicon hairspring and a 70-hour power reserve. This powerhouse is visible through an open caseback, making the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 the first Tudor dive watch to be made in silver and to offer a display back.
Both non-limited and priced at $4,300, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 on a brown leather strap (ref. M79010SG-0001) and the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 on a taupe fabric strap (ref. M79010SG-0002) are now available.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K
Keeping to the subject of precious metals, Tudor is also introducing a Black Bay Fifty-Eight in 18K yellow gold with an open case back. Two more firsts for a Tudor divers’ watch.
Experimenting with materials is a big trend in watchmaking at the moment. Manufactures from Panerai to Bulgari have made carbon, for example, completely acceptable in high end timepieces. Now Tudor is steering the conversation in another direction with this gold sports watch.
Like the 925, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K references the year in which the first Tudor divers’ watch — the reference 7924 or “Big Crown” — was introduced. And this timepiece keeps the mid-century style of the original with a 39mm and satin-finished case. But the overall effect is not too vintage — old-timey yellow gold watches were generally highly polished, but this one has a more modern matte look while the metal itself has a warm, greenish tinge.
You can dress the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K up or down — it comes with two straps in either a green Jacquard fabric with a gold band or a dark brown alligator.
It is also powered by the Manufacture Calibre MT5400. The case was re-engineered to allow for a waterproof display case back.
The non-limited Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K (ref. M79018v-0001) is available now and priced at $16,800.
Black Bay 41/36/32
Leading up to Watches & Wonders, there was a lot of speculation about what changes to the Black Bay line enthusiasts hoped to see from Tudor. But the brand also recognizes that some folks just like the classics and only want more size options. Ask, and ye shall receive: the 41, 36, and 32 models offer the celebrated Black Bay aesthetic in a range of multifunctional and affordable watches.
The gender-neutral Black Bay 41, 36, and 32 models have all the hallmarks of the Black Bay family, including those lovely angular “Snowflake” hands and Tudor’s lineage with divers’ watches. Of course, the appreciation of that aesthetic has evolved, and wearing a sporty steel watch is perfectly acceptable in almost any situation. But it’s exciting that the selection of sizes ranging from 32 to 41mm means there is a classic Black Bay that suits the proportions of any wrist size. They are also available with bracelet options: a Jacquard fabric, leather strap, or a 316L steel bracelet.
There’s a freedom of choice with the dial options: you can select either a black or blue lacquered or silver dial with applique hour markers, and the design of the display makes it easily scalable to different case sizes. At the same time, the indecisive needn’t get fussed about the dependability of the timepieces. These Black Bays are driven by the self-winding mechanical Calibre T600 with chronometer performance.
Ranging in price from $2,525 to $3,050, the Black Bay 41, 36, and 32 models are non-limited and available now.
All in all, an excellent gateway watch for the non-niche market.
Although you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it, Tudor’s 2021 releases aren’t just about the Black Bay family. With The 1926 line, the brand is renewing its commitment to Tudor’s roots in refined, sophisticated timekeeping.
The “1926” model name is a reference to the year “The Tudor” was first registered as a brand on behalf of Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf. And at the time, Tudor’s philosophy was to produce high-quality watches, both technically and aesthetically.
The latest additions to the Tudor family come in 28, 36, 39, or 41mm in a 316L steel case or a rose gold and 316L steel case. All the models feature such refined touches as domed dials with an embossed center and smooth minute scale. There is even a version with diamonds. These delicate designs are available in silver, opaline, white, or black, with applique even-numbered Arabic numerals between faceted arrow-shaped hour markers. There are also versions where the odd-numbered hour markers are set with diamonds.
Each dial in the 1926 line has a unique way of catching the light. Just as finely finished are the movements. The 1926 is fitted with either the Swiss self-winding, chronometer grade mechanical Calibre T201 for the 28mm model or the Calibre T601 for the other sizes. And while you can’t see the movement, it is finely decorated.
Ranging in price from $1,700 to $2,325, the 1926 models are non-limited and available now.