Profile: Tudor Heritage Black Bay

Tudor continues its impressive run in recent years with a fresh diving-inspired watch that we saw at BaselWorld 2012

When we covered the Tudor Heritage Chronograph in 2010, after seeing it at BaselWorld that year, we noted how impressed we were. At BaselWorld 2012, Tudor built on that moment with the new Heritage Black Bay model.

A simple 41mm stainless steel time-only watch, the name Black Bay should give you a hint of kind of watch this is. If not, the picture surely will. It has a distinctive and somewhat regal burgundy red unidirectional bezel and is water resistant to 200 meters. In all these characteristics, the watch is obvious in its charms.

Profile Tudor Heritage Black Bay

This special fabric strap accompanies all versions of the Heritage Black Bay. It is not a so-called Nato strap

One might think, ho-hum, another diving-inspired watch but one could easily feel that way about, say, a tourbillon for example. The important thing is that the Heritage Black Bay, or Reference 79220R is perfectly balanced and, at 41mm in diameter, neither too small nor too large. It is in a sort of Goldilocks space of being just right. The burgundy bezel, on the other hand, keeps the watch from looking ordinary, and marks it as a Tudor.

In our initial story on the release of the watch, we noted that the Black Bay watch is based on a historical model, as all Heritage collection watches are. In this case, it is a watch from 1954 called the Tudor Submariner (Reference 7922). However, it is worth noting that many elements of the Black Bay are entirely new to this model. For example, the word Submariner no longer appears anywhere.

Profile Tudor Heritage Black Bay 1

Take note of the "snowflake" hands and the specially aged vintage leather strap. You can just make out the burgundy insert on the crown

Profile Tudor Heritage Black Bay 2

The elegant profile of the Heritage Black Bay is enlivened by an engraved Tudor rose on the crown

 

To be specific about it, the Black Bay features new hands (called snowflake, which was used for select Tudor watches in the past), elongated lugs, enlarged case, Tudor rose engraved on the crown, domed sapphire crystal, domed black dial and a new folding clasp. Aficionados will be pleased to know that Tudor confirms that the burgundy color of the bezel is faithful to the original 1970s models and that the color is repeated on an insert in the crown.

Profile Tudor Heritage Black Bay 3

The luminous materials on the bezel, dial and hands in action

As mentioned earlier, the Black Bay is part of an illustrious collection that pays tribute to Tudor's past. This of course explains the Heritage name and, when one considers the Heritage Chronograph and the Heritage Advisor, goes a long way to establishing the Black Bay's credentials. Both the Chronograph and Advisor harken back to specific models - 1970 and 1957 models respectively - and thus build just the right emotive qualities for collectors.

Profile Tudor Heritage Black Bay 7

Note the highly distinctive pushers and bezel of the Tudor Heritage Chronograph

Again, it is worth emphasizing that while Tudor certainly wants to shine a spotlight on its history it is not creating recreating past glories. The Chronograph for example uses a bidirectional bezel meant for the original edition but never actually used. The Advisor takes this a step further by introducing new functions and displays to bring the watch into the 21st century.

Profile Tudor Heritage Black Bay 9

Revealed at BaselWorld 2011, the Tudor Heritage Advisor features a very useful alarm function in a handsome package

Let us return our focus to the watch at hand, to close. From reports at BaselWorld 2012, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay is acknowledged to wear extremely well, a quality that pictures can never reveal. Also, the aged leather strap version works well with the patina of the pink gold hands to suggest a certain vintage quality. Available with either this strap or a steel bracelet, each Black Bay comes with a special black fabric strap. 

Profile Tudor Heritage Black Bay 4

The fabric strap is equipped with this buckle while the other options come with a new folding clasp

Specifications

  • Reference 79220R
  • Case: 41 mm steel with polished and satin finish; screwed-down winding crown with Tudor rose
  • Bezel: Unidirectional rotating in steel with burgundy red disc
  • Movement; Self-winding mechanical movement
  • Power reserve: 38 hours
  • Crystal: Domed sapphire
  • Water resistance: 200 m (660 ft)
  • Bracelet/Strap: Steel bracelet or leather strap with folding clasp and safety catch, additional fabric strap with buckle

Tudor

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