Simple but effective: if anyone thought that Tudor was running out of ideas for its hugely successful Black Bay, think again. Taking a lead from sister brand Rolex’s design language, which has on occasion fitted its tool watches with engraved bezels in natural steel, Tudor has followed its alliterative colour run of blue, burgundy, black and bronze versions with this neutral alternative.
Steel bezels with engraved scales or graduations have graced many of the coolest watches of all time, most notable among them being certain Rolex Daytonas and the Explorer II, the earliest Omega Speedmaster, Breitling Chronomats and many others. Usually, though, they’re fixed in place and etched with tachymeter graduations, and far less common on diving watches.
This time, the steel bezel’s markings form a 60-minute, diver-friendly scale with minute-indications for the quarter-hour, and the bezel is a unidirectional, rotating type – therefore far less common and all the more intriguing for it. It also bestows upon the watch a period feel, but then the Black Bay has always been about retro.
If the makeover recalls anything for this enthusiast, it’s certain versions of the super-rare, screamingly-expensive Rolex Zerograph and Centregraph chronographs from the 1930s, and this may be the closest one gets to that look for one per cent of the value. Even though the Black Bay is not a chronograph, the look is similar, as the Zerograph and Centregraph did not have sub-dials. Yummy.