Surely, one of many extra sudden new Tudor releases unveiled this yr at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023 was the Black Bay 54. On condition that Tudor already supplied the usual 41mm Black Bay and the 39mm Black Bay Fifty-Eight in its present catalog, most individuals (myself included) assumed that Tudor would merely proceed to iterate upon these identical two core fashions. Nonetheless, whereas the model did introduce a brand new era of its full-size 41mm diver this yr, Tudor additionally unveiled an excellent smaller model within the type of the Black Bay 54, and the brand new mannequin attracts its inspiration from the very first Tudor dive watch that initially debuted in (you guessed it) 1954. Though the Tudor Black Bay 54 is hardly a precise recreation of its historic predecessor, the brand new mannequin does characteristic a lot of particulars that recall the unique classic Tudor Submariner ref. 7922 from 1954, together with a return to the basic 37mm case measurement that outlined the model’s first-ever dive watch.
Crafted from stainless-steel, the case of the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 recollects the proportions of the classic reference 7922. It measures 37mm in diameter by 11.24mm thick, making it about three-quarters of a millimeter thinner than the present Black Bay Fifty-Eight. Moreover, whereas the lugs are nonetheless set 20mm aside, the general lug-to-lug profile has additionally been barely decreased, and it now is available in at roughly 46mm. Identical to different Black Bay fashions, the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 options beveled lugs. Whereas the winding crown nonetheless sits on the 3 o’clock location completely devoid of crown guards, the form and stance of the crown has been up to date in comparison with earlier iterations of the Tudor Black Bay.
Not solely is the crown itself smaller, however the base of it now sits flush in opposition to the aspect of the case, moderately than barely protruding as a result of earlier fashions’ distinguished case tube. Moreover, moderately than that includes a wholly flat finish with a coin-edge type grip on the perimeters, the crown fitted to the brand new Black Bay 54 options extra distinguished angled fluting (much like what one can find on Rolex watches) with a barely extra rounded tip. That mentioned, identical to earlier Black Bay watches the tip of the crown on the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 continues to be signed with the model’s classic rose brand, and it screws down to assist create the identical 200 meters of water resistance that’s supplied by its bigger siblings
Just like different stainless-steel Black Bay fashions, the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 contains a stable screw-down caseback, whereas a domed sapphire crystal sits above the dial to supply fashionable scratch resistance with a vintage-leaning total look. Simply as you’d anticipate from one of many model’s dive watches, a unidirectional 60-minute timing bezel surrounds the crystal. Slightly than having a bezel insert constructed from ceramic just like the Pelagos, the Tudor Black Bay 54 is fitted with a black anodized aluminum insert to assist preserve its classic total aesthetic.
With that in thoughts, whereas the bezel inserts fitted to the bigger Black Bay fashions characteristic particular person hash marks for the primary fifteen minutes, the bezel on the Tudor Black Bay 54 solely options markings each 5 minutes. Moreover, in contrast to the black insert fitted to the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, which has gold textual content and a crimson triangle at its zero marker, the bezel on the Black Bay 54 embraces a wholly black and silver coloration profile, identical to the insert initially fitted to the classic Tudor Submariner ref. 7922 from 1954.
Whereas the dial and fingers of the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 are similar to what may be discovered on different Black Bay watches, they do characteristic a few noteworthy updates that additionally exist on the brand new third era of the full-size 41mm Black Bay diver. Whereas the dial nonetheless contains a barely domed, matte black floor with gold printing to emulate the looks of a classic gilt dial, the fingers embrace two delicate updates that carry them nearer to the type that may be discovered on the classic ref. 7922 from 1954.
Though the minute hand affords a lot of the identical pencil form as earlier than, the bottom of it now tapers inwards for a barely extra refined total look. Moreover, the luminous part on the seconds hand is now a normal circle form, moderately than being a diamond like what may be discovered on earlier variations of the Black Bay diver. That mentioned, whereas the classic ref. 7922 featured a Mercedes-style hour hand, the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 retains its signature Snowflake-style hour hand, which instantly helps to establish it as considered one of Tudor’s watches.
Powering the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 is the model’s manufacture Caliber MT5400, which is identical motion that may be discovered inside different current-production Tudor fashions, such because the Pelagos 39, together with the 18k gold, sterling silver, and bronze variations of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. Apparently, this can be a barely completely different motion than what’s used to energy the stainless-steel model of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight (which runs on the Cal. MT5402), though regardless of their completely different numbers, each actions supply an identical efficiency specs. Working at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with an influence reserve of roughly 70 hours, the Tudor Caliber MT5400 options an non-magnetic silicon hairspring, together with an open-worked monoblock rotor crafted from tungsten, and along with being a COSC-certified chronometer, Tudor goes above and past in relation to timekeeping tolerances, and the Cal. MT5400 is assured to maintain time with -2/+4 seconds per day, after casing.
Fitted to the lugs of the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 is a three-link stainless-steel bracelet that contains a fake rivet design on the aspect hyperlinks to imitate the looks of the classic rivet bracelets that got here with Tudor dive watches through the Fifties and Sixties. Whereas the precise classic bracelets have been constructed from folded items of metallic riveted collectively, Tudor’s fashionable bracelets supply fully stable hyperlinks secured by screws for higher resistance to put on and a extra premium really feel on the wrist.
Nonetheless, whereas the opposite stainless-steel Black Bay watches are additionally supplied with the choice of both leather-based or canvas straps, the one alternate choice for the Tudor Black Bay 54 is a black rubber strap that connects to the case with fitted end-links for an built-in total look. Each the stainless-steel bracelet and rubber strap are fitted with Tudor’s T-fit clasp, which options an built-in tool-free extension system that provides 5 positions of incremental adjustment for a complete vary of 8mm. Whereas I’ve nothing in opposition to normal pin buckles, I respect that Tudor additionally suits the T-fit clasp to the rubber strap, and this element makes it really feel like a reliable alternate choice to the stainless-steel bracelet that doesn’t sacrifice any performance.
With an official retail value of $3,625 USD when bought on the rubber strap (ref. m79000n-0002), or $3,850 USD ought to consumers go for the stainless-steel bracelet model (ref. m79000n-0001), the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 is barely inexpensive than its bigger siblings, though it’s nonetheless priced very a lot in-line with the remainder of the gathering. Whereas I’m certain that there shall be loads of collectors who respect the smaller measurement of the brand new mannequin and wish to see it supplied in different colours, it’s essential to keep in mind that this watch is actually Tudor’s homage to the classic Submariner ref. 7922. There’s a respectable likelihood that this more-compact Black Bay diver will completely be supplied in black, as this was the one coloration out there for the reference 7922 when it was first launched in 1954. With that in thoughts, this new mannequin is hardly a precise recreation of Tudor’s inaugural dive watch, and in a lot the identical approach that the model took liberties with its design as a way to carry it into the trendy period, I may additionally simply as simply see Tudor releasing numerous variations in different colours in some unspecified time in the future down the street, and ultimately increasing this new 37mm mannequin into a 3rd sub-collection throughout the higher Black Bay diver lineup. For extra data on the Tudor Black Bay 54, please go to the model’s web site.
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