Initially launched in 2012, the Tudor Black Bay assortment is the model’s lineup of vintage-inspired dive watches that pay tribute to the long-lasting fashions from the model’s historical past. Whereas retro styling has at all times been a function of the Black Bay assortment, the unique Black Bay fashions have been sized for client preferences on the time, providing a completely classic look however with a case dimension of 41mm. Whereas the unique Tudor Black Bay was a convincing success by all accounts, many collectors wished a model of the Black Bay that extra carefully adhered to the case dimension of the classic fashions, and when the Black Bay Fifty-Eight appeared in 2018 with a 39mm case, it supplied precisely what the folks had been asking for for the reason that inaugural fashions made their look six years earlier than. Tudor clearly understands that individuals who like classic watches respect smaller case sizes with traditionally correct proportions, and as a part of its newest batch of recent releases for Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, the Tudor Black Bay 54 has joined the lineup, providing a good smaller case than the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, and drawing its inspiration from the reference 7922, which was launched in 1954 and holds the excellence of being Tudor’s first-ever dive watch.
At a fast look, the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 (ref. m79000n) affords a lot of the identical total look as different members from the up to date Black Bay lineup, though its stainless-steel case has been additional lowered to recall the compact 37mm case dimension of the unique mannequin. Much like different Black Bay fashions, the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 contains a spherical case with beveled lugs that lacks any kind of crown guards for the winding crown on the 3 o’clock location. Nonetheless, whereas the crowns fitted to the unique Black Bay and the smaller Black Bay Fifty-Eight featured a flat profile with a coin-edge rim, the winding crown on the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 affords a form and design that faithfully remembers what may be discovered on the unique classic mannequin from 1954. That stated, somewhat than that includes the Rolex coronet like its classic counterpart, the crown on the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 options the identical rounded high with fluted sides, however is now signed with Tudor’s rose brand. Sitting above the dial is a domed sapphire crystal, whereas a strong screw-down caseback is fitted to the reverse aspect of the watch, and identical to different members from the present Black Bay assortment, water resistance for the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 is available in at a decent 200 meters. Surrounding the crystal is a unidirectional rotating timing bezel fitted with a black aluminum insert, though in contrast to the remainder of the fashions from the Black Bay sequence, the insert fitted to the Tudor Black Bay 54 lacks hash marks for the person minutes, identical to the classic ref. 7922 dive watch from 1954.
The black dial fitted to the Tudor Black Bay 54 may be very a lot in-line with what may be discovered on the remainder of the gathering, that includes a barely domed floor with utilized hour markers and gold printing to emulate the looks of the gilt dials that have been fitted to the unique fashions. Though the dial affords a heavy dose of classic inspiration, it’s hardly an actual recreation of what may be discovered on the ref. 7922, and the gold-finished surrounds for the utilized markers assist to supply it with a barely extra elevated total look. Moreover, somewhat than that includes a Mercedes fashion handset just like the classic ref. 7922, the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 options Snowflake arms like the remainder of the fashions from the Black Bay vary, and somewhat than having Tudor’s rose brand seem on the dial, it’s the extra fashionable Tudor protect emblem that seems above the model’s title on the 12 o’clock location. One element to notice regarding the arms, is that the bottom of the minute hand now contains a taper, and this element will also be discovered on the brand new third technology of Black Bay watches that have been additionally unveiled this 12 months at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023. Equally, because the Black Bay 54 is powered by a chronometer-certified motion, the dial options the compulsory “Formally Licensed Chronometer” textual content, somewhat than the “Rotor Self-Winding” printing that may be discovered on the unique classic reference 7922.
Powering the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 is the model’s manufacture Caliber MT5400 computerized motion, which options an open-worked tungsten monobloc rotor, a transverse steadiness bridge, and a variable inertia steadiness wheel with a non-magnetic silicon hairspring. Operating at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) and providing customers an influence reserve of roughly 70 hours, the Tudor Cal. MT5400 is a COSC-certified chronometer and Tudor ensures that the MT5400 will hold time to inside -2/+4 seconds per day (after casing). Ornament on the Tudor Caliber MT5400 is somewhat minimal and utilitarian, consisting of largely bushed and sand-blasted surfaces, though for the reason that motion stays hidden behind a strong caseback on the Tudor Black Bay 54, this kind of minimal ornament is totally acceptable. One fascinating element to notice is that as a result of its smaller 37mm case dimension, the Tudor Black Bay 54 is powered by a unique motion than the 39mm Black Bay Fifty-Eight (which used the MT5402), and the Cal. MT5400 is similar motion that may be discovered inside the brand new 36mm non-diver fashions from the present Black Bay assortment.
On the time of launch, the Tudor Black Bay 54 is accessible with the choice of both a chrome steel bracelet or a black rubber strap. The bracelet contains a 3-link building with totally satin-brushed surfaces and a faux-rivet design on the aspect hyperlinks (much like the bracelet that may be discovered on different current-production Black Bay dive watches). In the meantime the black rubber strap connects to the lugs with stainless-steel end-links to create an built-in look, and the interior floor of the strap contains a raised “Snowflake” motif for added consolation and grip. Moreover, the rubber strap is available in three totally different sizes, and it will also be lower all the way down to the precise size with a view to create an optimum match for the proprietor’s wrist. Each the stainless-steel rivet-style bracelet and the black rubber strap come fitted with Tudor’s T-fit clasp, which options ceramic ball bearings for the closure mechanism and in built-in extension system that enables for tool-free adjustment with 5 totally different incremental setting positions that create a complete window of 8mm of sizing choices.
The addition of the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 is barely surprising provided that it measures simply 2mm smaller than the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, though there’ll inevitably be fairly just a few collectors on the market who will likely be on this new mannequin, both as a result of it affords a smaller case or just because it remembers the looks and dimension of the unique classic Tudor Submariner ref. 7922 from 1954. With an official retail value of 3,450 CHF when bought on the rubber strap or 3,650 CHF ought to consumers go for the bracelet, the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 is barely inexpensive than its bigger Black Bay siblings, regardless of providing very related efficiency specs, and that is possible simply as a result of smaller dimension of the watch and fewer supplies utilized in its building. Whereas the case dimension of the brand new Tudor Black Bay 54 is true to the classic ref. 7922, the watch itself has way more in frequent with the trendy Black Bay vary from an aesthetic perspective, and given how the brand new Black Bay 54 is meant to be a homage to Tudor’s first-ever dive watch (which was solely ever supplied in stainless-steel with a black dial), it is going to be fascinating to see if different colours and supplies get added to the Black Bay 54 lineup in close to future. For extra data on the Tudor Black Bay 54, please go to the model’s web site.