I was recently in a national jewellery/watch store in order to catch up on with acquaintances and any new/current models. As usual, I asked if they could select – say three watches, so I could take pictures and then maybe write about them. One of these was the above-noted.

Now, I do not own a Tudor watch – and in fact never have! Going way back, I knew the brand made quality time pieces, and had a connection with Rolex, but due to the “poor mans” smear, my ongoing interest evaporated. Knowing much more today, this prejudice was misplaced, as, whilst they are at the cheaper end of the Wilsdorf empire, they do have their own identity and stand up to quality scrutiny. None more so than the Black Bay model launched back in 2012, and which today continues to be very successful. The model actually harks back to Tudor’s early Submariner watches from the mid-fifties, with the Fifty Eight in particular taking design cues from the 1958 version. This had an oversized crown with no guards.

Anyway, like most successful stainless steel “tool” watches, the brand decided to up the ante and try a precious metal version. Think TAG Heure, Hublot, Rolex etc. In this instance I must have missed that part of the dialogue with my contacts, as when I saw the piece, I assumed it was in bronze! I quickly realised my error when I noticed the attached price tag and asked “is this gold?” That put a different perspective on things!

Pretty Rolex-like, but the hands and no crown guards are give-aways.

The watch was launched in the Spring of 2021, and is in 18 CT yellow gold, time only (so not really for me. Ed), and boasts the model’s usual characteristics of case, dial design and with the snowflake hands. In this instance the the dial and bezel are in an attractive “Harrods” green. In fact, so much so that I asked if there was a collaboration with the illustrious store – apparently not!

Being a 39mm x 12.7mm case, it is an optimal size I feel, which provides both usability and comfort. In terms of design, it is pretty standard fare which can be found on many sports-type watches – particularly from the 50’s-70’s. It is all in a brushed finish, which undoubtedly led me to the bronze error. The rotatable bezel (aluminium base and lume pip at 12), dial (with large hour pips), and those meaty well-lumed “snowflake” hands should make seeing in the gloom a cinch. A decent sized knurled, gold screw-down crown makes adjustment easy. The crystal protection is via a non-reflective domed sapphire.


Overall, an attractive package (excuse label!)

Flipping the piece over reveals a decent sized screw-down “exhibition” case, with serrated edge. The rather undecorated view mainly shows Tudor’s reliable in-house automatic MT5400. This beats at 4hz – smoothed by 27 jewels and is good for some 70 hours, powered, when needed, by the large skeleton rotor. The mechanism is chronometer rated by COSC. Around 200m of waterproofing is offered.

A fairly business-like view – but at least a view is offered, unlike many dive watches.

Finally, regarding securing, two simple tang buckle straps are provided. One is dark brown in alligator, the other a green and gold fabric affair. Both have gold buckles.

In a certain light the green does pop!

What are my final conclusions. Well, overall, it is an attractive watch – the gold, green, and brown combinations working nicely. It is aesthetically fine too, offering required data legibly and in comfort. The power source is of high quality – proved by the COSC rating, plus, there is a very decent power bank. For, well, diving, it ticks most requirement boxes. All that said, what about the case metal? For me a couple of issues: 1) For all the world, the overall effect makes you think “bronze” – no polished areas at all. I also feel that a gold bracelet would mitigate that somewhat, although the price would inflate by too much. 2) As a “tool” watch that one may conceivably want to go diving with (or play other sports), would you really risk it?

However, at some £12,960 I think it actually represents good value. Let us be frank, where else can you get an attractive quality watch in King Midas’s favourite metal for that kind of money, along with a 5 year warranty? I would say most others would really kick off at the £15,000-£20,000 range. An investment proposition? Well, probably not as it is a standard production model, but, it is fairly reassuring to see that after about a year since launch, the used market is rocking around the £11,500 level so not too much loss. Buy to impress? Again, possibly not, as the name does not quite have sufficient cachet, plus, as mentioned earlier, it still looks bronze!

All the above said, it does have a place, and is pretty close to a Rolex in many respects. So, whilst possibly not quite the Golden Boy, if you like it then go for it! If not – as you play hard sport or travel, then check out the numerous other Black Bay alternatives in stainless steel as I feel they represent pretty good value. Oh, by the way there is a bronze version too!!

Words/Images: The Writer.

My thanks to Berrys (York) for making the watch available, and being nice helpful folks!