For better or for worse, the Tudor Black Bay P01 is undoubtedly the most talked about watch of Baselworld 2019. The discussion began the moment the first leaked image hit Instagram this past Tuesday. It was a crappy scan of a crappy render — something that was clearly never meant for public consumption — and that certainly didn’t help the conversation, which quickly morphed into an onslaught. And then there was the watch itself. The render indicated a Black Bay that was really out of left field, boasting a risky design from a brand that I would argue normally doesn’t take big risks.
And then there was the issue of Tudor’s social media teases. Simply put — and I don’t think I’m being unfair when I say this — the social media campaign was misleading, especially the post that showed a printed triangle at the 9:00 position. Many, myself included, thought Tudor was bringing back the 79xxx Sub. So really I think the biggest sin here is one of setting up false expectations, and then having those expectations amplified tenfold via social media. I wonder about the reaction had the expectation not been set so high.
Some back story on the design is warranted. The watch is inspired by a ’60s prototype produced for the nicknamed “Commando” program. The ask was a diver’s tool watch with a locking mechanism, and Rolex filed a patent for their design — a locking clamp on the lugs — in the late ‘60s. The concept was ultimately scrapped (likely deemed too impractical at the time) and the watch became lore. That’s what Tudor is pulling from here.
Tudor Black Bay P01
Case Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 200m
Crown: Screw down
Movement: Tudor Manufacture MT5612
Strap/bracelet: Leather via metal lug extensions
Expected release: July 2019