The watch gives off mixed signals, but without the negative connotation. At first glance, it may seem dressy, but what makes the Black Bay 36 so interesting is that it’s kind of a tool watch in disguise. When you check out the specs, you’ll notice a few things that standout. Tudor’s BB36 offers an impressive 150m of water resistance paired with a screw down crown. There’s also a saphhire crystal up top. When considering the smaller sizing, case proportions, dive-inspired dial, and solid oyster-style bracelet, it’s hard to not think of the 36mm Rolex Explorer of years past. There aren’t a ton of modern “dressy tool watches” that come in this size that can truly pull double duty. Ultimately, it’s a small watch that’s just as good inside the office as it is in the great outdoors. It’s this versatility that led me to the Black Bay 36 and it’s what keeps me reaching for it over my other watches, day after day.
Inside the case is an automatic ETA 2824 movement. It’s a common, versatile workhorse of a movement. While much of the Tudor line has shifted in-house, the Black Bay 36 (and the rest of the bezel-free Black Bay range) still outsources movement duty to ETA. The watch hacks and hand-winds.
Tudor uses ETA’s top-grade 2824 movement and makes modifications of their own to keep things super accurate. The movements are regulated to COSC standard, but do not go through the actual certification process. The top-grade 2824 has several improvements over the base model, which help the Black Bay 36 achieve this level of accuracy. A recent 48-hour timing run indicated that mine is running at an impressive -1 sec/day.
The Black Bay 36 I purchased came fitted with a steel oyster-style bracelet. You can opt for the watch on a strap, but I would recommend choosing the bracelet. It’s almost always cheaper to get the watch on a bracelet than having to go buy the bracelet separately after the fact.