And so it begins… To kick off Basel World 2017 we have a release from none other than Tudor, who tend to make a splash at BW. Though I’m sure there will be more to report on from them in the coming days, this first watch is no slouch. The Black Bay Steel is the newest iteration of their wildly successful submariner riff, now with a steel bezel and date window.
The previous versions of the Black Bay all had a vintage feel to them, save in size. The red, blue and black in particular played off of some classic themes, and had a warmth to them coming from either the faux-gilt print or khaki lume. The new Steel model heads a decidedly modern direction with a crisp steel bezel insert in lieu of the anodized aluminum ones. The bezel then features black markers for hour and minutes and a red triangle under the lume pearl, all within a radially brushed surface. When I reviewed the Black Bay Black some months ago, my favorite detail was probably the brushing on the tops of the lugs and the overall machining by extension. Having this large surface of brushed steel will likely further emphasize this feature.
Another brand new feature is the inclusion of a date window. Previous Black Bays only came in non-date versions, so while a pretty normal feature to find, it’s a first here. The date is displayed as black text on a white surface at 3. The placement is ok, perhaps a bit close to the edge, but stays true to sub-styling. While a bit controversial, I do think a cyclops would have been a nice addition here, and could have made up for the for the slightly off placement… or it could have made it worse, hard to say.
Sticking to the dial, you have a cross between elements found on the Black Bay Blue and Dark models, with white markers, silver surrounds and indexes, continuing the more clean, modern feel. From the Dark model, however, they threw in the always welcome red line for the depth rating. I suppose it’s unfair to say this is just from the Dark model as the red line speaks to Sub history in general, but as far as their line goes. All together, the dial looks pretty sharp with the steel bezel, coming across somehow sportier than the other Bays.
Inside of the Black Bay Steel is Tudor’s in-house MT5612, which features a silicon, free-sprung balance, 70-hr power reserve and COSC rating. This is the same movement as the other in-house Black Bays with the addition of the date complication, converting the caliber number from MT5602 to MT5612. Adding the date complication was a logical next step for the Black Bay line, though I wonder if they’ll go back and add date versions of previous colors, or keep them separated by style.
The Black Bay Steel will be available with their relatively new, and great, rivet bracelet for $3,800 or on leather for $3,475 (strap yet to be seen). This is a little more than previous Bays, which is not surprising given the additional complication. Like the other Bays, the Steel will also come with a woven fabric strap, this time in a striking olive green.
*update: I actually wrote this post before the announcement of the Black Bay Chrono, which should be filling your Instagram at the time of publishing this article. That watch makes this design make more sense, as it’s the three-hand, diver companion to that watch. Same overall palette, same details like the red-line. Black Bay Chrono coverage to come in the following days.
For more on the Black Bay Steel, head to Tudorwatch.com