As part of their Watches & Wonders push for 2021, Tudor has updated their Black Bay Chrono with some subtle (and some not-so-subtle) tweaks that seem to be a play for the enthusiast market. The original Black Bay Chrono was released during what felt like at the time to be the height of Black Bay insanity. Tudor was slapping the Black Bay branding on just about every watch coming out of the factory, which made this diving chronograph with some racing inspired design cues feel a little like it was trying to be two things at once. The new releases feel much more directly automotive inspired and are the better for it, and time has done its thing in the intervening years and allowed us to accept the Black Bay as much more than a tool diver. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the new Black Bay Chrono.
The most obvious change right off the bat is that we’re dealing with some new dial variants. The Black Bay Chrono now comes in your choice of a black dial with white subdials or an opaline dial with black subdials. In addition to incorporating the classic panda and reverse panda color schemes into the line, Tudor has also made a change to the bezel. It’s now in black anodized aluminum, whereas before it was steel. It will be a matter of personal preference as to which one any potential customer likes better, but I find the black bezel to be a nice change of pace and a solid complement to each dial, and the fact that it’s aluminum and not ceramic lends the watch a vintage vibe that I’m on board with, and some on social media are already making comparisons to classic “Paul Newman” Daytona references.
A change that’s a little tougher to see, but perhaps a bigger deal when it comes to actually wearing the watch, is that the case has been given some very subtle tweaks. According to Tudor, the cut of the lower part of the sapphire crystal has been changed, and the movement has been repositioned in the case. At the time of this writing, Tudor has not provided a specific case thickness figure, but they claim an overall slimmer and more wearable profile. It’s worth noting the original came in at over 15mm thick, so even a modest change could have a substantial impact. The case diameter of 41mm should still result in an imposing modern sports watch with real wrist presence.
Mechanically, the Black Bay Chrono is identical to previous iterations. The movement is the Caliber MT5813, which launched in 2017 with the original Black Bay Chrono, and was developed in partnership with Breitling (it’s essentially a B01 with a Tudor developed silicon balance spring, Tudor oscillating weight, and Tudor’s own finishing). It’s a solid and robust column-wheel chronograph movement, and the fact that it’s a genuine collaboration between two large and otherwise unrelated brands holds some nostalgic appeal for the movement nerds among us.
As is typical for Tudor these days, they’re providing customers with options when it comes to bracelets and straps. The Black Bay Chrono will be available on a riveted steel bracelet, a black fabric strap, or a black leather bund strap with a folding clasp. The price on either strap is $4,900, and on a bracelet it’s $5,225. Tudor