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Tudor celebrates 50 years of chronographs with an update on its Black Bay Chrono

Jasmine Alimin
Jasmine Alimin • 5 min read
Tudor celebrates 50 years of chronographs with an update on its Black Bay Chrono
The new Tudor Black Bay Chrono features a reworked case, refreshed dials and three strap options
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The 2021 Black Bay Chrono models feature a reworked steel case, and two dial options with contrasting sub-counters in the purest tradition of the sports chronograph

Where the world of motor sport meets the underwater universe, you get Tudor’s Black Bay Chrono – a professional timepiece that merges the trademark Black Bay dial and its high-contrast geometric shapes with classic chronograph elements such as a dial with contrasting sub-counters, tachymeter bezel, stainless steel pushers and high-performance automatic Manufacture Calibre movement.

To mark 50 years of its chronographs – the first was the Oysterdate launched in 1970 – Tudor will be updating its Black Bay Chrono this year with a reworked case, refreshed dials, and three strap options. Here’s a closer look at what we can expect from the new models.

The Tudor Oysterdate launched in 1970 had pentagonal hour markers shaped like a baseball home plate

The face of time
The first Oysterdate by Tudor was a watch that was both robust and functional. Its unique design was characterised by its bright colours, its pentagonal hour markers shaped like a baseball home plate, its 45-minute counters and its date function at 6 o'clock.

These classic first-generation features are seen on the domed dial of the new 2021 Black Bay Chrono models, except that they now come in two finishes with contrasting sub-counters – black with silver counters, or opaline with black counters – to create the trendy panda and reverse-panda aesthetic.

“Snowflake” hands are a signature trademark in Black Bay timepieces

Like other models in the Black Bay range, the Black Bay Chrono has adopted Tudor's characteristic angular hands known as “Snowflake” that first appeared in the brand’s 1969 catalogue. In this version, the hands and markers are coated with Grade A Swiss Super-LumiNova® luminescent material.

The new Black Bay Chrono is housed in a 41mm satin-brushed stainless steel case and appears to have slimmed down profile-wise thanks to the ingenious cut of the lower part of the sapphire crystal and a repositioned movement.

It’s completed by rugged yet timeless details such as stainless crown and steel pushers inspired by the very first generation Tudor chronographs, and a fixed stainless steel bezel with a tachymetric scale insert in black anodised aluminium.

Tudor Black Bay Chrono 41 mm steel case, black jacquard fabric strap

Strapped for choices
One of the first brands to offer fabric as an alternative for its watch straps, Tudor created a special jacquard strap in 2010 that was woven in France using 19th century jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company in the St-Etienne region.

To celebrate 10 years of partnership, the century-old fabric manufacturer worked on Tudor’s Heritage Chrono to equip it with a fabric strap for its launch at Baselworld in 2010. The artisans have once again delivered the black jacquard strap for the 2021 Black Bay Chrono.

Tudor Black Bay Chrono 41 mm steel case, riveted steel bracelets

The model is also available on a stainless steel bracelet inspired by the folding riveted bracelets made by Tudor in the 1950s and 1960s. These were famous for having rivet heads for attaching the links, shown on the side of the bracelet. The links also had a distinct stepped construction. These two aesthetic details appear on today’s model, which still integrates modern manufacturing methods with solid links.

Tudor Black Bay Chrono 41 mm steel case, aged black leather cuff

Finally, entirely in keeping with the spirit of 1970s racing, the Black Bay Chrono is offering an stylish strap for the fashion savvy: a cuff in aged black leather with removable bund and ecru topstitching and folding clasp.

The Manufacture movement
The heart of the Black Bay Chrono beats to the self-winding automatic movement of the Manufacture Chronograph Calibre MT5813, a stellar creation borne out of a cross-collaboration with Breitling. The high-performance movement was crafted in the purest watchmaking tradition: with a column wheel mechanism and vertical clutch.

The smooth sleek finishes are provided by Tudor. Its bidirectional rotor in tungsten monobloc is openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, and its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations.

Boasting a 70-hour power reserve and a silicon balance spring, the Manufacture MT5813 chronograph Calibre is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), with its performance exceeding the standards set by this independent institute. In fact, where COSC allows an average variation in the daily running of a watch of between -4 and +6 seconds in relation to absolute time in a single movement, Tudor insists on -2 +4 seconds’ variation in its running. In keeping with Tudor’s philosophy of offering products at the best possible quality and reliability, guaranteed by the array of extreme tests applied to all products.

The Tudor guarantee
Whilst the look of the new Black Bay Chrono channels the aesthetic qualities of its original timepiece in 1970, its manufacturing techniques and high quality finishes make it a technological marvel.

Tudor customers can always rely on the extensive network of service centres and excellent after-sales service and care when purchasing any timepiece from the 95-year-old watchmaker with an added five-year transferable guarantee, without registration or mandatory maintenance checks upon purchase.

Visit Kee Hing Hung to get to know more about the 2021 Tudor Black Bay Chronos here

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