The Black Bay Chrono by Tudor is back with a reworked case and two dial options, with contrasting sub-counters. It is sporty, yet elegant to be worn as an everyday timepiece
When you buy a timepiece from a brand that has a rich heritage to tap into to create a winner, it becomes extra special. Case in point is the Black Bay Chrono by Tudor that was relaunched last year when it celebrated 50 years of chronographs.
It was in 1970 when Tudor debuted its very first chronograph, the Oysterdate. This was a watch that had bright colours and a unique design featuring a pentagonal hour marker shaped like a baseball home plate, 45-minute counters and its date function at 6 o’clock.
The outstanding design caught the attention of the motorsport fraternity and marked the start of 50 years of dedication to improving the power of the technical chronographs. Hence, it paves the way for a long and fruitful relationship with the world of motorsport.
In the meantime, diving enthusiasts also paid close attention to the Black Bay Chrono model with the very eye-catching “Snowflake” hands, a signature look for divers’ watches since 1969. The domed dial was ideal for clarity when it comes to reading time under challenging dive conditions.
This latest iteration is available in two versions, matt black and opaline. The dial includes two hollowed sub-counters in contrasting colours, matt black and white opaline, for optimum readability. It is inspired by the first generation of Tudor chronographs. There is a 45-minute counter and a date aperture positioned at 6 o’clock. The recognisable characteristics of the Black Bay are preserved in a steel case, with a 41mm diameter refined by the cut of the lower part of the sapphire crystal and a repositioned movement.
With attention to detail, the design of the stainless steel pushers has been inspired by the very first generation of Tudor chronographs. A fixed bezel in stainless steel with a tachymetric scale insert in black anodised aluminium completes the distinguished appearance of this sporty chronograph.
More importantly, let us take a closer look at the inner workings of the timepiece that is powered by the Manufacture Chronograph Calibre MT5813. It is the heartbeat that gives the Black Bay Chrono model the power to display the hour, minute, second, chronograph and date functions.
Its 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. The watch has 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), which means it has a performance that exceeds 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 when it is completely assembled.
The movement is crafted in the purest watchmaking tradition, with a column-wheel mechanism and vertical clutch. In keeping with the Tudor philosophy of quality, it has extraordinary robustness and reliability, guaranteed by the array of extreme tests applied to all of Tudor products.
Derived from the chronograph manufacture calibre Breitling 01, with a high-precision regulating organ developed by Tudor and exclusive finishes, this movement is the result of a lasting collaboration between the two brands. The duo has chosen to pool their expertise in the design and production of certain mechanical movements.
To round off the look is a very smart fabric Jacquard-woven strap that is a reference to the 19th-century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company in the St-Etienne region. In 2020, Tudor and Julien Faure, a 150-year-old family company, celebrated 10 years of partnership that began with the Heritage Chrono — the first model to be equipped with a fabric strap created by the craftsmen — that was launched at Baselworld 2010.
If you prefer another strap, there is a model in stainless steel bracelet inspired by the folding riveted bracelets made by Tudor in the 1950s and 1960s. Finally, in keeping with the spirit of “1970s racing”, the Black Bay Chrono is offering another choice of bracelet: in aged black leather with ecru topstitching and folding clasp.
The beauty of Black Bay Chrono
41 mm 316L steel case with polished and satin finish
Fixed 316L steel bezel with matt black anodised aluminium disc with tachymetric scale and silver markings
316L steel screw-down winding crown with the Tudor rose in relief
316L steel screw-down pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock
Black with silver counters, or opaline with black counters, domed Date at 6 o’clock
Domed sapphire crystal
Waterproof to 200 m (660 ft)
Manufacture Calibre MT5813 with chronograph function Self-winding mechanical chronograph movement with bi-directional rotor system
Hours and minutes hands at the centre Chronograph seconds at the centre Chronograph 45-minute counter at 3 o’clock Small seconds at 9 o’clock
Instantaneous date at 6 o’clock with rapid adjustment without non-correction range
Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Tudor has, since its founding by Hans Wilsdorf in 1926, been producing the most robust, durable, reliable and precise watches. Confident in its quality craftsmanship, Tudor offers a five-year guarantee on all its products sold after Jan 1, 2020. This guarantee does not require the watch to be registered or sent for any maintenance checks and is transferable. All Tudor products bought between July 1, 2018, and Dec 31, 2019, will therefore benefit from an 18-month extension to their guarantee for a total of 31⁄2 years. Tudor also recommends that its watches should be serviced approximately every 10 years, depending on the model and the extent of its use on a day-to-day basis.