Since its inception in 2012, the Black Bay collection has been Tudor’s flagship model. Over the years, we have seen quite a number of iterations for the model. Similar to how the Black Bay 58 is a smaller sized 39mm case to the 41mm Black Bay, some have said that the new Black Bay Pro may be seen as the Tudor equivalent to the Rolex Explorer II. We investigate.
Review: Tudor Black Bay Pro
Tudor Black Bay Pro: Bracelet SGD 5,520. Strap (fabric and rubber/leather) SGD 5,090. Inclusive of GST.
The Case and Dial
The watch is easily distinguishable, at least within the Black Bay collection. Sized at 39mm, it is now the smaller sized GMT compared with the Tudor Black Bay GMT at 41mm. The watch is made in Steel and is available with either a bracelet, leather or fabric nato strap.
The case is a mix of Satin-brushed and polished surfaces, similar to the Black Bay 58. Most of the case is matte finished apart from the sides and the beveled edge lugs. The watch is also fit with a 24-hour graduated fixed bezel in stainless steel.
While GMT watches with a rotating bezel adds an additional timezone functionality, the fixed bezel Tudor Black Bay Pro serves only 2 timezones. This in a way differentiates from the Black Bay GMT and prevents direct cannibalization. The fixed bezel design is also a nod to the ‘Rolex Explorer’ style dual timezone model.
The reference time is indicated by an angular orange “Snowflake” hand, an aesthetic hallmark of TUDOR, which completes a lap of the dial every 24 hours. Local time is indicated by another, shorter “Snowflake” hand set by a jumping hour, which can be moved either backwards or forwards. The date, displayed through an aperture positioned at 3 o’clock, is coupled with the local time hand so that when setting the time and passing midnight in retrograde, it instantly jumps to the previous day. This is unlike the common quickset date which only allows the date to be adjusted forward.
Whilst this model is part of the Black Bay line, it introduces many new and unique aesthetic details, starting with its winding crown which has been entirely redesigned for maximum grip. Reminiscent of the curves found on the crowns of the brand’s historical technical watches, this new component is set flush to the middle case band so that its tube is not visible. In another new feature, the applied hour markers on the dial are made from monobloc luminous ceramic.
This feature enhances the technical aesthetic of Black Bay Pro whilst considerably increasing the luminous surface of the hour markers. A new bracelet clasp, with a TUDOR “T-fit” rapid size-adjustment system, completes the list of new innovations included in this model. Easy to use, requiring no tools and offering five positions, the “T-fit” system allows the wearer to carry out a fine, instant adjustment of up to 8mm on the clasp.
The watch is fitted with Tudor’s Calibre MT5652, which is its in-house produced COSC-certified movement. The self-winding movement features a bi-directional rotor system, and it boasts a decent power reserve of approximately 70 hours. As typical for Tudor, the case back is screwed down and closed.
Priced just slightly above the Black Bay 58 in steel, the Black Bay Pro provides a viable alternative to the ever popular divers range with a more useful feature. The 39mm case and steel bezel provides a good contrast from the existing GMT line. Additionally, the ceramic hour markers make for a cleaner dial without the metal. Overall, the watch is more muted and a touch more tool-like for the military watch enthusiast.