Back in Black: Tudor marks 50 years of chronographs with the relaunched Black Bay Chrono

Photo: Tudor

Ever since Rolex founder Hans Wildorf created the Montres Tudor SA Company in 1946, the award-winning Swiss watch brand has been inextricably tied to sports, adventure and exploration. It produced its first professional divers’ watch in 1954 and its first chronograph, popularised by the motorsports community, in 1970.

Now, to mark 50 years of chronographs, Tudor is combining these two traditions by relaunching its Black Bay Chrono model with contrasting sub-counters and a high-performance automatic Manufacture Calibre, with column wheel and vertical clutch. It has a reworked satin-brushed and polished case in 316L stainless steel with a domed matte black or opaline dial.

In keeping with the Black Bay aesthetic, the Black Bay Chrono features a honed version of the characteristic angular “Snowflake” hands that have been a signature of Tudor’s divers’ watches since 1969. Other Black Bay characteristics can be seen in the 41mm steel case refined by an ingenious cut of the lower part of the sapphire crystal and a repositioned movement.

The design of the Black Bay Chrono likewise takes inspiration from the brand’s chronographs, with a 45-minute counter and a date aperture positioned at 6 o’clock as well as stainless steel pushers that recall the very first generation of Tudor chronographs. The overall look is finished with a fixed stainless steel bezel with a tachymetric scale insert in black anodised aluminium.

The Black Bay Chrono is powered by the Manufacture Chronograph Calibre MT5813, which displays hour, minute, second, chronograph and date functions. The high-performance movement, which in fact exceeds the standards set by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, is derived from the chronograph manufacture calibre Breitling 01 that was created as part of a lasting collaboration between Tudor and Breitling. It is crafted in the purest watchmaking tradition, with a column wheel mechanism and vertical clutch, and boasts a 70-hour power reserve and a silicon balance spring.

Photo: Tudor

The three bracelet designs, meanwhile, offer a range of styles in keeping with the Black Bay and Tudor aesthetic. The black Jacquard fabric version, which has been a brand hallmark since its introduction with the Heritage Chrono in 2010, is woven on 19th-century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company in France’s Saint-Étienne region.
The stainless steel version is inspired by the folding riveted bracelets made by Tudor in the 1950s and ’60s, which had a distinct stepped construction and visible rivet heads that attached the links. And, in a nod to the spirit of 1970s motor racing, the final option is a cuff in aged black leather with ecru topstitching and a folding clasp.

As with all Tudor watches purchased after January 1, 2020, the Black Bay Chrono comes with a five-year transferable guarantee that does not require registration or maintenance checks – just another indicator of the brand’s commitment to reliability, durability and precision.

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See also: Watches & Wonders 2021: Tudor’s latest novelties

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