Image Source: Monochrome Watches
First released in 2012 the launch of the Black Bay marked a turn around for the modern revival of the Tudor brand. The Black Bay launched as a modern interpretation of the iconic Tudor Submariner which first debuted in 1954. This watch drew upon vintage styling cues such as the big crown and slim lugs, compared with the maxi-case of its Rolex Submariner counterpart. At the same time, it introduced modern elements in the form of a larger dial and a redesigned bracelet.
Image Source: The Rake
This first version of the Black Bay featured an ETA movement and the Tudor Rose on the dial along with the curved “Self Winding” text, reminiscent of a smiley face. In 2015, however, the Black Bay switched over to an in-house movement and the Tudor Rose was changed to the Tudor Shield. The “Self Winding” text became “Chronometer Officially Certified”.
The next hit release from Tudor came in 2018 in the form of arguably one of their most iconic modern watches, the Black Bay 58. The Black Bay 58 is a 39mm version of the highly praised Black Bay and contains an in-house movement with a 70 hour power reserve. It features many of the iconic design elements of the original Black Bay, retaining the screwdown big crown, aluminum bezel insert, and updated bracelet. Unlike the original Black Bay, it comes in at a slimmer size and diameter, one that will fit a larger variety of wrists and more comfortably under the cuff of a shirt. In 2020, Tudor released a navy blue version of the Black Bay 58 introducing a splash of color into the lineup.
Image Source: Bark & Jack
The Black Bay 58 was insanely popular and highly sought after on release with prices soaring on the secondary market. Even today, both the Black Bay 58 navy blue and black on bracelet are not consistently in stock at Tudor dealers and may require a short wait to acquire, although not to the extent of Rolex Submariners. This is what makes the Black Bay 58 appealing to collectors as a beginner watch or even as a seriously capable dive watch that doesn’t require navigating the complicated process of securing a Submariner at an AD.
In terms of investment value, the Black Bay 58 is more sought after than the Black Bay on the secondary market; it trades hands at 19% over retail compared with 1% below retail of the Black Bay. This emphasizes the popularity of the Black Bay 58 more than anything. The Black Bay is a solid watch by itself. In general, very few watches currently available at ADs actually trade even close to retail on Chrono24, so it is by no means an unpopular watch. The Black Bay 58 is just an ideal watch for so many people due to its size, price, and movement that it’s made the watch difficult to get.
How will the Back Bay continue to perform in the future? Only time will tell (haha get it?), but with the popularity of Rolex models only increasing, more and more people are searching for great alternatives like the Tudor Black Bay.
Written By: Joshua Jiang