You may already have a main Rolex in your collection that you wear most of the time. For many this will be Submariner or GMT Master II. But you want to switch it up and for your beater watch will still need to be more upscale than a Casio G-Shock, in comes the Black Bay 36. It's smaller than your 40mm everyday wearer and comes in a simple look that’s missing a rotating timing bezel.
Photo by the Fifth Wrist
Why do we recommend this watch for that companion watch slot? It’s relatively affordable (under $3k on bracelet) as it’s driven by an ETA movement as opposed to Tudor’s in-house offering. And it’s still water resistant to 150 meters. And most importantly you can buy one pretty easily.
With the introduction of the 2021 Rolex Explorer I in 36mm, 36mm is a decidedly back on trend. In reality, the case size has never gone anywhere, but the Crown’s decision to scale back down a watch they had bumped up to 39mm means something as far as style influences go. After all, when Rolex makes a decision others follow.
Photo by Tudor
Another reason to go with a Black Bay 36 for a secondary watch is the wide range of choices. The new silver dial version is sublime and the original black version is a winner too. Of course the blue dial offers the feel of the navy Black Bay 58 without the wait times and heftier price tag. If you want to be bolder, the steel and gold version with a Jubilee bracelet stands out from the pack. And, it’s worth repeating, you can get them at retail without much effort.
Photo by Fratello Watches
The watch also retains the Tudor shield symbol and features the curved “smiley face” text on the bottom half of the dial. All the new Black Bay watches has straight text above the 6 o'clock marker. We love that it’s a unisex watch that truly can suit a range of wrist sizes of both genders. If you can get a clean 1016 vintage Explorer, the Black Bay 36 potentially can scratch that itch.
Detractors point out that lack of a rotating timing bezel, makes it appear as if this watch is missing something. Others point out that is exactly why this line has a unique appeal and allows for a slightly dressier look that a full-on dive watch.
In a way with so many new releases in the spotlight, the new silver dial Black Bay 36 could be a sneaky choice of the smart collector. With the Rhodium 39mm Oyster Perpetual being phased out, the silver dial Black Bay 36 steps up to fill that void. Silver on silver is a sleek and understated way to shine.
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