With Watches & Wonders 2023 around the corner, and given that Tudor has marveled the watch community in 2021 and 2022 with outstanding releases, I wanted to try myself at speculating as to what the Swiss brand could release in 2023. Or just practice imagining a new version of a fan’s favorite: a white dial Black Bay Pro. The Black Bay Pro received, for the most part, positive reviews for being a more affordable alternative to the Rolex Explorer 2. Indeed, the BB Pro retails for $4,300 on the bracelet while the Explorer 2 retails for $10,200. That’s a massive price gap between two watches that have the same function and design ethos: ruggedness, adventure, and perhaps cave dwelling. Given how popular the Black Bay Pro has been, I thought why not imagine that Tudor would release a white dial variant?
What Made the Black Bay Pro So Popular
As mentioned in the introduction, the Black Bay Pro is far more affordable than the Explorer 2. And the two watches have pretty much the same purpose: being robust adventure and exploration watches whilst offering the possibility to track an additional time zone. While the original Explorer 2 was specifically created for speleologists who needed a 24-hour scale and a fourth hand to distinguish daytime from nighttime whilst spending days exploring intricate cave systems, nowadays people use it as an everyday tool watch. A very capable tool watch that comes with a COSC movement and rarely matched reliability. The Explorer 2 has become, at least in my experience, one of the most photographed adventure watches on Instagram.
But price alone does not explain why the Pro has been so popular. In good Tudor/Rolex fashion, its success can also be attributed to how well it is built and how reasonable its propositions are, despite whatever people have said about its thickness. The 39mm case diameter is more approachable than the 42mm of the Explorer 2, making it better suited for people with smaller wrists and everyday wear. The in-house COSC caliber MT5652 is a prowess of engineering, it comes with an independently adjustable local hour hand and all of this can be had for more than half the price of the Explorer 2. Many positives in my book.
But enough of that. Let’s talk about the possibility of a white dial variant.
Image above is a rendering done by Everest to show what it could look like. Not a real watch...yet :-)
Why a White Dial Black Bay Pro?
But we mostly see photos of the Explorer 2 “Polar” dial, the white one, and much less of the black variant. Which is interesting since the first Explorer 2 from 1971 had a black dial. Somehow, the white dial version resonates more with collectors and I can see why. White dial adventure watches are rare and there is something quite unique about that, especially the Explorer 2. Perhaps, the less the better in that case. But, I would also admit that the nickname “Polar” and the beautiful photos I’ve seen of the Explorer 2 surrounded by snow is fitting and it explains the popularity of this color variant. Tudor and Rolex are very good at getting people excited for their next adventure thanks to their intricate marketing campaigns, and this excitement is in turn echoed by BB Pro owners and talented photographers.
So, why could we see a white dial Black Bay Pro? Well, simply because Tudor has a tendency to follow in the footsteps of Rolex, naturally, and it does so closely. And seeing a white dial BB Pro wouldn’t surprise me now given the fact that Tudor released the Pro in 2021, something that I believe no one expected. (In other words, Tudor likes to surprise us!) While Rolex tends to take minimal risks in remaining simple in its releases—for example, adding a new dial color or pattern to a popular collection—I feel that Tudor has allowed itself to be more daring as of yet. Which means that a white dial BB Pro is very well possible, but don’t take my word for it.
This is the very first time that I’m trying myself at predicting what a brand could release. So I will probably be wrong about it, at least in 2023. We never know what will happen one or two years from now and instead of releasing a white dial Black Bay Pro, I could also see the brand release a titanium Ranger (article to follow) or a larger version of the Pro to match that of the Explorer 2. But these are my thoughts and my thoughts only. Do you think we could see a white dial Black Bay Pro in 2023? Please leave your comments below.Featured image: www.montres-de-luxe.com