Tudor finally did it – every Black Bay watch now features an in-house COSC-certified movement. In March, Tudor revamped their dive-inspired Black Bay 31/36/39/41 collection (previously 32/36/41) with in-house movements manufactured by Kenissi. They also added a five link bracelet with T-fit adjustment. Offered in blue, anthracite (black with gilt accents), and champagne, this four-size collection has a watch for nearly everyone. Let’s take a look at what’s new with the in-house Tudor Black Bay 31/36/39/41.
The New Bracelet
Image Source: tudorwatch.com
At first glance, this looks like the same time-only fixed-bezel Black Bay of old: just on a different bracelet. Tudor opted for a five link (not Jubilee!) bracelet on the new Black-Bay 31/36/39/41. Most of this bracelet features brushed finishing, but the middle links are polished, giving it a nice pop of textural contrast. The difference between a three link and five link bracelet is largely superficial, but the newly added T-fit clasp is a categorical improvement. This tooless microadjustment system allows for ~8mm of wiggle room to change on the fly. Seeing T-fit clasps on these new Black Bays comes as a relief. Some of Tudor’s flagship models still lack T-fit (e.g. the Black Bay 58). The beloved microadjustment system will likely become the standard for all metal-bracelet Tudor watches, but time will tell how long that might take. In a recent interview with Teddy Baldassarre, Tudor rep Cole Pennington stated that “we’ll get there”, regarding the addition of T-fit to existing Black Bay models.
The New Movement(s)
Image Source: watchuseek.com
Before this revamp, the time-only fixed-bezel Black Bays were the only Black Bays lacking in-house movements. That gap has officially been filled. On the dials of these new models, you’ll see text reading ‘Chronometer Officially Certified’ in place of the smiling ‘Rotor Self-Winding’ text on prior models (RIP to another smiling Tudor). The chronometers in question are the calibers MT5201 (31mm), MT5400 (36mm), MT5602 (39mm), and MT5601 (41mm). All of these COSC-certified movements are made by Kenissi: Tudor’s in-house movement manufacturer that’s now a joint venture alongside Breitling and Chanel. These are phenomenal movements: chronometer accuracy, ample power reserve, and anti-magnetism via a silicon balance spring. Movements of similar quality are few and far between under $4,000: especially from such an established brand. Omega’s De Ville Prestige line – those with their Co-Axial Chronometer caliber 2500 – are probably the closest in terms of value proposition.
Final Thoughts on The Tudor Black Bay 31/36/39/41
Image Source: tudorwatch.com
The Black Bay 31/36/39/41 is an impressive line from Tudor. With this revamp, they upgraded the movements, implemented their T-fit clasp, and cut down on colors, providing what I believe to be a more intentional, concise line of watches. While I think Tudor could work on their naming scheme a bit, particularly in their Black Bay line, I think the 31/36/39/41 is a crowd-pleasing staple in their catalog. This release is representative of Tudor’s apparent goals: standardization (Kenissi movements and T-fit), historical design, and superlative value.
Header Image Source: tudorwatch.com