Watches and Wonders 2023 Predictions: Tudor Black Bay P01

Watches and Wonders 2023 Predictions: Tudor Black Bay P01

With Watches and Wonders 2023 right around the corner, the watch-collecting community is abuzz with speculation.  It’s always exciting to see new offerings from the biggest names in the industry.  But with new releases, there also come discontinuations.

Out with the old, in with the new.

More often than not, we can usually predict which watches will be removed from the rotation.  They might be underperformers, or maybe a popular model is due for an upgrade and needs to be retired to make room for a shiny new reference.  Which watches will Tudor discontinue in 2023?  There’s already talk about Tudor discontinuing the Black Bay P01 ref. M70150-0001.  Let’s explore that topic further in this Watches and Wonders 2023 Predictions – Tudor edition.

Goodbye Tudor Black Bay P01

Photo Credit: Tudor

The name “P01” stands for Prototype 1.  This name makes a lot of sense if you consider that the watch was developed as a tribute to a prototype tool watch made by Tudor for the US Navy in the 1960s.  The original 1960s model included several features to meet the specifications required by the Navy, namely a locking mechanism for the bezel to prevent it from getting knocked out of place and negatively affecting the timing.  The modern reimagination of the 60s model does a good job of mirror the original prototype with a similar locking mechanism for the bezel, satin stainless steel, and a domed matte black dial decorated with painted hour markers and similar 1960s-style Snowflake hands.

Photo Credit: Tudor

The locking mechanism itself is located at the 12 o’clock position and flips open like a fliplock clasp.  Once the bezel is set, simply press it back down to lock the bezel.  You might also notice there is a similar lug at 6 o’clock, but that one is purely decorative, perhaps to add symmetry to the case.  The downside of this unusual design is that it takes up a lot of space on the wrist, 54mm from lug to lug, to be exact.  For comparison, the Rolex Deepsea measures 52mm from lug to lug.

A Disappointing Debut

Another factor to consider is that when the Tudor Black Bay P01 debuted in 2019, it was overshadowed by leaked images of what many thought was a long-awaited Tudor Submariner re-issue.  Instead, the watch in the images was, in fact, the P01.  Failing to give Tudor customers what they really wanted in 2019 was only a part of the P01’s failure to catch on with the general watch-collecting community.  To love this watch, it seems that you really must have the perfect wrist size and an overall appreciation for historically relevant watches, even the quirkiest ones.

Ultimately, the P01’s unusual proportions (which are necessary to include the locking bezel mechanism), the 4 o’clock position of the crown, and the rubber/leather hybrid bracelet have left the watch community divided.  The watch is polarizing and somewhat unorthodox, which can explain why so many watch enthusiasts believe 2023 might finally be the year Tudor pulls it from production after years of speculation.  It doesn’t really seem to have a place in Tudor’s regular line-up.  Perhaps it would have been received better as a limited edition offering.

A Refresh for the Stainless Steel Black Bay

As a bit of a side note, is it also possible that Tudor might release a new generation of the stainless steel Black Bay watches to include new case sizes, movements, and the T-Fit clasp to keep up with the recent steel & gold upgrades from 2022?  Perhaps the current model will be discontinued to make room for an ungraded collection?  It isn’t unusual for brands to debut new features on one iteration of a model before sweeping them across the rest of the collection.  We’ll have to wait a few more weeks to find out.

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