Without a doubt, the most noteworthy Tudor news from Watches & Wonders Geneva this year is the unveiling of the all-new Black Bay Pro. However, there’s another less-obvious new release from the brand for 2022 that is also worth examining a bit further. Among a whole slew of new two-tone Black Bay S&G models, including both GMT and chronograph variants, is an entire range of new non-diver Black Bay watches in steel and gold with case sizes that range from 31mm to 41mm in diameter. While these new two-tone models probably don’t seem all that exciting at first glance, they might just be the most important new Tudor watches of the year.
About the New 2022 Tudor Black Bay S&G Watches
The new 2022 Tudor Black Bay S&G watches expand upon the case size options that existed before, offering 31mm, 36mm, 39mm, and 41mm sizes; however, the shape of their cases has also been smoothed out for a more refined and elegant appearance. Additionally, just as before, these non-diver Tudor Black Bay S&G models are fitted with matching bracelets that offer a distinct style that could be considered Tudor’s take on the classic 5-piece-link Rolex Jubilee bracelet.
Upon their initial launch, there were a number of configurations that have since mysteriously vanished from Tudor’s website, including all of the champagne-colored and diamond-set dial models. At the present time, dial options for the new Black Bay S&G watches include either silver or black, and all of the various options include the brand’s signature “snowflake” hands paired with large luminous hour markers. Additionally, all of the case sizes for the new Black Bay S&G models except the 41mm version are available with the option of either smooth or diamond-set bezels. As a whole, this new release of Tudor would usually be considered rather uninteresting - except for the fact that all of these new models are powered by the brand’s own chronometer-certified movements.
In-House, Chronometer-Certified Movements for All Sizes
Up until this point, none of the non-dive watch models from the Tudor Black Bay range have featured in-house movements, and they have instead all relied on ETA-based calibers. Even after Tudor started to introduce its own in-house movements back in 2015, none of the non-diver Black Bay models were upgraded to feature Tudor’s own calibers, and it looked like things were going to stay that way up until the release of these new Black Bay S&G models.
Available in 31mm, 36mm, 39mm, and 41mm case sizes, all of the new Tudor Black Bay S&G watches feature in-house, chronometer-certified movements. Interestingly, all four of the different sizes are powered by a different Tudor in-house movement. The 31mm model is fitted with the Cal. MT5201, the 36mm model receives the Cal. MT5400, the 39mm option is powered by the Cal. MT5602, and the 41mm model has the Cal. MT5601. While the smallest among them (Cal. MT5201) has a respectable 50-hour power reserve, the rest all offer 70-hour power reserves and since they are COSC-certified chronometers, all of the new Tudor Black Bay S&G watches will keep time within the stringent standards of -4 to +6 second per day, regardless of their size.
The Future of the Stainless Steel Models
Although two-tone watches aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea, the classic stainless steel versions of these Tudor Black Bay models are favorites among a number of collectors and enthusiasts. With their large luminous hands and hour markers, these Black Bay models could almost be described as modern interpretations of field watches, and they are often celebrated as affordable alternatives to the classic Rolex Explorer. However, as an increasing number of Tudor’s models have been upgraded to feature in-house movements, many collectors have been wondering when these other Black Bay models might also get the same treatment, and this latest release from Tudor might be an indicator that new stainless steel Black Bay watches with in-house movements are right around the corner.
Both Tudor and its parent company Rolex have a history of slowly rolling out new features across their watches by starting with their more premium offerings. Given that Tudor’s in-house movements first appeared on its Black Bay divers, it would make a lot of sense for them to appear next on the more expensive two-tone models before finally making their way to the entry-level stainless steel offerings. Additionally, should Tudor decide to update the steel models to feature the same in-house movements, it is also highly likely that the same case updates observed on these new Black Bay S&G watches will also be carried over onto the next generation of their stainless steel siblings. Personally, none of these new two-tone models are quite my style, but if Tudor decides to drop one of its in-house movements with a 70-hour power reserve into the stainless steel Black Bay 36, that might just be the thing that makes me pull the trigger and add one to my collection.
*All images courtesy of Tudor.