Earlier in May, Tudor announced (via Instagram) a partnership with the French Navy, reigniting a relationship that has roots in the 1950s. So how does this impact our watch collector community’s wish list from Tudor? The loudest cries have been for a smaller Tudor Pelagos or Black Bay GMT following the cue from the downsized Black Bay 58.
For me I’d like to see a vintage-inspired blue dial no-date diver with hour markers that match the squared-off Snowflake hands like the Tudor 9401. The 9401/0 was introduced in 1976 in both blue and black dial versions. The key element is the square markers and matching snowflake hands. These watches were housed with the ETA-based calibre 2776 movement, which has a hacking seconds hand, useful for military timing purposes.
Photo by Tudor Collector
In 1983, Tudor phased out the Snowflake and square marker combo in favor of Mercedes hands combined with circular and triangle indices at 12, 3, 6 and 9. This is an attractive combination, but highly unlikely to emerge in this 2021 announcement because Tudor appears committed to its Snowflake hands as a signature item in their dive watch collection.
Photo by Tudor Collector
While I would gladly welcome a scaled-down blue Pelagos, I am firmly entrenched in the time-only camp for its ease of time setting and overall simplicity. Therefore, I would like to see a 36mm Black Bay with a rotating dive bezel. While the watch community has welcomed the fixed smooth bezel versions of these watches, heralding them as a nice alternative to the Rolex Explorer 1, I’d like to see a revamped version of the 36mm Tudor Submariners (dubbed midsize) of the past. Some of these even came on a five-link bracelet (think more Jubilee-like instead of Oyster), which would be a cool alternative to help distinguish Tudor from Rolex. Tudor has offered the Jubilee style bracelet for its steel-and-gold versions of its non-rotating bezel Black Bay lineup, so I would guess that production in an all-steel version to fit the existing Black Bay case wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Time and Tide predicted that the most-likely 2021 Marine Nationale tie-in would be a Black Bay 58 Navy with a special fabric strap to harken to the past. If that’s all that Tudor can come up with, I’d be pretty disappointed. But if they decided to offer a thinner Black Bay GMT, that would satisfy many Tudor fans who still can’t get past the tall slab sided cases of the 41mm Black Bay case.
So what’s on your wishlist for the 2021 Tudor x Marine Nationale announcement? Leave your comments below.
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