To understand the Tudor Black Bay Steel & Gold, you have to understand the significance of the Black Bay line in Tudor’s rich history.
In 1926, Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf registered a trademark that would change watchmaking forever: Tudor. Since its inception, Tudor has been positioned as an affordable alternative to Rolex. In the brand’s early days, this meant pairing off-the-shelf movements with Rolex parts. Today, Tudor stands on its own two feet: developing their own movements, utilizing different materials, and embracing their historic design language. Tudor provides unparalleled quality at their price point, not to mention their extensive heritage and prominence as a brand.
In 2012, Tudor introduced the Black Bay line. Although the name was new, the design language was anything but. The Black Bay line pulls from Tudor’s historic dive watches. This goes back to 1954 with the Oyster Prince Submariner. Since 1954, not much has changed visually, aside from the addition of a snowflake hour hand (which was introduced with the second generation Tudor Submariner in 1968) and tweaked proportions. Of course, the logo, materials, and mechanics have gone through significant changes – that’s bound to happen over the course of 60+ years. Nevertheless, the consistency of the Black Bay line with Tudor’s historic dive watches is nothing short of impressive. You know what they (Rolex) says: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Tudor’s Black Bay line offers a lot of variety. To the average Joe, it might even seem like too much variety. To simplify things, Tudor imagines the Black Bay line as three categories: Modern Tools, Game Changers, and Pure Classics. The “Modern Tools” are tool watches for the modern era: built on Tudor’s historic design language, but adapted to meet today’s standards. The Modern Tools cohort includes watches like 24-hour Black Bay Pro, the no-frills Black Bay, and the slimmed down Black Bay 58. These are Tudor’s flagship models – the most impressive from a technical standpoint. The “Game Changers”, as Tudor calls them, still have Black Bay DNA, but stray from normalcy with different materials, complications, and designs. The Game Changers cohort includes watches like the Black Bay Chrono, Black Bay GMT, Black Bay Bronze, Black Bay Ceramic, and the endlessly interesting Black Bay P01. These watches are for those seeking something different. Not everyone has a full black ceramic watch. The “Pure Classics” cohort is the Black Bay in its simplest form: time-only, plain bezel, beautiful Black Bay design. This group includes every Black Bay followed by a number: the Black Bay 41, Black Bay 36, etc. These numbers indicate the case diameter, and you have plenty to choose from. These “Pure Classics” also come in two-tone “S&G” (Steel and Gold) options. If you’re looking for a no-frills, time-only dive-inspired watch with serious history, the Pure Classics are probably your best bet.
The Black Bay line offers a lot of versatility. That said, you shouldn’t have to buy a new watch for every occasion. To push your Tudor Black Bay in a new direction, try putting it on a new strap! Everest’s Curved End rubber straps are tailor fit to the dimensions of the Tudor Black Bay Steel & Gold (Ref. M79730 & M79733N), seamlessly hugging the case and lugs. Rubber excels as a strong, lightweight, waterproof strap material (just make sure your watch is waterproof too). Rubber isn’t just practical, it's one of the most comfortable materials for a watch strap. If you like the sporty look, rubber is a great everyday option. The Black Bay is an incredibly versatile watch – make it fit the occasion with the strap of your choice. If you’re looking for a new strap for your Tudor Black Bay Steel & Gold (Ref. M79730 & M79733N), Everest bands are your best bet.