The Tudor Black Bay is one of the most iconic collections that the Swiss brand has to offer. This nostalgia-influenced line consists of watches inspired by Tudor diving models from the 1950s, in particular, the Tudor Submariner. Arguably considered Tudor’s flagship collection, the Tudor Black Bay is so popular that numerous variations, in a number of colourways, have been released since its launch back in 2012.
Among the many Black Bay timepieces and sub-ranges is a beautifully crafted watch known as the Tudor Black Bay Bronze. It is the Black Bay Bronze that will be the star of this article today. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the gorgeous, well-crafted, and functional Tudor Black Bay Bronze.
All About The Tudor Black Bay Bronze
The Tudor Black Bay Bronze is one of the many variations of the iconic Black Bay collection. At Baselworld 2016, Tudor officially launched the first model in this sub-range, the Heritage Black Bay Bronze. This original Tudor Black Bay Bronze immediately caught the attention of many since it was the first Black Bay model ever to be presented in a 43mm bronze case, and it was equipped with an in-house movement to boot.
The Tudor Black Bay Bronze was an innovative marvel from the brand because virtually everything about it was a new experience for both Tudor and its fans. Tudor continued to experiment with the Black Bay Bronze, consistently exceeding expectations in the years that followed. With that being said, let us delve a little deeper into the detailed specifications of this iconic sub-collection.
If you have encountered the Black Bay collection before, you probably think that the Tudor Black Bay Bronze is simply another variant that comes in a different color. Now, this is actually true to some extent, but there are also some other distinct differences present that you might not notice right away.
In terms of its style and design, the Black Bay Bronze follows a similar aesthetic to the other watches in Tudor’s established diving range. It comes with the same, 1950s Submariner-inspired elements such as the familiar unidirectional rotating bezel, luminous hour markers made up of bold geometric shapes, and the iconic Tudor snowflake hands. It also has a winding crown with no crown guard at 3 o’clock, which was another classic trait of old Tudor watches.
One difference that stands out between the Tudor Black Bay Bronze and its peers is that it is the only Black Bay watch to come in a 43mm-sized case. In addition, its unidirectional bezel tends to come in either black or bronze, to match the hue of its case, unlike other Black Bay models that offer Pepsi bezels or blue bezels. The Black Bay Bronze’s bezel is marked with a tachymetric scale that has gold indicators, and at the 12 o’clock position, you can find an inverted triangle with a luminous pip — another signature of the Black Bay collection.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the strap, the Tudor Black Bay Bronze is usually paired with either a fabric or leather band. These straps feature modern, navy-inspired designs that aim to pay homage to the collection’s maritime heritage. Regardless of which material you select, both variants add a similar rustic effect to the entire Black Bay Bronze. That said, it is possible to get models that are equipped with a matching bronze bracelet, such as the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79012M. Variants with the bronze bracelet tend to have a more professional air. They are best suited to those looking for versatile pieces that they can bring both underwater and into a boardroom.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the Tudor Black Bay Bronze is its use of unusual materials. The Tudor Black Bay Bronze is primarily crafted from a quality copper-aluminum alloy, also known as aluminum bronze, that is both strong and very visually appealing. Its rustic hue adds to the Black Bay Bronze’s classy vintage-inspired aesthetic so that people often think that it is meant to be a simple dress watch. However, this aluminum bronze material is actually highly durable and resistant to scratches, impacts, and even corrosion, allowing the Tudor Black Bay Bronze to easily handle harsh environments too.
Aside from that, this particular metal is also known to form a unique patina. In simple layman’s terms, this means that the bronze case of the Black Bay Bronze will develop into a darker, almost brown-bronze hue caused by oxidation as the years pass. While this may sound unappealing to some, good patination in watches equates to it ageing well, and watches that develop a good patina frequently gain in value over time.
One thing to note is that in the early stages of patina formation, you might notice some green flecks on your skin after you wear the Tudor Black Bay Bronze for extended periods of time. You need not worry, however, because this “green effect” will stop as the patina becomes more developed. One way to avoid this green effect would also be to purchase a bund strap, which will ensure that the bronze case never touches your skin.
The Tudor Black Bay Bronze has a price range of around $4,000 USD to $5,000 USD which is relatively affordable for a highly-regarded luxury watch. The standard retail price of the Black Bay Bronze is $4,089 USD, but some models can come at higher prices, such as the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze, which can be purchased for around $4,455 USD. You can also find cheaper models on the second-hand market, with prices differing depending on the reseller, the demand, the condition of the watch, and other such factors.
As a model that offered something different from the usual Black Bay collection, the Tudor Black Bay Bronze was very well-received by Tudor patrons and watch enthusiasts from the get-go. It further broadened the scope of the brand’s flagship luxury watch collection by introducing new, impressive characteristics like the 43mm bronze case, Tudor’s in-house movements, and exceptionally durable, elegant robustness. With such an impeccable reputation, it is no surprise why people keep coming back to the Tudor Black Bay Bronze.
Selection of Tudor Black Bay Bronze Models
With all that out of the way, let us go through some of the best Tudor Black Bay Bronze models available in the market today.
1. Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79012M
First up, we have the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Ref. 79012M. This is a sleek and elegant model that is not only sturdy enough to survive underwater depths but would also not look out of place on any occassions. Contrary to popular belief, this particular model actually belongs to the Black Bay Fifty-Eight subrange, which is why it comes in a slightly smaller case size of 39mm. This can be confusing for some, especially because this watch bears the “bronze” identification in its name despite not being a part of the Tudor Black Bay Bronze sub-collection.
This Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze piece comes in a bronze case with a riveted bronze bracelet and dark brown-bronze unidirectional bezel. The dial comes in a matching chocolate brown hue and consists of luminescent hour markers, snowflake hands, and Arabic numerals that are also filled with lume. Its three-hand mechanism is powered by a COSC-certified mechanical caliber MT5400, which provides a 70-hour power reserve and a substantial 200-meter water resistance capacity.
Retailing at around $4,500 USD, this Tudor Black Bay Bronze model is the perfect option for those who prefer classic, versatile bronze watches.
2. Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BM
Next, we have the Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BM. Although it has a very similar watch face to the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze, this model exudes a more casual, relaxed aura that is sure to elevate your everyday style. An interesting thing about this piece is that it was actually launched at the 2016 Baselworld, making it the first-ever Tudor Black Bay Bronze model ever released.
Like the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Ref. 79012M, this model boasts a dark brown dial and an exquisite brown-bronze unidirectional bezel, with luminous hour markers, Arabic numerals, and snowflake hands. However, the Ref. 79250M has a more vintage look that leans towards the smart casual side, especially with its aged leather strap in brown. This is paired with a larger 43mm bronze case. This model is also equipped with a self-winding MT5601 caliber which yields a 70-hour power reserve, a 200-meter depth rating, and a frequency of 4 Hz.
With a price tag of approximately $4,349 USD, this model is the perfect choice for those who want something robust and handsome to accompany them in their daily routines.
3. Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BA
The Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BA is the most recent release from this sub-collection. This watch shows off quite a different look from the first two Tudor Black Bay Bronze options above, but it has the same air of sleek sophistication.
The Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BA features a 43mm bronze case, a rounded black nubuck leather strap with white stitching, and a unidirectional bezel in the same black shade. The dial, on the other hand, comes in a slate grey colour, with luminous hour markers and large snowflake hands. Just like its predecessor, this watch runs on an automatic in-house MT5601 caliber which is COSC-certified and has a power reserve of 70 hours.
You can get your hands on this watch for just $4,100 USD. If you are not a fan of the black leather strap, you also have a choice of opting for a slate grey fabric strap, which retails at the exact same price.
4. Tudor Black Bay Bronze ‘Blue Special Edition’ Ref. 79250BB
Lastly, we have the Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BB, which was released in 2017 and is a special edition model developed for the retailer Bucherer. In a partnership with Bucherer, Tudor created this blue variation of the Black Bay Bronze to celebrate the famous retail shop’s 130th year in the industry.
Design-wise, the Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BB looks very similar to the other models, but its interplay of bronze and blue definitely gives it a more regal, striking aesthetic. This watch comes in a 43mm bronze case along with a fabric strap and unidirectional bezel that both come in dark blue. Its dial features a matching shade of blue, with Tudor’s signature snowflake hands and luminous hour markers in geometric shapes and Arabic numerals. Powered by the MT5601 caliber, this watch has a 70-hour power reserve and a 200-meter water resistance rating.
The Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BB retails at a price of $4,110 USD.
Who Should Buy It?
Now, let us talk about those of you who should definitely get this watch.
- Bronze Watch Enthusiasts. First of all, watch enthusiasts with an affinity for bronze timepieces will definitely enjoy the Tudor Black Bay Bronze. The patina of bronze watches, as described above, is considered very attractive, and many watch connoisseurs think that it adds to the watch’s collectibility. The Tudor Black Bay Bronze, in particular, is one of the most popular bronze models in the luxury watch market. It has all the great qualities of a bronze piece, like corrosion-resistant and beautiful ageing, but elevated to a whole new level of sophistication. If you enjoy bronze watches, be sure to check the Black Bay Bronze out.
- Lovers of Vintage-Inspired Models. The Black Bay collection, as a whole, is inspired by Tudor’s diving models from the 1950s. This means that the essence of the Tudor Black Bay Bronze is deeply entangled with the past, which is evident from its nostalgic design scheme, with snowflake hands and bold luminous hour markers inspired by 1950s Tudor watches. Aside from that, the use of bronze alloy also gives the Black Bay Bronze a gorgeous antique look that only becomes better over time. Fans of vintage-inspired watches will definitely love having a Tudor Black Bay Bronze piece in their collection.
- Tudor Patrons. Lastly, the Black Bay Bronze is recommended for all Tudor patrons out there. It is one of the best watches that Tudor has to offer because it is a perfect balance of elegance and reliability. In addition, it belongs to Tudor’s flagship collection, so it already carries a certain reputation and prestige in the watchmaking community. Simply put, the Tudor Black Bay Bronze is a model that clearly reflects Tudor’s unparalleled craftsmanship and heritage, and it is a great choice for any Tudor fan.
Alternative Models to the Tudor Black Bay Bronze
After all that information about the Tudor Black Bay Bronze, some of you are probably curious if there are other models out there with a similar aesthetic that might cater more to your taste. This is why we have curated a list of the best watches that can serve as alternative options to the Tudor Black Bay Bronze.
1. Omega Seamaster Ref. 126.96.36.199.10.001
Starting off with the Omega Seamaster Ref. 188.8.131.52.10.001, this is a sophisticated, dressy piece that is quite similar to the Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BA. Like the Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BA, this Omega Seamaster watch has a familiar, vintage-influenced look that works very well with a suit and tie ensemble.
The Omega Seamaster Ref. 184.108.40.206.10.001 comes in a 41mm bronze gold case with a black unidirectional bezel and a supple leather strap in brown. Unlike the Black Bay Bronze, the bezel of this Omega watch is made of ceramic, which makes it even more resistant to scratches. It also has a brown-black dial which features luminescent arrow-shaped hands, arrowhead hour markers, and faded Arabic numerals that serve to enhance its old-school vibe.
On the underside of the watch, you can find a transparent caseback that gives you a view of the self-winding OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8912 that powers the watch. This caliber also gives the watch a 300-meter water resistance rating and a 60-hour power reserve. You can purchase this classic Omega piece for around $11,549 USD.
2. MeisterSinger Classic Plus Ref. ME917BR_SVF02-1
Next up, we have the MeisterSinger Classic Plus Ref. ME917BR_SVF02-1, which serves as a more laid-back yet equally robust alternative to the Tudor Black Bay Bronze. This is the type of watch that catches people’s attention in a subtle way.
The MeisterSinger Classic Plus Ref. ME917BR_SVF02-1 comes in a slimmer 38mm bronze case paired with a vintage handmade leather strap with brown and long, well-defined lugs. Other than its bronze exterior, the highlight of this MeisterSinger Classic Plus piece is probably its sunburst blue dial. It features a truly unique handset with a singular hand, luminous Arabic numerals, a minute track, and a circular date window at 6 o’clock. Underneath the watch face, you can find a self-winding Sellita SW200-1 caliber with 25 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve.
For those seeking a more low-key, casual bronze piece, this $1,569 USD MeisterSinger watch would be an excellent choice.
3. Rado Captain Cook Ref. R32504315
The last option on our list, the Rado Captain Cook Ref. R32504315 serves as a more striking and fun alternative to the Tudor Black Bay Bronze. It has a vibrant and lively exterior that will surely draw the eyes of fellow watch enthusiasts.
This Rado Captain Cook watch features a 42mm bronze case with a deep green ceramic bezel and a black leather strap. This is paired with a matching sunburst green dial, which features large arrow hands, luminescent hour indices, and a small rectangular date window at 3 o’clock. The interplay of bronze and green hues go together incredibly well, making this a truly eye-catching timepiece. Meanwhile, the interior of this Rado piece is equipped with an automatic movement that boasts an impressive power reserve of 80 hours.
Priced at just $2,100 USD, this is the perfect watch for those who enjoy colorful and sophisticated bronze timepieces.
Ultimately, the Tudor Black Bay Bronze serves as a reflection of Tudor’s consistent innovation when it comes to its flagship Black Bay collection. With the Black Bay Bronze, Tudor created an elegant, vintage-looking model that boasts a timeless aesthetic and excellent functionality. If you want something that was truly built to last, in terms of both durability and design, then the Tudor Black Bay Bronze is one of the best watches to check out!
All images are credited to WatchShopping.com and Tudor’s official website.
Interested in more diving watches? Check out our article on Citizen NY0040!