First, let’s discuss what “entry level” means, as there is a lot of discussion about this vague term in the horological world. Some give this designation that timepieces as affordable as $500, while others will call a $10,000 masterpiece an entry level watch. In my experience, this term most often describes products in the $2,000-5,000 range. They are the beginning of the truly exquisite luxury pieces, but can be had for a reasonable amount of money. That’s why I think the Tudor Heritage Black Bay embodies this spirit perfectly and is an excellent choice for anyone looking to enter the luxury watch market!
Tudor Heritage Black Bay History
If you’re a watch enthusiast, there is a good chance that you’ve heard the name Hans Wilsdorf. The reason is that this visionary businessman created Rolex, which is perhaps the most famous watch brand in the world. After some time, Wilsdorf sought to make a product that could retain Rolex’s standards of quality, but come in at a lower price point. What he wanted to do was open up his craft and make it more accessible to regular people.
Tudor was born out of this exact desire. The relationship that Wilsdorf provided allowed Tudor to become a powerhouse brand right away, as they had access to Rolex’s widespread appeal and technology. It wasn’t long before the US Navy began to use Tudor watches and the company started to make historical contributions to the craft of horology. What you, the consumer, need to know is that this brand has a fascinating and impressive heritage that you can be proud of.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Aesthetics
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay has that quintessential dive aesthetic, but somehow separates itself from almost every other piece I’ve seen. The appeal starts with the dial, which is simple, yet exudes pure class. Next, you have the hands, which sport the signature Tudor shape. Then, there is everything else: The glossy bezel, polished case, and much more. One thing I especially like about this piece is how creative you can get with its straps and coloring. You can stick to a conventional silver bracelet and black bezel. Or branch out with a leather strap and bronze case. Whatever your style is, the Black Bay should cater to it.
Tudor isn’t one of those brands that sells based on name alone. Instead, they devote themselves to creating excellent timepieces that have fantastic craftsmanship. That devotion starts with the movement, which is incredibly reliable and is built in-house. It also has an impressive 200m water resistance and a general feel of quality materials. In short, you won’t get your hands on a Black Bay and think, “this feels cheap.” Instead, you’ll be shocked at how low the price is despite its exceptional quality.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Price Point
As is always the case when talking about watches, the price you get will depend on what you buy and where you buy it from. Still, I can provide a range that your Black Bay will most likely fit into. As far as I can tell, every one of them is somewhere between $2,500-3,500. While this price point is unrealistic for many, it is somewhat affordable when you compare it the other Swiss brands. Ultimately, this piece is not out of reach for many of the people that are interested in joining the luxury watch culture.
A Past Complaint That’s Been Resolved
One issue that collectors had with the Tudor Heritage Black Bay in the past is that it used a generic movement. What this means is that Tudor would buy Swiss machinery from a bulk supplier. Then they would install it into their pieces. While they worked well, many people didn’t like how high the price was, considering that the movements were not built in-house. The good news is that this issue has been resolved. Tudor now produces their Black Bay movements themselves, making it an even more attractive piece.
One Thing You Might Not Like
There is one thing that you might not like about the Tudor Heritage Black Bay: Its case is a bit thick. While this issue doesn’t bother me, many people love the look and feel of a thin, sleek watch. If that describes you, it might be better to choose a different piece. Additionally, you can look into the smallest sizes of the Black Bay and see if they suit you better.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Conclusion
Over time, you learn about the watch industry and that there are hundreds of fantastic options at every price point. Still, some pieces seem to grab your attention more than others. For me, that is the Tudor Heritage Black Bay – which checks all the boxes for entry-level watches. If you agree, then perhaps it is time to make the investment! Considering how wonderful the Black Bay is from top to bottom, taking that leap is something you likely won’t regret.