Tudor kicked off its 2021 showcase of new models with the Tudor Black Bay Chrono, a watch we were waiting for last year, but we are going to lead this story with the 39mm Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925. Why? Well, for one thing, it sports a silver case (hence the 925 in the name) and an exhibition caseback – the former a first for Tudor, the latter a first for the Black Bay. Honestly, the team huddled over whether any major brand had a silver dive watch in current production but we think not (this is the Internet, correct us please). These facts explain our decision to lead with this piece, because it provokes questions.
First of all, you may wonder why sterling silver? This material may have been used for pocket watches but it was never particularly favoured for wristwatches. The problem is stability, given that the metal will age and might even be an irritant to one’s skin. Tudor does not explain the alloy in use here, what with patents and everything, but it says stability is not an issue. In the video presentation, the brand coyly suggests that something gold and something silver have been added here. Now that could be anything, from gold to platinum, or copper to zinc. However, we speculate that something inert must be in play to make this Black Bay suitable for extensive exposure on one’s wrist.
The next matter for discussion is the exhibition caseback, which allows the world to see the manufacture automatic calibre MT5400. This calibre might sound unfamiliar but it is a variation on the MT5402 that powers a range of Black Bay models. According to Hodinkee, the main difference between MT5400 and MT5402 lies in the size of the base plate, which has been adjusted to make it better suited to strutting its stuff via that exhibition window. Yes, this is a tool watch but it clearly yearns for some horological appreciation. Given how the Black Bay collection is evolving, this may be a very smart move indeed. As far as the taupe dial is concerned, we will reserve judgment until we see the watches, which will be this week.
And now, the 41mm Chrono… Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the Tudor chronograph but obviously event overtook this. Well it is finally here, and it sports the automatic calibre MT5813, which is not new. We last saw it in the S&G model, but it is now available in steel variants so hurray for everyman watch enthusiasts…if you can get it. We understand from the same presentation video that the 2021 Black Bay Chrono is slimmer than its predecessors but we will once again withhold judgment until we examine it in person.
Finally, there is a full gold watch to get into, but we will only get into the shallows with it for now. It too is a Black Bay Fifty-Eight so that makes two precious (sort of) 2021 additions to that popular family. We will be sure to dedicate more space to it in time to come, perhaps in the magazine.
All images courtesy of Tudor.