One of the standouts for Tudor last year was the small and simple Black Bay 36. For the first time Tudor’s key collection shed its dive watch origins in favour of a sleeker, more minimal look. It also lost a sizeable amount of bulk, trimming down to a svelte 36mm, making it ideal for women and suitable for men looking for something different. And while the BB 36 found plenty of fans, some were left wanting a little more. Well, Tudor has been paying attention, and at Baselworld the brand unveiled an upscaled, 41mm version.
Case diameter aside, not a lot has changed. The watch is still dominated by the glossy black dial and wide, polished bezel. The instantly recognisable snowflake hand that is the hallmark of the Black Bay family is in evidence. And ticking away behind the scenes is an ETA-based automatic, rather than one of Tudor’s own movements. For me, the dial of the 36mm version feels slightly cramped because of the large, lume-filled applied markers – that’s not a concern here. All the visual elements are balanced and in harmony. The other new element is the strap, now offered in a rich tan brown, with contrasting stitching and fitted with a deployant buckle. It’s also available on a bracelet, and of course comes with a woven fabric strap (in the same urban camouflage pattern as the 36). This leather strap is more masculine than the leather option on the smaller version, and more versatile than the distressed leathers available on regular Black Bays. Tudor – if you’re listening – I’d like to see more straps like this.
There’s no doubt that that Black Bay collection is now a fully fledged family, with various looks, sizes and complications on offer. Into this landscape the Black Bay 41 is not only the most accessibly priced option (along with its smaller sibling), it’s also the dressiest, most versatile choice. As soon as we saw the 36mm version, we knew there would eventually be a larger option in the offing, and it’s turned out to be just as winning. We suspect this one will be popular.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay 41 Australian pricing
Tudor Heritage Black Bay 41 on leather, $3150, on steel $3500