NEWS: Introducing the unique Tudor Black Bay One

NEWS: Introducing the unique Tudor Black Bay One

Felix Scholz

The story in a second:

Tudor makes one-off Black Bay for charity auction. Watch fans threaten riots if a regular production version doesn’t follow.

Tudor-Black-Bay-One-1One of the most special events on the watch auction calendar is the biennial Only Watch charity auction.

The concept is simple. Participating watch brands donate a ‘unique watch’ (as in, there is in only one of them made) to be auctioned off to raise money for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. If you can handle the invariably high hammer prices this auction is a great chance to get your hands on a one-off piece of horology while supporting a worthy cause. What’s not to like?

Tudor-Black-Bay-One-2This is the first year that Tudor are participating in Only Watch (now being held in collaboration with Phillips Watches). And the watch they’ve announced for their first foray is pure vintage gold.

The Black Bay One is Tudor’s most faithful heritage piece yet, and that’s saying something, given the reputation they’ve developed in recent years for reissue purity. Based on a rare 1954 example of the Tudor reference 7923, a very early version of the Submariner with a slim profile (thanks to the manually wound ETA 1182) and very minimal dial text.

The Tudor Black Bay One (reference 7923/001 – a classy touch, but the double zeroes are interesting, aren’t they…) pays homage to this original. They’ve kept the Black Bay case, and the nylon strap we’ve come to expect, but after these familiar features things start getting interesting. The black bezel is a first for the Black Bay, and not just because of the colour. It’s the first time we’ve seen a bezel without the minute hashes from one to fifteen. The triangle marker is also new. The red triangle is not found on the ’54 original, but is a feature found on ‘big crown’ Submariners. Another unique aspect of this Black Bay is the hands. Tudor has avoided the snowflake style hands in favour of period correct baton hands with a lollipop second hand. This small change radically alters the mood of the Black Bay. Additionally the dial is glossy black with gilt printing, with patinated luminous plots, as opposed to the white indices on the regular production versions. The red dial text links into the bezel and is a special touch. The straight-ended bracelet, reminiscent of vintage ‘rivet’ bracelets completes the look.

Tudor-Black-Bay-One-3Given how hot Tudor is at the moment we are reluctant to speculate on what this one of a kind Black Bay will hammer in at, but if forced to speculate we think it will fetch at least ten times the price of a regular Black Bay. So mark us down for circa 30kCHF.

The real question isn’t how much it goes for, but rather – when (and it is when, not if, look at those zeroes!) will we see a regular production version of this Black Bay? We’re less keen to speculate on this point. We wouldn’t want to start a riot now, would we?