Each year the horological world convenes in Geneva to celebrate the new year in watchmaking and wonder in the unveiling of new releases from the best brands on the planet. This annual gathering, Watches and Wonders, is a showcase for the classic, the absurd, and the revolutionary. It is the place to make a statement about the direction of a brand, the rejuvenation of a purpose, or the re-orientation of history. This year was no exception, with nearly 40 world leading brands releasing new timepieces. One new release caught our attention, with a clear nod to history and the expansion of a popular line, all at the attractive price point for which the brand is known. This is the new Tudor Black Bay Pro.
If you are looking for polished flashy brilliance, get a Rolex. Tudor, after all, was designed as the working man’s answer to their crown cousin, made with the same exacting specifications and designed to take the toll of a hard day’s work. Nods to classic Rolex design are no stranger to Tudor designs, and the Black Bay Pro is a clear riff off the classic Rolex Explorer II (the Steve McQueen watch), which was last produced by Rolex in 1984. The 42mm Rolex featured a similar look and the fixed steel bezel case, with the modern Black Bay showcasing the signature Tudor snowflake hands.
The inspiration of a 40 year-old design by no means indicates a lack of technological prowess however, as the Black Bay Pro is powered by the same MT5652 movement as the current Black Bay GMT lineup. The COSC certified self-winding mechanical movement has a power reserve of approximately 70 hours and features a non-magnetic silicon balance spring tucked into the 39mm diameter case. The Black Bay Pro is a true GMT timepiece, with the date window complication tied to the local hour hand. This means you can use the single crown to set the GMT hand to preferred time and when traveling adjust the hour/minute hands to local time, impacting the date on the timepiece as well, allowing you to rest easy that the date is always correct to your local time should you hop across that midnight threshold during your travels.
The Black Bay Pro introduces an updated domed dial with a matte black finish. The hour markers and hands are not-quite white and not-quite antiqued, with a generous application of lume to ensure visibility on all your adventures. The satin finished case is matched with a brushed-steel 24-hour locked bezel and a new-to-Black Bay screw-down crown, bringing the water resistance of the Pro to 200 meters. If there is one fault to the new timepiece, it would be the height of the case, at 14.6mm, which is necessary to pack the movement into a 39mm diameter frame. The design of the Black Bay Pro is perfect Tudor. Subtle, yet packed with design elements which showcase the refinement of the brand and the expertise of the watchmaking. Offered with a steel bracelet, a black fabric NATO-style strap with a yellow band, or a new hybrid rubber and leather two-piece strap. The Black Bay Pro is priced above the Black Bay Fifty-Eight and below the Black Bay GMT, proving once again that Tudor will continue to deliver incredible design, function, and performance at a competitive price point.