March 30, 2022
by Tom Roth
Nothing encapsulated the anticipation for Watches & Wonders 2022 better than the countdown timer on Tudor’s homepage. Watched by horology geeks worldwide since it started ticking down sometime last week, the excitement for a return to large-scale watch releases a la pre-2020 was palpable. That anticipation manifested in the usual speculation among watch geeks but also in more enterprising sleuths, one of whom cleverly noticed unpublished links on the Watches & Wonders sitemap that pointed toward Tudor’s planned releases. That was a nice tease, but with just names and no images, the suspense continued to build, especially because of the mysterious “Black Bay Pro,” a new name in Tudor’s lineup.
When the countdown hit zero at 11:30 p.m. here on the West Coast, we got our first look at the Black Bay Pro. Described as a tribute to Tudor’s adventurous spirit, the Black Bay Pro is an all-steel GMT featuring a new black-yellow color scheme, totally new to the Black Bay line. Familiar elements like Tudor’s “Snowflake” hands are present, including in the yellow GMT hand, but the real intrigue comes from what’s new.
Developed in partnership with movement manufacturer Kenissi, the “Manufacture” MT5652 automatic GMT movement has been a staple of Tudor’s GMT offerings since the original Black Bay GMT. With a 70-hour power reserve, it’s easily a weekend-proof watch, but what’s more interesting is the “retrograde” date function. When adjusting the time backward, the date will actually snap back to the previous date when passing midnight in reverse. This avoids the frustration of having to click forward and around simply to arrive at the correct date.
Also new are the applied ceramic indices. Because the entire surface area of the markers is covered in lume, the markers provide more brightness without taking up additional space on the dial. Finally, the “T-fit” bracelet brings the toolless micro-adjustment beloved by Pelagos fans to the Black Bay line, allowing for an extra 8mm of adjustment on the clasp. Also available on a black hybrid rubber-leather strap or Tudor’s famous black-yellow jacquard fabric, the Black Bay Pro looks mission-ready, regardless of kit.
Keen observers will notice the kinship the Black Bay Pro shares with the Rolex Explorer 1655. The 1655’s 39mm size was big by 1970s standards, but for the Black Bay Pro in 2022, it’s perfect; smaller GMTs are one thing watch geeks have been clamoring for. Additionally, the 1655’s fixed steel bezel with a 24-hour scale may have been the inspiration for the Pro’s near-identical bezel. Regardless, the design is eminently practical, eliminating a point-of-failure suffered by GMTs with rotating bezels.
As with most watches in the Black Bay line, the Pro is water-resistant to 200m, thanks in part to the redesigned screw-down crown. All told, the Pro sets a new standard of performance for the Black Bay line and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. For more information, visit Tudor’s website.
Model: Black Bay Pro
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Case Material: Stainless Steel with polished and satin finish
Crystal: Domed sapphire
Movement: Tudor “Manufacture” Caliber MT5652 (COSC-certified )
Frequency: 28,800 bph
Power Reserve: Approx. 70 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Riveted steel bracelet (M79470-0001), Hybrid rubber and leather strap (M79470-0003), or Black fabric strap with yellow band (M79470-0002)
Price: $4,000 USD (bracelet), $3,675 (black leather or black-yellow fabric)
Availability: Available now on the Tudor site