June 29, 2015
by Ariel Adams
This is a very rare chance to own a modern piece unique Tudor watch. The Only Watch 2015 charity watch auction is coming to Geneva this year on November 6th, 2015. To remind you, Only Watch is a special auction event that has brands donating piece unique watches that will be used to raise money for charity. I covered Only Watch 2015 more here on Forbes. The event is always highly promoted and interesting to the watch industry because all the watches are special.
The rules say that in order for a watch to participate, it must be the first of its kind (such as # 1 in a limited edition), a not-for-retail-sale unique prototype, or a totally unique watch made especially for the event. This latter category represents the most interesting watches and what I actually care about seeing. It isn’t even so much the final auction values that I personally care about, but rather, what brands decide will be interesting or worthwhile to auction off. This year for 2015, we see the Rolex group participating for the first time through the Tudor watch brand – and their entrant is the unique Tudor Heritage Black Bay One reference 7923/001.
For the most part, this unique watch is a cosmetically different version of the existing Tudor Heritage Black Bay (reviewed here on aBlogtoWatch). The watch itself is an homage to Tudor’s historic military-style dive watches. However, with the Heritage Black Bay One, Tudor more specifically references a historic 1954 Tudor Submariner known as the reference 7923. For that reason, the reference number of this modern piece unique Black Bay One is 7923/001. Tudor includes a black rotating bezel insert with red accents, as well as unique “gilt” style gold-toned hands and hour markers. This is going to be a very desirable timepiece for those who are particularly keen on vintage Rolex and Tudor sport watches.
You should also know that the Tudor Heritage Black Bay’s retail price is considerably lower than most of the watches you’ll see at Only Watch (if they had retail prices, that is). Even though the Tudor Heritage Black Bay normally costs under $3,500, this Heritage Black Bay One will easily go for several times that price. I am guessing that someone will like the design enough to shell out between about $15,000 – $30,000 for this attractive and even more vintage-inspired Tudor Heritage Black Bay One watch.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay is available on both a steel bracelet and strap – and this unique model for the Only Watch 2015 charity auction will include both the strap and steel bracelet. The case is 41mm wide in steel, and contains a Swiss ETA 2824 automatic movement. I wonder what would have been if Tudor decided to include include their new in-house movement in this particular Black Bay One timepiece. We can only guess. One important question is why Tudor has now decided to participate in the Only Watch auction. The auction event this year will be run by the new watch department at Philips that is operated by Bacs & Russo. Aurel Bacs is a very effective and entertaining watch auctioneer who is known to add as much pizazz to an event as possible. This will have been the third auction house partner to work with Only Watch over its still short history.
Tudor is likely interested in appealing to the enthusiast community as much as possible, and gauging their interest in the watch. Offering a piece unique model for charity with no promises of later retail sale is both inexpensive and safe for a company like Tudor who normally cannot simply “test products” in the market. This is a good opportunity for Tudor and all the 43 brands participating in Only Watch 2015 to get a lot of buzz, excite collectors, but also gauge interest in experimental designs. Normally held in Monaco, Only Watch 2015 will this year be held in Geneva on November 7, 2015, and I look forward to seeing how this unique Tudor Heritage Black Bay One ref. 7923/001 will do. Again, the normal retail price of a Tudor Heritage Black Bay watch is between $3,100 – $3,495 depending on the strap. tudorwatch.com