Dating back to the original Tudor Submariner from 1954, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay is a contemporary timepiece, inspired by the first Submariner, as well as taking design cues from virtually all subsequent Submariner models.First presented in 2012 with a burgundy bezel, black-chocolate dial, gilt printed minute track and beige lume (Ref. 70922R). In 2014, the Replica Tudor Black Bay debuted in a new version, this time with a blue bezel, black dial, white minute track and white lume (Ref. 70922B).
Aesthetically, the Black Bay case and hour indexes come from the original 1954 reference 7922 Tudor Submariner. However, it’s the reference 7924 from 1958, dubbed the “big crown,” that inspired the oversized crown seen on the current model. And as for the “Snowflake” hands, they first appeared on references 7016 and 7021 from 1969. In the second half of the 20th century, the French Navy used Tudor diver’s watches, and they were generally blue. This explains the midnight-blue bezel, the matching blue anodized aluminum ring around the crown, and even the optional midnight-blue distressed leather strap. “It’s a rugged and versatile daily wearer that looks just as good with a pair of board shorts, as it does a t-shirt and jeans, or a suit.”
Like the 7922, the new matte dial has a large triangle marker at 12 o’clock, baton indexes at 3, 6 and 9 – and circular indexes for the other eight hour markers. However, while the original hour markers were printed on the dial, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Blue Replica has applied indexes, with metal surrounds that are filled with luminous material. Moreover, the surrounds are polished, resulting in a perfect contrast against the matte black background and adding great depth to the dial.
Until the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Blue Replica, the most recent Tudor Submariners were produced up until the 1980s, and they came both with or without a date. This time around, the date was omitted on all models, which is something that has become in vogue across the industry the past few years. However, it is more than just a trend. By removing the date, which is arguably a superfluous function for a dive watch, the result is a cleaner, more elegant and symmetrical watch face. And most importantly, it makes it easier to read the time, the primary function of any good watch. Protecting the dial is a domed sapphire crystal, not quite a tall as vintage models, but still tall enough to stand out, and provide a vintage nod.
While Rolex is separate from Tudor, in the 1950s, the Tudor Submariner was launched alongside the Rolex Submariner, which first came out in 1953, reference 6204. Back then, Tudor cases, crowns, and bracelets were all made by Rolex. Tudor watches even came with famous Rolex crown logo relief engraved on the crown. Modern Tudors no longer use Rolex cases, crowns, and bracelets, however, as we mentioned above, the case is strongly inspired by the vintage designs.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Blue Replica comes in a 316L stainless steel case that measures approximately 41 mm in diameter by 12.75 mm in height and 50.25 mm in length. The width at the lugs is 22 mm. Total weight with the leather strap is 103.2 grams. The matte blue bezel insert features a 60-minute dive scale that rotates unidirectionally. A dot at 12 o’clock allows you to keep track of your dive time in low-light conditions. The coin edges of the bezel are polished, which contrasts with the top of the case and lugs which are satin-polished. The entire case flanks, lug sides, and chamfered edges, are fully polished, creating the perfect juxtaposition of the two surfaces finishes.
Similar to the dimensions of the Big Crown, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Blue Replica’s large stainless steel crown measures about 7.95mm in diameter. And there are no crown guards, a nod to both the 7922, 7923 and 7924. A blue anodized aluminum tube sits in between the crown and the case. The crown features a double locking system to ensure water-resistance. It is engraved with the Tudor rose emblem and polished. Operating the crown is very easy to do and one of the advantages of its oversized design.