Protecting all this by the components and presumably water (this technically being a diver’s view) is exactly the same 41mm, 200m water resistant, stainless steel case, featuring alternating polished and brushed surfaces that Black Bay enthusiasts know too well. Different here is your bezel insert which is made of steel rather than the aluminum present on preceding Black Bay models. The steel insert looks tough and should add a measure of scratch resistance over aluminum whilst also providing for a military-inspired rugged look. Tudor’s riveted oyster style bracelet, which is used on many other but not all Black Bay versions is a standout. In cases like this, the riveted bracelet perfectly compliments the tool watch style the Black Bay Steel is apparently heading for. As a note, Tudor’s execution of a modern “riveted style” necklace is among the best out there, combining contemporary performance with twist bars and modern adjustability for the timeless appearance of Submariners from decades ago. In another move to reinforce the military feel, a canvas NATO style strap in olive green is included using the Black Bay Steel if you decide on the stainless steel bracelet design or the also accessible black leather strap version.
Last year Tudor took the covers off its most affordable Black Bay variant, a compact 36mm model without an elapsed time diving bezel. Now that’s been enlarged, proportionately it has to be said, and turned into the Black Bay 41 that’s just as affordably priced.
The case is now 41mm in diameter, making it the same size as the Black Bay and even the new Black Bay Chrono. The 5mm extra it has over the Black Bay 36 is significant, giving it significantly greater presence on the wrist. Its size is magnified by the plain dial and smooth bezel.
Despite the current fad for smallish vintage watches, 36mm is too small for most men, though it worked well as a ladies’ watch with a military bent. So the Black Bay 41 is a strong proposition, especially since it’s been upsized correctly.
The dial and hands similarly resized to suit the new case. The snowflake hour hand, for instance, is longer, with a larger snowflake at its end.
All the key characteristics of the smaller model remain: glossy black dial with silver print, flat bezel, and the Oyster-esque case with polished bevels along the edges. The case is rated to 150m, with a screw-down case and back.
Inside is the still the ETA 2824, the movement found in Tudor’s entry-level models. Robust and economical, it’ll run reliably for a long, long time, but has the downside of a shortish 38-hour power reserve.
Like all of Tudor’s other retro style Heritage models, the Black Bay 41 is sold with either a steel bracelet or leather strap, both of which are accompanied by a spare fabric NATO-style strap woven with a grey camouflage pattern.
The steel bracelet is an Oyster-style affair, which is standard for Heritage watches with ETA movements; models powered by in-house movements get the riveted link bracelet as found on the second generation Black Bay.
Price and availability
The Black Bay 41 will be available starting April 2017, priced at just SFr100 over the 36mm model. That means it’ll cost SFr2500 (about US$2600) on a leather strap and SFr2800 (about US$2900) on a steel bracelet.
Addition March 25, 2017: Type of steel bracelet added.
Addition March 27, 2017: Photos updated.