Tudor Black Bay 79220B – a Future Collector’s Watch?

Tudor Heritage Black Bay 79220B

Tudor Black Bay 79220B – a Future Collector’s Watch?

2012 was a big year for Tudor. It was the year that the brand released its most important model to date, which has played an important role in putting the brand back on the map after several decades of rest.

Since then, a lot of things have happened. The Black Bay range has become the most important model for Tudor, and now, the range consists of more references than we can even count.

The reference we are going to focus on in this article, the Black Bay 79220B was discontinued in 2016 in favor of a new, revised, and updated version, but collectors are finding the original Black Bay more and more intriguing and historic importance, that the decision between new and old reference is not as easy at it may first seem. Let’s look at the Black Bay 79220B more in detail.

Black Bay 79220B background and history

In 2012, Tudor released the Black Bay 79220R. Two years after Tudor introduced their Heritage Black Bay model, they came up with a variation. The Black Bay Blue, reference 79220B.

In 2016, the brand also released the 79220N, six months before the reference would come to be discontinued forever.

The ”B” in the reference means ”Bleu” and refers to the blue elements of this watch. More specifically it’s a blue bezel and blue crown tube.

Tudor Black Bay 79220B

It is hard to believe that it has soon gone 10 years since this model was released. When looking at it today, it looks just as up-to-date and modern as it did when it was launched. And this is a major thing when it comes to watch design. There are truly timeless watch designs, and there are designs that only remain relevant for so long. This is a good sign for the Black Bay 79220B as it, similar to Tudor’s previous dive watches, will continue to have a design that appeals to people for many, many decades.

The 79220B had a production run of 4 years, and it’s important to remember that Tudor, while carried by its history, reputation, and relation with Rolex, the brand still had to start from uphill. Many of the watch buyers at the time knew little or nothing about Tudor, but Today, the Black Bay is a watch that is always brought up in the discussion if someone is looking for a dive watch that offers great value for money.

Tudor 79220B

Black Bay 79220B Specifications

The Tudor Black Bay 79220B has a 41mm case made of stainless steel. It has brushed lugs and polished sides. The lugs have beveled edges, which is a nod to vintage Tudor watches. Let’s not forget that the model name is ”Heritage Black Bay”, and this watch is in fact inspired by Tudor’s vintage watches.

If you know about Tudor’s vintage watches, this becomes very evident. There are so many elements that are taken from the vintage Tudor watches, and the fact that they still work and still make for a modern watch is something that is truly fascinating.

The Black Bay 79220B has a so-called ”big crown” without any crown guards, which of course removes the protection of the crown, but at the same time, looks extremely good. And you will love this detail even more if you are a fan of the vintage Rolex and Tudor dive watches from the 50s.

Furthermore, the watch has a matte black dial which is truly rich in texture. This dial is absolutely stunning in any condition, but it is particularly in direct sunlight that you can appreciate the depth and details of it.

The watch has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a midnight blue, inspired by vintage Tudor dive watches. The color is meant to suggest the look of some vintage military Tudor divers that had black dials and blue bezels.

As mentioned, the 79220B has a blue matching crown tube that has been made in a dark shade of blue.

Tudor heritage Black Bay 79220B

The Black Bay Blue has white hands, and white writing on the dial, as opposed to both the black and red versions which feature gilt printing and gold hands.

On the side of the crown, you can find the Tudor rose logo, which pays tribute to Tudor’s history.

What is also interesting about the 79220B is that it is not as thick as the new 79230 reference. This has to do with the fact that the new in-house movement demands more room, and therefore, rather than being completely flat on the Black Bay ETA, it points out. It’s not a lot, but it has a huge effect on how the watch sits and wears on the wrist. The 79220B is a watch that just works at all times. It’s sporty, it’s water-resistant to 200m and yet it’s discreet and flies under the radar at most times.

Black Bay 79220B collector’s piece?

The retail price of the 79220B was about 2500 EUR on the bracelet when it was released, and looking at its build quality and finish of it, it’s impossible to say anything else other than the fact that the watch offers great value for money. And if you find in-house movements important, you have the new reference 79230 to choose from, which offers yet another value proposition thanks to the movement.

Tudor heritage Black Bay 79220B

ETA movements in the watch industry are broadly used by various manufacturers, but at the same, there’s something holy about developing and using your own in-house movements as a manufacturer. But with that said, as time passes, there are more and more people who turn to the Black Bay 79220 instead of the updated in-house version reference 79230. Does this mean the 79220 has already become a popular collector’s piece?

Well, to some extent. Here’s the deal:

Let’s not forget that the Black Bay 79220 which was released in 2012 has played a crucial role in re-establishing the Tudor brand. In other words, it has had huge importance for the brand, and therefore, more and more people have become intrigued by ”the watch that started it all in modern times”. Remember that collectors always want the original.

Tudor Black Bay 79220B

Yes, the 79220B has an ETA movement, but you should also have in mind that that was the whole point of the Tudor brand back in the day. Tudor was established to offer the same quality as Rolex but at a lower price point, and they achieved this by fitting them with off-the-shelf movements. This means that if you want to get as close to the original as possible, then choosing the 79220B ETA version is a no-brainer. But there is also more that makes the 79220B so popular, and that makes people choose that reference over the new one.

Tudor heritage Black Bay 79220B luminous

But remember that when it comes to collecting, nothing is like the original, first edition.

The watch is powered by the Tudor-modified ETA 2824 caliber. It’s not the most advanced of movements, nor is it the most beautiful movement, however, what it is is reliable. This ETA movement is sturdy, robust, and a workhorse. The benefit of the ETA version over the in-house version is of course that the ETA movements are easy and quite cheap to maintain.

Another reason is that the 79220B has the Tudor rose logo on the dial. The new Tudor watches have the Tudor shield, and while both logos have been used throughout history, the rose is the one that stays closest to the brand’s roots and history.

Tudor heritage Black Bay 79220B luminous

Another thing is the printing on the dial: ”self-winding”. On the 79220B, the text is curved upwards, and this is what has come to be called the ”smiley face” amongst collectors and enthusiasts. This curved line of text may not be a lot, but it’s really the small details that make all the difference.

And lastly, the 79220B has an Oyster-style bracelet, but the new reference has faux rivets on the side of the bracelet, and these rivets have been controversial. Some people absolutely hate them, but others think they are okay.

Tudor Black Bay 79220b prices and value

The Tudor Black Bay 79220B is out of production, and therefore, the only way to find it is to look at the secondhand market. If you look at the secondhand market, you will also notice something interesting, and that is that the prices for this reference have climbed slowly and steadily.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay 79220B

When the first Black Bay came onto the market in 2012 the price was around € 2.500. Today, they sell for about the same and is continuing to increase. This proves that there is a great interest in this reference  – an interest that will only continue to increase.


The Tudor Black Bay 79220B has already become a classic and well-respected collector’s piece.

When the 79220B was in production, it was a watch that offered great value for money. The watch is extremely well-finished with details such as polished sides contrasted by brushed elements, bevels, and more. The watch feels robust and qualitative, just like the modern Black Bay does. But remember, the 79220B is no more in production, and as more and more people understand the historical importance of this timepiece, the demand for them will increase, and naturally, the prices will follow.

We have already seen a price increase on the secondhand market of this reference since the watch was discontinued in 2016, and everything suggests this watch will only continue to climb in value in the long run.

The bottom line is that the original Black Bay 79220 is a true classic that will continue to increase in popularity over the years as more and more people understand its historic importance. What is your take on this Black Bay reference? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

2 thoughts on “Tudor Black Bay 79220B – a Future Collector’s Watch?

  1. Great article. I just purchased the 79220B brand new on a leather strap from my AD. Price was $3150. It’s been in their inventory for a couple years. I currently have the Rolex Sub Hulk and the original Rolex GMT Batman. Like the Tudor more than those two.

    1. Hi Michael,
      Glad you enjoyed the article! Great buy! The 79220 is really great value for money!

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

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