The Ultimate Guide to the Black Bay Collection [All Models & Timeline]
It’s safe to say that the Black Bay collection is Tudor’s single most important model range. And the fact of the matter is that the Black Bay is to a very large degree responsible for Tudor’s success in modern times since the brand’s relaunch in around 2009.
At the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, Tudor was struggling. The company had left most markets and didn’t release a lot of new models. Despite its strong heritage and history, Tudor was, by many, forgotten and neglected. But in around 2009 and the years to come, Tudor underwent a major relaunch to completely update its collection of watches and to rebuild the brand again.
And the Black Bay would come to prove to be the single most important launch in Tudor’s rebranding strategy and continues to be Tudor’s single most important collection 11 years later.
The Black Bay began with one watch and has now grown to more than 14 models and more than 110 variations in terms of sizes, dial colors, and iterations. With that said, the Black Bay has grown to become Tudor’s single most important model, both in terms of the total number of models but also in sales.
In this article, we have created a timeline that goes into detail about when each Black Bay model was released, from the launch in 2012 up until now.
Explaining the Black Bay Collection
Tudor has divided its watches into 5 different categories which are as follows:
- BLACK BAY
- SPORT WATCHES
- CLASSIC WATCHES
- WOMEN’S WATCHES
- DIVING WATCHES
In turn, each of these categories contains multiple different models, and in turn, several different references and versions. For example, the Black Bay GMT 79830RB is part of the Black Bay series but it is in turn also part of the Black Bay GMT collection.
When the first Black Bay was released in 2012, Tudor had a few different categories of watches, one of which was the ”Heritage” collection. This collection included watches that were inspired by Tudor’s heritage and one of those was the Heritage Black Bay. With the launch of the in-house version of Black Bay 41 in 2016, Tudor removed the ”Heritage” from the name and began calling the collection ”Black Bay”.
Originally, it was just one model, the reference 79220B, but now, there are more Black Bay models than you can count in different styles, sizes, iterations, and metals. The Black Bay has gone from being a professional dive watch to now being available in versions that are suitable as dress watches, everyday watches, and everything in between. At the same time, Tudor has managed to retain the signature DNA of the Black Bay across all models to some extent.
In other words, regardless of the model you’re looking at, you’ll always be able to tell that it is a Black Bay. Design elements like the big crown, the iconic snowflake hands, and the case design are three of the most important features that make the Black Bay stand out – and have also helped it build an almost iconic status.
Without further ado, let’s look closer at the timeline of the different Black Bay models.
Tudor Black Bay Timeline
In many ways, 2012 is the single most important year for Black Bay. This was the year that the Black Bay model was born and saw the light of day. This launch was a major part of Tudor’s relaunch since it was the first dive watch that Tudor released. And because dive watches are an extremely important part of Tudor’s history, it would naturally be so also in modern times.
Heritage Black Bay 79220R
The very first Black Bay model ever created was the Heritage Black Bay 79220R. This model is not a ”re-issue” of a specific vintage dive watch, but what the company did was look at all of the vintage Tudor dive watches and pick the very best features and elements and combine that into one watch. The result was a 41mm dive watch with a stainless steel case, a big crown without crown guards, a matte red bezel insert, and a lovely textured black dial with gilt markers and print, ”smiley” text on the dial, and Tudor’s rose logo.
Black Bay models released in 2012
- Heritage Black Bay 79220r
Heritage Black Bay 79220B
The first launch of the Black Bay 79220R proved to be a huge success so in 2014, Tudor wanted to build upon this. And they did so by adding another watch to the Black Bay family, the 79220B. At its core, this is the exact same model as the 79220R with the difference that it has a blue bezel and crown tube instead of red. Moreover, it has white/silver print on the dial and white metal markers instead of gilt.
Black Bay models released in 2014
- Heritage Black Bay 79220B
Heritage Black Bay 79220N
In 2015, Tudor added yet another color variation to the Heritage Black Bay family. This time, it was a black version which perhaps stays the truest to vintage Tudor watches (since most of them are black, and that’s how most people envision dive watches). The 79220N has a black bezel, black crown tube, a red line of text on the dial, and a gilt print.
The 79220N became the shortest-produced Black Bay ever as it was discontinued only about 6 months after its release.
Black Bay models released in 2015
- Heritage Black Bay 79220N
2016 was an important year for the Black Bay as Tudor really doubled down on the model by presenting several new and exciting variants of the Black Bay.
Black Bay 79230R, 79230N, 79230B
In 2016, Tudor completely updated the Heritage Black Bay model line of the three variants and replaced them with three new ones. The key reason for this was to change from ETA movements to in-house movements. To denote an upgraded model, Tudor changed the reference number from 79220 to 79230. Replacing the three variations, the new references were 79230N, 79230B, and 79230R.
Apart from the change of the movement, Tudor also equipped the 79230 with a new rivet-style bracelet, inspired by the rivet bracelets of early dive watches. Moreover, Tudor made some slight differences to the dial design, including removing the iconic ”smiley” dial print as well as changing the logo from the Tudor rose to the Tudor Shield.
Black Bay 79250BM
2016 also saw the launch of the very first variant of the Black Bay outside of the traditional 41mm design. Tudor launched the Black Bay 79250BM, a 43mm watch built on the Black Bay design, completely made in bronze.
This is the first bronze watch that Tudor has ever released and it is the first watch to have a different size than 41mm.
Black Bay 79230DK
Another addition to the Black Bay collection in 2016 was the 79230DK. This is an all-black DLC-coated version of the Black Bay 79230, equipped with an in-house movement. More or less everything about this watch is the same as the 79230 with the exception that it didn’t have a rivet bracelet, was DLC coated and has a slightly reworked dial design.
Black Bay 36 79500
In 2016, Tudor also launched the Black Bay 36 reference 79500. This is the first Black Bay that is not built as a professional dive watch. It is much thinner and does not have a unidirectional bezel. Equipped with a non-in-house movement, this watch was meant as an entry-level everyday watch that is versatile yet elegant enough to wear through all of life’s events.
Moreover, the 36mm size meant that more people – even those with smaller wrists – now could enjoy the DNA of the Black Bay.
With the launch of the Black Bay 36, Tudor took an important step to broaden the Black Bay family to not only include professional dive watches but rather to present alternatives that can be worn on all kinds of different occasions.
Black Bay models released in 2016
- Black Bay 79250BM
- Black Bay 79230DK
- Black Bay 79230N
- Black Bay 79230B
- Black Bay 79230R
- Black Bay 36 79500
If 2016 was an important year for Tudor, 2017 almost topped it in regard to the number of new Black Bay models that were released. Tudor released several new Black Bay models and greatly broadened the Black Bay family.
Black Bay Chronograph 79350
First up is the Black Bay Chronograph reference 79350. This was an important milestone for Tudor as it is the first Black Bay to have a different function than only timekeeping. It is also the first Black Bay chronograph to be released.
Black Bay steel 79730
2017 was the year that Tudor released the first Black Bay to feature a date function. At its core, the Black Bay steel is the same model as the 79230 only with slight visual changes and the addition of a date function. This now gave people the option to choose between a date and a no-date version depending on their needs and wants in a dive watch.
Black Bay Date S&G 79733N
2017 was also the year that Tudor released the very first Black Bay in steel and gold. This was the same model as the Black Bay steel reference 79733N. It is the same watch as the 79730 only equipped with a black bezel, gilt dial, and gold and steel accent. The addition of gold enhanced the exclusivity of this Black Bay, allowing Tudor to take the first step to building a more luxurious and exclusive brand.
Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Blue 79250BB
2017 saw the release of the very first ”special edition” Black Bay. And Tudor didn’t satisfy with just one. Instead, they released two. The first one is the Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Blue reference 79250BB. This watch is based on the 79250BM launched in 2016 but with a blue bezel and dial to match the signature color of Bucherer. The 79250BB is exclusively sold in Bucherer stores – one of the most well-known and prestigious watch retail chains in the world – and also the largest in Switzerland.
Black Bay Harrods 79230G
The second special edition watch that Tudor presented in 2017 was the Black Bay Harrods special edition reference 79230G. This model is based on the 79230 but is designed with green accents such as a green bezel and a green-tipped seconds hand to match the signature color of the iconic and world-renowned department store in London, England. This watch is exclusively sold at Harrods and each watch is numbered. It is, however, just like the butcherer, not a limited edition
Black Bay models released in 2017
- Black Bay Steel 79730
- Black Bay Bronze Bucherer 79250BB
- Black Bay Harrods 79230G
- Black Bay Date S&G 79733N
In many ways, 2018 is the most important year for the Black Bay – apart from 2012 when the Black Bay was born. The reason for this is that it is the first year that Rolex released models that became so popular that there were waiting lists at official Tudor retailers just to be able to buy them. And the interesting thing about scarcity is that it leads to FOMO (fear of missing out), which makes us want something even more.
This situation greatly boosted the prestige of the Tudor brand, originally going from making watches that few people wanted, to making watches that everyone wanted. So, which models did Tudor release in 2018?
Black Bay GMT 79830RB
2018 saw the release of Tudor’s first Black Bay with a GMT function, the Black Bay GMT 7983RB with a ”Pepsi” bezel. At its core, the watch shared the design and components of the classic Black Bay 41, but with a bidirectional GMT bezel in blue and red, a GMT movement, and an additional GMT hand. Partially because of the similarity to the bigger brother Rolex’s highly sought-after GMT-Master II 126710BLRO, this watch became a huge success.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N
The second extremely popular launch from Tudor – definitely one of Tudor’s most popular watches ever made – was the Black Bay Fifty-Eight reference 79030N.
Ever since the launch of the Black Bay 41 79230, a lot of people had complained about the 41mm. Whilst it is a relatively ”standard” size for a professional sports watch, a lot of people found it too big. Moreover, a lot of people thought that making a vintage-inspired watch and then not staying true to the sizes that were used at the time was a mistake. After all, the watches that the Black Bay was inspired by were between 38 and 40mm. In order to make a vintage-inspired dive watch that stays true to its heritage, it needed to have a smaller case size.
Thankfully, Tudor listened and launched a 39mm version of the Black Bay in 2018. This model became wildly successful and, just like the GMT, had waiting lists at Tudor-authorized dealers.
As the name suggests, this watch is inspired by a specific dive watch that Tudor made in 1958 and strives to look very similar to the original. At the same time, it retains many of the signature Black Bay design features.
Black Bay 36 with blue dial
The Black Bay 36 79500 was launched in 2016 but in 2018, Tudor added a blue dial to this model, now making it available with both a blue and a black dial.
Black Bay 41 79570
Tudor continued to build upon the Black Bay 36 collection by adding a 41mm size. The Black Bay is designed as an everyday watch as the dive bezel has been omitted and the case made slimmer and more elegant. But 36mm is too small for a lot of men which is why Tudor added the 41mm option in 2018.
Black Bay 32 79580
At the same time, 36mm is too big for women so Tudor also added a 32mm version of the Black Bay 36, making it available in 32, 36, and 41mm. The watch was made available with either a black or a blue dial.
Black Bay S&G champagne dial 79733N
Last but not least, Tudor added a Champagne dial option to the Black Bay S&G that was launched in 2017. The model was now available with a black dial and a champagne dial.
Black Bay models released in 2018
- Black Bay GMT 79830RB
- Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N
- Black Bay 79500 with blue dial
- Black Bay S&G with champagne dial
- Black Bay 32 79580
- Black Bay 41 79570
2019 saw the addition of several new and exciting Black Bay models from Tudor. Tudor released both completely new models but also continued to build upon the existing Black Bay models.
Black Bay Chronograph S&G 79363N
In 2019, Tudor released the Black Bay Chronograph S&G reference 79363N. Tudor released the first chronograph in 2017 but added to the collection by adding a steel and gold version. Moreover, this was not just a gold and steel version of the existing chronograph but rather a reworked and redesigned watch. One of the most notable changes was the changing from a fixed tachymeter bezel to a traditional bezel insert design which gave the watch a new look. Of course, being an S&G watch, the watch was made in gold and steel for a luxurious and elegant look.
Black Bay 32, 36, 41 in steel & gold
In 2019, Tudor built upon the Black Bay 32, 36, and 41 but launched them in gold and steel. This is an important step from Tudor as launching more and more watches in gold and steel indicates in which direction Tudor is looking to go – working to make its watches more exclusive and build a brand that is regarded as a luxury watch brand.
Black Bay Bronze 79250BA
Tudor also discontinued the 79250BM which was launched in 2016 and replaced it with a taupe version. Instead of featuring a brown dial and bezel, the watch was now designed with a taupe bezel and dial. Apart from that, the watch remained exactly the same.
Black Bay P01 70150
Probably the most surprising and shocking release from Tudor in 2019 was the launch of the Black Bay P01 reference 70150. This watch was launched by Tudor as a way to stop speculations about a watch that had come up at auction a while back that people believed was fake. It was a unique dive watch with a locking mechanism for the bezel around which there was a lot of debate and discussion of whether or not it had actually existed.
So Tudor made a watch inspired by this watch in 2019 to prove that it had in fact existed. The interesting part is that whilst it is part of the Black Bay collection, its design is very different from the Black Bay in many ways. It does, however, feature the iconic snowflake hands.
Black Bay Chronograph Dark 79350DK
Last but not least, Tudor released a special edition version of the Black Bay Chronograph reference 79350. Tudor made it in an all-black design by DLC-coating it and dubbing it the ”79350DK” as in ”dark”.
The watch was developed for the rugby team ”all blacks” which Tudor is an official sponsor of. This watch is made in a highly limited number, as many watches as there have been players in the team. And every time there is a new team member, Tudor produces a new watch. These watches are available to purchase at official Tudor retailers, but due to the highly limited production number, they are very rare.
Black Bay models released in 2019
- Black Bay Chronograph S&G 79363N
- Black Bay 32, 36, 41 in steel & gold
- Black Bay Bronze 79250BA
- Black Bay P01 70150
- Black Bay Chronograph Dark 79350DK
In 2020, Tudor decided to play things cool and not release a lot of watches. In fact, Tudor only released one new Black Bay.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue 79030B
The Black Bay that Tudor released in 2020 was a blue version of the highly successful Black Bay Fifty-eight that had been launched in 2018. Due to the enormous success the 79030N had, it made sense that Tudor wanted to continue to build upon this success by releasing a new version. And Tudor did so by releasing the 79030B.
Apart from changing the dial and the bezel to blue, the watch is exactly the same.
Black Bay models released in 2020
- Black Bay 58 Navy Blue 79030B
In 2021, Tudor went all in and released several new and exciting Black Bay models.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K 79018V
In 2021, Tudor launched its first-ever solid gold watch. Tudor had released several gold and steel watches prior but launching a full gold watch is certainly a big step considering the hefty price tag that they come with. This is yet again the reflection of Tudor’s vision of where they want to be and how they want to build the brand. Making solid gold watches definitely means that you’re a luxury watch brand.
The watch that Tudor launched is a full gold version of the highly popular Black Bay Fifty-Eight. The reference is 79018V and it is presented with a green dial and bezel.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 silver 79010SG
Another first for Tudor – and the Black Bay collection was the addition of a Black Bay Fifty-Eight made in 925 silver. This was a very interesting release from Tudor as very few watch brands make watches in silver. It proved that Tudor dares to go its own way and try new and unique things. After all, Tudor’s slogan is ”Born to dare”.
Black Bay Chronograph 79360N
In 2021, Tudor completely revised the Black Bay chronograph by discontinuing the 79350 and replacing it with the 79360N. The watch is at its core identical to the S&G chronograph the company released in 2019 only that it is made of steel and has a different dial. The watch was presented with two dials, white and black.
Black Bay Ceramic 79210CNU
Another major Black Bay release from Tudor in 2021 was the launch of the Black Bay 79210CNU. This is the first Black Bay to be made in ceramic. It has a see-through case back and an in-house movement that is both COSC and METAS certified.
Black Bay 32, 36, 41 silver dial
Tudor continued to expand the Black Bay 32, 36, and 41 by adding a silver dial option to the already existing options of black and blue.
Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze 79012m
Last but not least, Tudor released another Fifty-Eight version in 2021, namely the Fifty-Eight Bronze reference 79010M. This is the first Black Bay 58 to be made in bronze and it is the first Tudor watch to feature a bracelet made in bronze as well. This watch was released as a ”boutique only” watch and is therefore only available to purchase from Tudor’s own boutiques.
Black Bay models released in 2021
- Black Bay Bay Fifty-Eight 18K 79018V
- Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 silver 79010SG
- Black Bay Chronograph 79360N
- Black Bay Ceramic 79210CNU
- Black Bay 32, 36, 41 silver dial
- Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze 79012M
In 2022, Tudor launched several new and exciting Black Bay models.
Black Bay Pro 79470
The most exciting launch of 2022 was the Black Bay Pro reference 79470. This is made as an explorer/tool watch that is highly inspired by Rolex’s Explorer, particularly the first Explorer II that Rolex made, reference 1655. The watch has a fixed steel bee with 24-hour markings and is equipped with a GMT movement. Apart from the Black Bay 58 bronze, it is the first Black Bay to have Tudor’s new adjustable T-Fit clasp.
Black Bay GMT S&G 79833MN
Tudor expanded the GMT collection which had only had one watch thus far (79830RB) by presenting a gold and steel version, reference 79833MN. You could say that this watch is inspired by Rolex’s iconic ”Root beer” GMT as it is made with brown accents. But at its core, it remains the same as the 79830RB, with the difference being that it is made in gold and steel and has a different colorway for the design.
Black Bay Chrono S&G 79363N champagne dial
In 2022, Tudor also expanded the 79363N model by adding the option of a champagne dial.
Black Bay models released in 2021
- Black Bay Pro 79470
- Black Bay GMT S&G 79833MN
- Black Bay Chrono S&G 79363N with champagne dial
To be revealed March 2023…