The Tudor Black Bay Dilemma

There is no doubt that one of the most iconic watch in history is the Rolex Submariner hence it is without surprise that Tudor, a subsidiary owned by Rolex SA, embodied the same winning formula for their modern line-up; in terms of quality, finish and design.

BB 3

First launched in 2012, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay was an instant hit amongst watch enthusiast and even casual watch seekers who are looking to get their first serious mechanical Swiss timepiece without having to break their bank. At S$4,550 back then, (half the price of a Rolex Submariner, mind you), it came with a steel bracelet as well as a proprietary Tudor NATO strap made from traditional fabric weaving techniques.

BB 1
Heritage Black Bay ‘Black’ ref. 79220N on steel bracelet

Despite not having an in-house movement, the Tudor Black Bay garnered all the attention from the watch community which propelled the brand to great success and popularity within a very short amount of time. Three years later in 2015, after the release of the Black Bay ‘Blue’ ref. 79220B, Tudor launched the long-awaited Black Bay ‘Black’ ref. 79220N which proved that the company has been listening to their customers.


In Baselworld 2016, Tudor refreshed their Black Bay line-up with the new in-house chronometer rated movement, the calibre MT5602, and they also feature a new look on the dial. While the company also introduced the ‘Dark’, ‘Bronze’ and the 36mm version, which I absolutely loved, let’s just talk about the original ‘Red, ‘Blue’ and ‘Black’.

Now, we have a problem. What should I do with my Black Bay with ETA 2824-2?

If you purchased the Black Bay ‘Black’, which had a short production period of about 5 month, you may be thinking of flipping it (that’s what everybody say when they buy/sell watches right?) for that brand new Black Bay boasting the impressive Tudor COSC manufacture movement.

I am here to tell you, no, you don’t have to do that. Simply because movement is really not a big factor when purchasing a watch. In all practical sense, a watch movement must first be reliable. This means we are looking at consistency in keeping time. If you spent thousands of dollars on a timepiece, you will not want it to lose 3 seconds today and gain 6 secs tomorrow.

No more Flower, it’s a Shield now!

There is no way I can convince you that the ETA 2824-2 is superior to the MT5602 because it may or may not be. The ETA 2824-2 has an excellent track record for its reliability, while the MT5602 possesses COSC standard. However, I am very confident that the old Black Bays will perform as well as the new range of Black Bays, and on the long haul, servicing could be more affordable too.

Who knows, maybe your short production ref. 79220N will become the next ‘Paul Newman’ Rolex Daytona which, FYI, does not have an in-house movement. Yes, a trusty Valjoux 72 instead.

The Tudor Black Bay line-up with the ETA 2824-2 movement currently retails at S$4,680 on steel bracelet, and the refreshed models with the new Tudor in-house calibre will retail at S$5,040 on ‘riveted’ steel bracelet in May 2016.

5 thoughts on “The Tudor Black Bay Dilemma

  1. Can you provide details of the leather strap you used on your Back Bay Black in this article? Also, I’ve read that removing the bracelet is nearly impossible. What tools did you use?


  2. Hi, I’m so thankful to have this chance to read your post about BBB ETA VS In house.
    I was initially having a hard time which one to buy, I was thinking about the possible collectivity of the last batch of Black Bay ETA compared to the very first Black Bay In house. I’m not that amazed with the 70 hr power reserve since I can just put in in my watch winder 🙂


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