Tudor Does The Unthinkable With ‘Rolexised’ Black Bay Bracelet

'The people's Rolex' has never looked more like a Rolex.

Tudor Does The Unthinkable With ‘Rolexised’ Black Bay Bracelet

Image: Tudor

Over the last few years, Tudor has gone to great pains to differentiate itself from its sister brand Rolex… Until now, that is, where it’s gone in the complete opposite direction and nicked one of Rolex’s most iconic bracelet designs. Not that we’re complaining.

Unsurprisingly, Tudor has brought a bunch of new Black Bay variants to the table for Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, including a ‘Pepsi’ bezel white-dial Black Bay GMT and the new Black Bay 54, which (rather than being a 54mm watch) is a 37mm homage to the very first Tudor dive watch, the ref. 7922.

But the model we’re most interested in is the updated, ‘original’ Black Bay – which not only now features an attractive claret bezel but has the option of a five-link bracelet.

Anyone even passingly familiar with watches will recognise that five-link bracelet as Rolex’s iconic Jubilee bracelet. Tudor’s previously used the design for their bezel-less Black Bay 31/36/39/41 models, but we haven’t seen it on the mainline Black Bay before.

Considering that you can’t get a Rolex Submariner on a Jubilee bracelet, the fact you can get a Black Bay on one gives you even more of a reason to go for Tudor’s dive watch and not Rolex’s… Especially when you consider that it’s almost a third of the price of the Rolex.

The three strap options for the new mainline Tudor Black Bay.

Whether you opt for this new Jubilee bracelet, the new rubber strap with stainless steel end-links or the retro-inspired three-piece ‘rivet’ bracelet (itself a reproduction of early Rolex Oyster bracelets), both come with Tudor’s excellent new T-Fit system, which easily rates as one of if not the best micro-adjustment systems in the luxury watch biz.

The other funky thing about this new Black Bay is that it’s a METAS-certified chronometer as opposed to COSC-certified, which is what most Tudors and Rolexes chase. METAS certification is actually harder to get than COSC… It’s also what OMEGA tends to use (indeed, the nominally independent METAS is actually based in OMEGA’s facilities, which should tell you everything you need to know).

Tudor has pulled this trick once before, for the Black Bay Ceramic. Why go to METAS and not COSC? Again, it’s a way for Tudor to differentiate itself from Rolex… But it’s funny that, in the same breath, they’re slapping it on a Jubilee.

Whatever. The Black Bay is a classic and this just gives you more of a reason to buy it.