This was being talked up by some as a women’s version of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36 mm replica watch, though we don’t really buy that: firstly, we know enough female owners of normal Black Bay models to recognise that it’s already a watch .
The Rolex Explorer was upsized a few years ago to 39mm (and has received a bit of an upgrade this year), leaving a theoretical gap for a tool fake Tudor Black Bay watch in a “classic” size. But just to be clear: the Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36 is not Tudor’s Explorer equivalent (that’s the Ranger – though let’s face it, the Explorer is the Explorer and really has no equivalent anyway). It does, however, appropriate some of the old-school, Proper Tool Watch charm of a smaller Explorer – at the very least, it differs from its Black Bay brethren in seeming more Explorer-flavoured than Submariner-flavoured, if you will.
And of the three versions – leather strap, bracelet and the nylon camo alternative that comes with all Black Bays – it’s the bracelet that really does make sense here.
Following the upgrade of the rest of the range, the 36 becomes the last Black Bay to use the ETA 2824 automatic movement rather than Tudor’s in-house caliber.
Its dive watch dial in a non-diver case does make it a bit of an odd fish – a kind of reverse version of the Explorer-dial Submariner, if you think about it – but it isn’t without charm. We’re looking forward to spending more time with it for sure.Taken on its own merits, the Black Bay 36 is a trim and handsome enough item, that’s perhaps that bit more adaptable as an everyday office Tudor watch than the bigger, more dive-oriented Black Bays.