- Rose Dial, ETA Movement Tudor Black Bay, Lovely.

Tudor Black Bay 79220N Cursory Review

A Handsome Watch for a Handsome Man (or Woman).

4w ago
8.2K

In my mind it makes complete sense that I like watches given my interest in cars. They are both man made machines with gears and screws and can, on occasion, break down. I remember saying to my wife when I first got into watches, "...at least we don't need a bigger garage for this hobby".

I love the history, technology, aesthetics, art, manufacturing and even the business aspect of watches. In today's tech heavy environment watches are not really a necessity but who cares. Just like the car hobby; you can waste hours and hours window shopping on-line or educating yourself about the subtle changes over the years of the Rolex Submariner. Car people love that kind of stuff, specs galore. Brand loyalty, what movement is better, who's finishing is the best and so on. Some car people can rattle off the history of the small block Chevy or tell you the complete history of turbocharged Ferrari's. Conversely, some watch people can rattle off the history of every Omega Speedmaster or have memorized ever Patek Philippe movement through the years. Some people just like watches and don't really bother with the details. I fall somewhere in between the two.

I basically paid $2,200 for my Tudor second hand; original retail was $3,425. I usually buy second hand to save a little and like cars, there are great deals to be had. The new and updated version of this watch had just come out and this was the outdated, unwanted model at the time so I feel like I got it at a good price. I say "basically paid" because I traded a Rolex GMT 16710 for the Tudor plus cash. This was right at the beginning of the skyrocketing Rolex prices so I broke even on the deal which at the time made me happy, although, have you seen the prices on these lately? Admittedly, not my best move, however, I've absolutely loved this Tudor from day one and the cash I got from the deal went to purchase a motorcycle that brought me many smiles.

Rolex 16710 GMT right before I sold it...for way less that its worth now.

Rolex 16710 GMT right before I sold it...for way less that its worth now.

The Rolex was a fantastic watch. Very well made, looked great and never gave me any issues. In the end I just didn't like some of the attention it brought (I tend to not like attention) and I really wanted that motorcycle. Easy enough choice and I got one killer watch in return. Plus I always wondered if that Pepsi bezel was original or aftermarket. The guy I bought it from seemed a little sleazy and it bothered me sometimes thinking about it and I need to further justify why I sold it.

The Tudor Black Bay 79220N is one of those watches that gives a nod to the past while updating and modernizing a few things. I wont go into immense detail but this is a stainless steel 41mm case with a calibre 2824 ETA based self-winding movement. If you want to nerd out, there are a few good articles out there from when it came out, particularly this one written by John Mayer for Hodinkee and this one on the Millenary Watches site. This version was only in production for about five months which was followed by an updated version with an in house movement, new dial layout, new bracelet etc. Given the short run, apparently these have become semi-collectable. Maybe trading the Rolex wasn't such a blunder? Actually yes it was. It doesn't matter, I still love it.

Nice watch, old coat.

Nice watch, old coat.

I have owned it for about four/five years now and can confidently say its a keeper. As stated in my Seiko review, I wear the SKX for lawn mowing and working on cars but this watch is one of my two daily drivers for less intense work. I had a few more watches that I have since sold and this one always makes the cut. It has been keeping fantastic time and the only problem I have had is the paint flaking off inside the engraved Tudor rose in the crown. Not a big deal to me but worth noting.

Crown with flaking paint. Eh.

Crown with flaking paint. Eh.

I like watches in the 40mm size plus or minus one. This one feels right at home at 41mm. The case is noticeably quite thick at 13mm. Compared to the Rolex I traded, this Tudor is Big Mac thick and the GMT was a kids meal cheeseburger. I believe the subsequent versions of this watch have a slimmer case as a result of the new in-house movement but I have not handled one so I cannot confirm. This adds to the overall bulk and heft of it but it does not bother me at all. Its just a little beefy like the pistol hanging off your belt kind of feeling.

Thick, more noticeable on the non-crown side.

Thick, more noticeable on the non-crown side.

The bezel turns nice and smooth as does the crown. Without getting my loop out, the machining on all surfaces are nice and crisp, coin edging is as you would expect. The clasp on the bracelet has begun to scratch quite a bit but honestly that would happen on any watch that is worn almost daily. The clasp is still holding tight and has never once unwantedly come undone.

Scratches...they happen.

Scratches...they happen.

Most of the reviews out there include "smiley face" and "snowflake" to describe the dial. To me it adds up to a pleasing visual. The sum of all the parts look handsome but not overstated with just enough hint of color. It looks great on the bracelet or a NATO as shown above. Lug width is 22mm, this particular one came on the bracelet that is equally hefty and sturdy feeling. With the bracelet version you also got a Tudor branded black NATO in the box as well. I have used it a few times but it feels too stiff and scratchy against my skin so I just use my go to brand of NATO's and honestly, it just stays on the bracelet 80 percent of the time anyways. For strap changes you can use a regular spring bar tool and some very awkward finger placement/pressure or you can ease the pain and get the specific two tip spring bar tool. Up to today I have chosen to punish myself using a regular spring bar tool. As a matter of fact, I will be ordering one today.

Bracelet/strap changes are not fun without the right tool. Still looks pretty clean back there so I must be doing something right.

Bracelet/strap changes are not fun without the right tool. Still looks pretty clean back there so I must be doing something right.

The Seiko SKX series is my go-to recommendation for someone looking to test out the mechanical watch world. This Tudor (or similar variation) is usually my recommendation for something on the next level but without going too crazy. Yes, it is still a lot of money but compared to Rolex and other watches you can't beat the value here. I would give it a 9 out of 10 given the price point and competition. In fact, I like this so much I would love to get the Harrods version if I could find one at a reasonable price here in the US. The GMT is very enticing as well and I assume it is built like a tank as well. Summary: Highly recommended.

One more for good measure.

One more for good measure.

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Comments (7)

  • entered the room

      1 month ago
  • I thoroughly enjoy mine too

      1 month ago
  • That is a beautiful watch. I daily my Black Bay too and can confirm it’s the best watch for the job! Enjoy it!

      1 month ago
  • What’s it like to wear a Tudor Black Bay 79220N on a daily basis? @tribe

      1 month ago
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