By TLex TUDOR has reinterpreted one of their least known historical tool-watches for its first participation in the Only Watch charity auction. Launched in the mid-50s and produced in a very limited production, the Ref. 7923 is Tudor’s only diver to have been powered by a hand-wound movement. It is also conspicuous from the other Tudor divers owing to its rare baton-type handset. Highly sought after by collectors, this rare reference is a fantastic choice for the creation of a one of one edition.
The TUDOR Heritage Black Bay One created for Only Watch 2015 reinterprets the Ref. 7923 by firstly borrowing its glossy black dial from Tudor’s production in the late 50s and early 60s, while its gold text and gold-colored hands (reproduced here in a shade of yellow gold) have been taken directly from the Ref. 7923 itself.
The dial layout of the historical watch with its two lines of text at 6 o’clock has also been retained, specifying the watch’s 200m of water-resistance in red, along with the words – ‘shock resisting’ that were already present on the Ref. 7923. Whereas the luminescent material was formerly painted directly onto the dial, it has now been applied in gold-colored inserts.
Finally, the dial of the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay One has a gentle dome to it, a subtle yet important detail for the experienced eye and another nod to mid-20th century watch design.
The Sapphire crystal of the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay One is also domed in a particularly striking manner, and is the most pronounced to date in TUDOR’s Heritage line. This characteristic is typical of the type of acrylic crystals that were used by the watch industry in the 50s.
The visual effect of a dial and crystal in combination make for a stand-out feature of the watch giving a unique depth to the dial that is framed by a unidirectional rotational divers bezel, yet another directly inspired feature of the Ref. 7923, which does not have any minutes markers.
Compared with the 37mm case diameter of the Ref. 7923, the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay One measures a more substantial 41mm, and offers a more contemporary presence on the wrist.
The modern lines of its case nevertheless emulate the famous accentuated chamfers above the lugs, typical of 50s TUDOR divers while the prominent crown, with no protective guards is in keeping with the overall lines of the model that inspired it, is mounted on an anodized aluminum tube in the same color as the bezel inlay providing an additional touch of modernity and elegance.
The watch is fitted with a solid Stainless steel bracelet featuring tube-type attachments, a technical term used to describe a final link which does not come into contact with the case and an additional historical reference.
The Black Bay One also comes with two additional and unique straps: a dark brown aged leather strap, a Jacquard-weave admiralty grey fabric strap. Traditionally woven in a century-old craft company in the French region of Saint-Etienne, the historical cradle of the passementerie (trimmings) industry, this fabric strap is yet another example of the added value that TUDOR brings to its creations.
In keeping with Only Watch spirit, only ONE of this new model will be produced, a first for TUDOR, which as a rule produces neither limited editions nor one-off pieces. Bravo!