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Tudor watches and Rolex watches make some of the best quality watches in the watch world. By simply looking at these watches, you can see the family resemblance. Therefore, we created an in-depth review comparing the Tudor Black Bay 36 vs Rolex Explorer to see which of these tool watches is the better watch.
The Tudor Black Bay 36 was first introduced at Baselworld 2017 in black color. At the time, it also came with a 41-millimeter version. On the surface, the two Black Bay watches appeared like no-date watches. However, it is complete with snowflake hands without rotating bezels.
Some say that these two watches also looked similar to Rolex watches, specifically its older sibling, the Rolex Explorer. This year, the Black Bay 36 was released in navy blue with references from the 70s and 80s Tudor Submariner watches.
If you’re interested to know more about the in-depth comparison of the Tudor Black Bay 36 and Rolex Explorer, keep reading!
TLDR: Tudor Black Bay 36 vs Rolex Explorer
Tudor Black Bay 36
This Tudor Black Bay 36 watch features a stainless steel case with a polished and satin finish. Meanwhile, this watch’s smooth steel bezel also includes a polished finish, and its steel bracelet has a satin finish with a folding clasp and safety catch.
The dress watch also comes with a 44-millimeter lug-to-lug and 10.5-millimeter thickness with 19-millimeter lugs. This Tudor BB watch includes a screw-in case back, a steel screw-down crown with a Tudor rose in relief, and a black anodized aluminum winding crown tube, which has been a trademark of the Black Bay collection of the Tudor brand.
This luxury watch is operated with a self-winding mechanical movement in Caliber T600. It also utilizes the ETA 2824 instead of an in-house movement. Other excellent features of this beautiful watch include a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, rectangular and round indices, a black dial, a 150-meter water resistance, and a 38-hour power reserve.
Lastly, this Black Bay watch is available in blue and black stainless steel models with different strap options.
- Affordable alternative
- Includes a stainless steel case and bracelet
- Features a black dial
- Includes luminous Snowflake hour hand markers
- Consists of circular and rectangular indices
- Comes with a sapphire crystal
- Includes rectangular and round indices
- Has a black dial
- Offers a 150-meter water resistance
- Includes a 38-hour power reserve
- The crown sits higher than the watch
- Has noticeable thick lugs, making the case look smaller
- End links do not offer enough safety
Rolex Explorer GMT II
Similar to the Tudor Black Bay 36, the Rolex Explorer also features a 36-millimeter stainless steel case. However, the price difference is higher than the Black Bay 36. This watch also operates in a Caliber 3000 automatic in the 14270. When it comes to design, the Rolex watch is minimal but classy.
The Rolex Explorer features a glossy dial and refined hands that offers class and elegance, which is slightly similar to the Black Bay 36. However, this watch offers more class and elegance. It includes famous Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9, which complement the Mercedes hand and the rest of the watch’s indices.
This Rolex watch also has a thicker lug by 1 millimeter at 11.5 millimeters than the Black Bay 36. However, its lug to lug width is similar, measuring 43.6 millimeters while its lugs are 20-millimeters.
Other features of this classic watch include stamped end links, a simple screw-down crown, and a folding clasp with a solid link Oyster. Overall, the Tudor Black Bay 36 makes a great watch for daily wear.
- Comfortable and wearable
- Offers a clean and timeless design
- Features a black dial
- Operates in a Caliber 3000 automatic in the 14270
- Includes stamped end links
- Consists of a simple screw-down crown
- Offers a folding clasp with a solid link Oyster
In-Depth Comparison of Tudor Black Bay 36 vs Rolex Explorer
|Specifications||Tudor Black Bay 36||Rolex Explorer|
|Case||Stainless steel||Stainless steel|
|Bracelet||Stainless steel||Oyster or jubilee bracelet|
|Movement||Self-winding mechanical movement in Caliber T600||Caliber 3000 automatic in the 14270|
|Dial||Black dial||Black dial|
|Power reserve||38 hours||38 hours|
|Water resistance||150 m / 500 ft||100 m / 330 ft|
Quality and Durability
The Black Bay 36 and Rolex Explorer are both strong contenders and excellent watches. Tudor is perfect for individuals who are looking for a sporty and chunky watch. Its stainless steel case is made out of 316L steel
Whereas, the Rolex watch is more suitable for those looking for smaller watches. Rolex models offer a smart, versatile, and sleek design, making them great for wearing during formal events. This also provides a more integrated look due to its sizing and heavy taper, compared to Tudor.
Aside from its classic design and features, the Rolex watch also includes excellent construction. Its stainless steel case is made out of 904 L steel, which is more scratch-resistant compared to the Black Bay 36’s 316L steel.
Yes, Tudor watches offer a five-year international warranty. All Tudor watches purchased on or after January 1, 2020, have a five-year international guarantee. Meanwhile, all watches purchased from July 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019, will receive an 18-month guarantee extension for a total of three and a half years.
What Do People Say About It?
Bitter Almonds rated the Rolex Explorer five stars and praised the look and feel of the watch. He wrote, “I know this revamped model gets a lot of flack for being larger and having a different lume than the traditional Explorer. But for me, these were the detrimental qualities as to why I didn’t buy a Rolex Explorer (I’ll eventually get one later, though).
Besides the case size, I also like the strong, bluish lume. It’s the brightest I’ve seen. The stainless steel watch band gives the watch some weight. Sure, it’s not gold, but I like the feel of its weight, especially in a sporty watch.
I love the double-locking mechanism along with the half-link adjustment within the buckle, as well. Lastly, the “ROLEX” logo is imprinted all along the edge of the inside of the front of the watch case.”
Brittany of Watch Gringa recorded a video reviewing and comparing the Tudor Black Bay 36 and Rolex Submariner. After explaining the specifications of the two watches, she expressed her final thoughts and described the Tudor Black Bay 36 as the better watch.
Brittany described both prices of the watches as “accurately priced”. However, the Tudor Black Bay 36 is more of a tool watch than the Rolex Submariner. She admired the sportiness, rigidness, and charm of the Black Bay 36.
“Another thing you have to factor in is availability,” she said. “With [the] Tudor [watch], you can just go get [it in stores], but with the Rolex Submariner, you can’t. So it might not be an option. You might have to wait many years.”
The Verdict: Which Is Best For You?
The Tudor Black Bay 36 and Rolex Explorer are two versatile and excellent watches, so we compared the two watches to see which is better.
We recommend the Black Bay 36 as the better watch. One reason why you should get this watch is its availability and reasonable price. It is also a good alternative to the Rolex Explorer, due to their strikingly similar features and design.
If you liked this article, you might want to read our other reviews at EvesWatch.com