Want a Tudor Black Bay 36 on a Budget?
Try These Three Watches

Article By: Logan Hannen

WATCH101 | July 16, 2019

The Tudor Black Bay 36 is undoubtedly one of the highest value watches on the market today. For $2,575 on a strap, and $2,900 on a steel Oyster bracelet, you get a watch that is 150 meter water resistant, with a style reminiscent of the classic Rolex Explorer, from that very brand’s own subsidiary. Plus, its 36mm case diameter is truly more of a crowd pleaser than I know some people would like to admit. Trust me when I say that 36mm of sport watch is far from the same as 36mm of thin, elegant dress watch.

Source: Tudor

However, at approaching $3k on a bracelet, the Black Bay 36 is not in everybody’s reach and, to be fair, if you’re concerned about the jump to sub-40mm (or even sub-38mm), you may not be willing to spend that much either. Luckily, I’m here with three watches, at three different price points all less than the Black Bay, that can help you get your feet wet in the world of smaller sport watches.

1: Glycine Combat 6 36mm

Source: Glycine

SPECS
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 36mm
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Lug Width: 20mm
Strap: Steel Jubilee-style Bracelet
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Price: $350-$550

First up, we have a watch that is only available pre-owned, but is totally worth the hunt. The Combat 6 range from Glycine is one of the most understated field/sport-style watches I’ve seen yet, focusing on broad, lume-filled baton indices with Arabic numerals for the 24 hour time inset. At 36mm in diameter, it fits with the Black Bay 36’s sizing, as does its hyper-utilitarian styling. The only major compromise here is the water resistance; at 50 meters, and with no screw-down crown, swimming isn’t exactly an option, making it a bit less all-purpose than the Tudor. As an otherwise perfect smaller sport watch, though, it is definitely a solid contender.

2: Geckota E-01 Sport Watch (ETA 2824 Version)

Source: Geckota

SPECS
Case Diameter: 36.5mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Lug Width: 20mm
Strap: Beige Pebbled Calf Leather
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Price: $476.48

Next up, we have a watch that I just got myself a couple of days ago to suit the very purpose of road-testing the 36mm sport watch concept: the Geckota E-01. Produced by the team behind Watch Gecko, an online retailer of watch accessories, the Geckota line of watches are all impressive in their specs for the price. But it’s the E-01, at just under $500, that perhaps has the most to offer.

You can see the raw specs above, but what you can’t quite see is the sheer level of finishing shown on the watch. When I say we’re looking at Seiko level finishing here, I’m not kidding. The edges are all sharply beveled, and even the case which from head on looks like your typical oblong sport watch case, is hiding under its bezel a sharp point at the exact midpoint of the case’s length (not sharp to the touch, of course, just sharp in how it’s executed). And then there’s the Fume dial, this option being gray to tap into the “black sport watch” aesthetic of the Tudor, which just isn’t a technique you see on dials below a thousand dollars all that often. I could go on, and probably will after I’ve made it a full week with the watch, but suffice it to say that, of all the items on this list, the E-01 is probably the highest value alternative to the Black Bay 36.

3: Oris Diver 65

Source: HODINKEE

SPECS
Case Diameter: 36mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Lug Width: 17mm
Strap: Black and Blue Textile Strap
Movement: Sellita SW-200J
Price: $1,900

Lastly, we have a watch that is undoubtedly the most distinctly sport-oriented on this list, the Divers 65 from Oris. This particular version, at 36mm in diameter as with the other watches on this list, comes on a black and blue textile strap that to my mind matches perfectly the vibe of the Black Bay 36 on its supplied black and gray camouflage textile option. I happen to like this option’s blue dial as well, which feels like a funky contrast with the black aluminum bezel and also plays into the blue dial version of the Black Bay 36.

Its price point, at $1,900, is still $1,000 less than the bracelet version of the Black Bay 36, and the comparable bracelet version of this Divers 65 is still around $800 less than the Tudor, so either way, you’re still saving a significant chunk of change that, given the Diver 65’s odd 17mm lug width, is going to come in handy since you’re likely to need to order custom straps if you want to switch up the look some.

Well, geeks, that does it for my three Black Bay 36 alternatives. Let me know some of your favorite 36mm sport watches and, as always, keep it classy, watchfam.

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