The watch enthusiast’s favourite watch – the Tudor Black Bay, has seen many guises over the years. Different shades, sizes, complications and materials give this collection its diversity, and there can be no doubt that there is a Black Bay to suit your style. With fans waiting with bated breath, Tudor has unveiled the Black Bay Ceramic – its most technically advanced Black Bay to date in terms of its case material, and also in terms of its movement certification, bringing METAS Master Chronometer certification to Tudor.
Having first been unveiled in 2012, the Tudor Black Bay can be considered as a sort of “greatest hits” album of Tudor diver’s watches throughout the years. Taking design cues from the original Tudor Submariner cases from the 50s, to the snowflake hands of the 70s, the Black Bay comes in all colours that hark back to vintage models, whilst remaining modern in its specifications (specifically its sizing, as well as the movement in later models). Manufacture movements would often make their debut in Black Bay models, such as the GMT and the reduced-size movement in the Black Bay 58, and new materials would make their debut in this collection, most notably Bronze, as well as 925 Silver unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2021.
The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic will actually mark the second time that Tudor has made a Black Bay in black ceramic, the first time being for Only Watch 2019 (a biennial auction that takes place to benefit Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research) – however, this new version is one that is in regular production to the benefit of watch enthusiasts everywhere with the added bonus of METAS Master Chronometer certification, bringing an added guarantee of reliability to this watch.
The watch features a 41mm diameter matte black ceramic case, with polished bevels – keeping a signature vintage-inspired design trait of the Black Bay collection. The dial has a subtle sunray finishing with off-white luminescent material for the hour markers and the Snowflake hands. Its domed sapphire crystal echoes old Tudor Submariners from the past, and a brushed ceramic bezel insert is also fitted to the watch, with tone-on-tone markings given contrast with different finishes. Mounted on this watch is a black strap that is made of a combination of leather and rubber featuring a snowflake motif, and a complementary black fabric strap with a cream band down its centre, made on a traditional French jacquard loom is included in the box.
What really sets this Black Bay apart from the rest, and sets a precedent for future Tudor watches, lies in its certification. The entire watch is Master Chronometer certified, meaning that its water resistance, power reserve, timekeeping rate, and indeed, magnetic field resistance are all guaranteed by an independent Swiss body – the Federal Institute of Metrology, more commonly known as METAS. Whilst this is more commonly associated with a certain other brand, the certification was always open to those who can meet the stringent requirements of the Master Chronometer certification – in particular, being certified as a Chronometer by the COSC, plus the hurdle of clearing a magnetic field resistance greater than 15,000 gauss proved to be a challenge in achieving this certification.
Housed behind a PVD black coated steel display caseback, the movement housed within this watch is the MT5602-1U, an all black version of the Manufacture Tudor movement with black bridges, and plates featuring sandblasted, polished and laser decorations. An anti-magnetic silicon hairspring combined with a balance wheel bridge aids the movement in achieving the required timekeeping for Master Chronometer certification – within a tolerance of 0/+5 seconds per day. It also boasts a 70 hour power reserve, for when you want to change your watches up, whilst keeping enough juice in the tank to last an entire weekend.
On the surface, the release of the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic might not be Earth-shattering news to some enthusiasts, given its iterative design – however, what cannot be ignored is the shift in movement certification by the Crown’s younger brother. What has been recognised is the importance of higher tolerances, and stringent testing that incorporates real-world scenarios – qualities that reinforce the manufacturing savoir-faire of Tudor. The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic, with its hard-wearing exterior, and its dependable movement, beckons the industry to match them in their quest for precision and reliability.