Tudor’s all-new Black Bay Ceramic features a matte black ceramic case upgraded internal movement and Master Chronometer certification from METAS
The latest Black Bay diver’s watch should be a creation that Swiss watchmaker Tudor can be proud of, not just for its slick aesthetic upgrades, but its winning features under the hood.
The brand’s most technically-advanced timepiece to date, the Black Bay Ceramic features an upgrade to its self-winding automatic movement with the Manufacture Calibre MT5602-1U, a variant of the MT5602 found in the 41mm Black Bay.
In a first for Tudor, the Black Bay Ceramic is double certified by both the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) – which in 2015 developed a new certification standard of quality for wristwatches.
Master Chronometer testing conducted at Tudor’s laboratories
Unlike COSC testing that only examines the watch’s inner workings, the METAS Master Chronometer certification covers the entire timepiece, making its standards that much harder to achieve. Amongst its criteria, the watch must not only be Swiss made and COSC-approved, it should be waterproof to 200m, have at least three-day (or 70-hour) power reserve, and resistant to magnetic fields up to at least 15,000 gauss, which is many times the magnitude of magnetism encountered in everyday objects like speakers and mobile phones.
Most importantly, the METAS standard also dictates extreme precision with a maximum daily range of deviation of five seconds in six positions, two temperatures, and two levels of power reserve (fully wound and one-third remaining).
The Black Bay Ceramic’s build is designed to ensure robustness and precision, as is its variable inertia balance, which is maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge with a two-point fixing. Together with its non-magnetic silicon hairspring, the Manufacture Calibre MT5602-1U is able to function within a tolerance range of 5 seconds (0 +5).
A see-through screw-down case back reveals all-black oscillating parts
The Black Bay Ceramic, part of Tudor’s 2021 offerings, is not just a mechanical masterpiece but also excels in aesthetics, managing to feel contemporary with its all-black aesthetic.
The new ceramic model has an open case back to reveal the movement’s chic all-black finish which powers the displays hour, minute and seconds functions. Its rotor in black tungsten monobloc is openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, and its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations.
Black Bay Ceramic 41mm with hybrid leather-rubber strap
The 41mm black ceramic monobloc middle case has sand-blasted surfaces with bevelled edges, mirror-polished for a striking contrast, and finished with very pronounced lines. This is the first time a full ceramic case is used on a regular production model, succeeding a limited edition Only Watch 2019 Black Bay Ceramic One model.
Sitting under a raised dome sapphire crystal, the satiny dial adopts Tudor’s characteristic angular hands known as "Snowflake" that appeared in the brand’s 1969 catalogue. Overall, the look is a stealthy black-on-black aesthetic, the only contrast being its applied hour markers with off-white Superluminova paint.
What some users might find refreshing is that there are less words on the domed dial (not even the diving depth) which simply writes “Black Bay Master Chronometer” – the first time a Black Bay model has the word “Black Bay” on the dial.
The insert of its rotatable bezel is also in black ceramic with a sunray satin finish. The engraved graduations in matching tones offer a complementary additional matte detail, which responds subtly to changes in light. The remaining parts that are more prone to wear or impact, such as the screw-down case back, screw-in crown, unidirectional bezel and buckle, are all made of PVD black-coated steel.
Black Bay Ceramic 41mm with fabric strap
For versatility in watch wear, the Black Bay Ceramic is supplied with two straps -- a hybrid black leather-cum-rubber strap for sportier occasions, as well as a black fabric strap with cream band inspired by military NATO belts (a nylon pass-through strap with a fixed metal buckle and two metal rings). And, as with any Tudor watch purchase, customers will enjoy a five-year transferable guarantee with no registration or periodic maintenance checks required.
The result of a subtle blend of traditional aesthetics and contemporary watchmaking, the Black Bay line is far from simply being an identical rerelease of a classic. Resolutely anchored in the present, it brings together almost seven decades of Tudor diving watches. Whilst it is neo-vintage in conception, its manufacturing techniques and its robustness, reliability, durability and precision as well as the quality of its finish are above modern industry standards.
With METAS accreditation under its belt – a nod to Tudor’s technical excellence – the Black Bay Ceramic can now step out of the shadows of sister brand Rolex and offer stronger competing value against other watches in a similar price category. At $6,510, the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic is definitely the timepiece to beat in terms of its craftmanship, quality materials and precision. We look forward to see what other Tudor watch models will surpass Master Chronometer certification.
Visit Kee Hing Hung to find out more about Tudor’s all-new Black Bay Ceramic.