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Carl S. Cunanan
June 2, 2021     |    

It Isn’t About The Ceramic

The new 2021 Tudor Black Bay… Ceramic

Ok yes it is a bit about the material. The new watch has a ceramic case, a pretty nice one really, in the matte finish that has seen much attention with the other new Black Bays such as the 18k. The treatment here is pretty much all-dark everything, with blacks and grey acting as the differentiators. Tudor foreshadowed this somewhat in 2019 with their unique piece made for the Only Watch charity auction, but otherwise this is pretty much a first.

The more important first is what is encased by all the matte dark goodness. There are chronometers, and there are Master Chronometers. This is the latter, and it is a big deal. Tudor isn’t the first brand to use master chronometers in their production lineup, and they don’t claim to be. But they do bring their own strengths to the game.

Black Bay Ceramic
Black Bay Ceramic

Master Chronometers start from, well, chronometers. Specifically the COSC-certified chronometers that watch geeks love to talk about and watch companies love to flaunt. The Masters go a bit further. For one thing, COSC certification is on a movement where as Master Chronometer certification is done on cased-up assembled watches. This certification is done by METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology. Not meteorology (weather) but metrology (the science of measurement). Located in Bern, METAS is the Swiss federal center for competence in measuring equipment.

In the case of Tudor, the watch company has set up a space within their manufacture that allows the testing and measurement to METAS standards and, importantly, more as certified by the METAS personnel and performed by trained TUDOR staff. Watches need to be within standards of 0 to +5 seconds a day variation from actual time, stricter than the COSC certification of -4 +6 or the internal TUDOR standards of -2 +4 that is applied to the brand’s models with Manufacture Calibres.

Black Bay Ceramic
Black Bay Ceramic

This is all applied to a new movement, Manufacture Calibre MT5602-1U. This new movement uses a non-magnetic silicon hairspring and uses a variable inertia balance and a two-point fixing on a sturdy traversing bridge. Its rotor is black tungsten monobloc, open-worked and with sand-blasted details. Bridges and the manipulate have different sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decoration, all visible because of the sapphire crystal caseback.

While METAS needs the watch to meet certain standards, TUDOR sometimes demands their own. The levels of water-proofness (200 meters) and power reserve (70 hours) of the new watch are TUDOR’s. Anti magnetic properties allow proper function even with exposure to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss. As a comparison, medical MRI machines are about 13,000.

Black Bay Ceramic
Black Bay Ceramic

Another key new point with the new Black Bay Ceramic is something called TUDOR WATCH ID. In its simplest form, it is just the international guarantee card that comes with your watch. Scan that card though with an app you can put on you phone and you will see all the METAS Master Chronometer performance data that measured on your specific cased-up watch. No personal data goes the other direction, though. Nothing is collected from you or your own system, this is just a way to see what your watch went through. And the same card still gives you the same TUDOR guarantee. You have five years transferable with no registration or periodic maintenance required.

The watch has a unidirectional black-PVD treated steel bezel with a black ceramic disc insert. It comes with a hybrid leather and rubber strap with a steel folding clasp and safety catch treated in black PVD as well. There is also a black fabric strap that comes with it.

Are all these signs of things to come? The Ceramic comes in just a bit above our current favorite TUDOR, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 in sterling silver, but it has a pretty important new movement and testing certification. More than anything, the new Black Bay Ceramic is an indication that TUDOR still has more surprises up its sleeves.

Black Bay Ceramic
Technical specifications: CASE: 41 mm matt black ceramic case with micro-blasted finish and monobloc middle case, Open case back in black-PVD-treated 316L steel with sapphire crystal | BEZEL: Unidirectional rotatable bezel in black-PVD-treated 316L steel with 60-minute graduated disc in black ceramic with sunray satin finish and engraved markings and numerals | WINDING CROWN: Screw-down winding crown in black-PVD-treated 316L steel, with the TUDOR rose in relief and circular satin-brushed steel winding crown tube | DIAL: Black, domed | CRYSTAL: Domed sapphire crystal | WATERPROOFNESS: Waterproof to 200 m (660 ft) | BRACELET: Hybrid leather and rubber strap with 316L steel folding clasp and safety catch in black PVD-treated 316L steel, Additional black fabric strap with cream band and black PVD-treated 316L steel buckle, included in the box | CALIBRE: Manufacture Calibre MT5602-1U, Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system | POWER RESERVE: Certified 70 hours by METAS | PRECISION: Swiss chronometer officially certified by COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) Master Chronometer Certification from METAS | FUNCTIONS: Centre hour, minute and seconds hands, Stop-seconds for precise time setting | OSCILLATOR: Variable inertia balance, micro-adjustment by screw, Non-magnetic silicon balance spring, Frequency: 28 800 beats/hour (4 Hz) | TOTAL DIAMETER: 31.8 mm | THICKNESS: 6.5 mm | JEWELS: 25 jewels

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