26 May 2021

Black Bay Ceramic METAS

Quick Take

Tudor has been making some surprising moves lately, including (depending on your expectations) an 18k gold version of the Black Bay 58, and a sterling silver version of the same watch as well. Now Tudor’s announced another surprise: The Black Bay Ceramic. This is a Black Bay with a full ceramic case and ceramic bezel insert, and the watch has a new movement as well – the caliber MT5602-1U.

The most notable feature of the watch, however, is one you can’t see. This is the first watch from Tudor to be certified by the Swiss Federal Institute Of Metrology in Bern (METAS) which in 2015, in partnership with Omega, developed a new certification standard for wristwatches. METAS certification requires the watch in question to be Swiss-made and COSC-certified, and as well, to pass a battery of additional tests. These include testing the watch for precision in 6 positions and at two levels of power reserve (100% and 33%) as well as waterproofness, length of power reserve, and most importantly, resistance to magnetic fields. The new Black Bay Ceramic is resistant to magnetic fields up to at least 15,000 gauss, which makes it, for all intents and purposes, completely resistant to magnetism in daily life.

The new movement has an all-black finish as well, including the tungsten oscillating mass for the winding rotor.

All testing for METAS certification is done at Tudor HQ in Geneva. Another first for the watch is on the dial – this is the first Black Bay to actually say “Black Bay” on the dial. HODINKEE’s Danny Milton says, “Usually the dial has the depth rating (gone) and ‘Chronometer Officially Certified’ (gone). Went from three lines to two lines of text which I think people will like.”

 

 

 

Initial Thoughts

This is actually not the first Black Bay in ceramic – you might remember that that honor goes to a watch Tudor created for the Only Watch benefit auction in 2019 (the auction is held every two years, and proceeds go to benefit research into therapies and a cure for muscular dystrophy). That watch was the Black Bay Ceramic One, which hammered for CHF 350,000. The new Black Bay Ceramic is, however, the first full production Tudor Black Bay in ceramic.

This is also the first time that a METAS certified watch has been produced by a brand other than Omega, which up until now has monopolized the certification.

The production of a METAS certified watch by Tudor is a logical move. For one thing, it means that the company is now in the forefront of technical mechanical horology, and it gives it a very strong competing value proposition with other brands, especially those producing sports watches and dive watches in the sub-$5000 range. It also serves to further distinguish Tudor from Rolex, which is increasingly important moving forward. Tudor’s ability to present designs that set it apart from the Crown has become more and more firmly established in recent years, and while its own family of calibers were a distinguishing feature, the Tudor movements (which come from Kenissi) now have, with METAS certification, a major advantage for the consumer.

The Movement

Caliber: MT5602-1U, in-house, with silicon balance spring

Functions: Hours, minutes second
Diameter: 31.8mm
Thickness: 6.5mm
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Winding: automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Jewels: 25
Chronometer Certified:
Additional Details: variable inertia balance; adjusted to 0/+5 seconds per day maximum variation in rate.


Pricing & Availability

Price: CHF 4500
Availability: Available now
Limited Edition: No, regular production

Source : https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/the-tudor-black-bay-ceramic-the-first-metas-certified-tudor

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