The stealthy watch uses matte finish black ceramic for its 41mm case and a circular-brushed, satin-finish ceramic bezel insert with engraved diving scale. Inside is an all-new, all-black MT5602-1U automatic in-house movement with 70-hour power reserve.
However, the big news is not the sleek new case material, but rather the words “Master Chronometer” on the dial. If the phrase seems familiar that would be because it started appearing on Omega dials in 2015.
The precision standard was jointly developed by Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) and Omega and consists of eight tests applied to the cased watch over the course of ten days, but only after the watch has already passed the COSC certification, which only applies to the movement, rather than the whole watch.
The tests confirm resistance to both water and magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss as well as accuracy within a five-second-a-day tolerance range, which surpasses the COSC standard by a full five seconds a day and Tudor’s own internal criteria by one second. Theoretically at least, a METAS-certified watch should be able to operate accurately within a functioning MRI machine whilst most mechanical movements made of traditional materials can be stopped dead by a fridge magnet.
Tudor is the first watch brand beyond Omega to have a watch certified as a Master Chronometer, although it is not known whether any have applied and then failed to make the grade. The METAS testing facility itself is housed within Omega’s Biel headquarters.
Tudor’s decision to adopt a certification process developed by a Swiss competitor seems to be yet another signal from the brand to underline its independence from sister brand, Rolex. Tudor first shocked the industry in 2017 when it entered into a movement swap deal with Breitling, a move so pragmatic that it seemed to almost singlehandedly stop brands boasting about ‘manufacture’ status.
Supplied with both leather/rubber and fabric straps, the Black Bay Ceramic is available now via Tudor’s retail network, priced CHF 4,500 or roughly $5,000 USD.
Elsewhere in watches, Vacheron Constantin rebuilds its American 1921 to celebrate the model’s centenary.