Introducing the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic Master ChronometerBy Ross Povey
Anybody who was in Geneva for the watch auction weekend in November 2019 will look back at that particular horology-fest weekend with misty-eyed reminiscence for those pre-covid get togethers and with excitement for having been present when the world’s most expensive wristwatch was sold during the Only Watch sale. Said watch was the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime piece unique that sold for CHF31 million. Also present in that sale was a Tudor Black Bay that was a unique creation in ceramic that sold for a staggering CHF350k! Tudor fans can always look forward to a series production version of the Only Watches, the Ceramic One was the third such piece following the original Black Bay One in 2015 and the destro Black Bay Bronze One in 2017 both of which had lines created in their wake. And so now the world is being offered a Black Bay Ceramic, but this one’s got a very precise twist in the tale.
The 2021 Tudor Black Bay Ceramic is an interesting play on the brand’s smash-hit dive watch family that has transformed the little brother in the Wilsdorf family into a major player in the industry. The new watch has a 41mm ceramic case with sandblasted finish, ceramic bezel insert, black dial and a display caseback. The watch houses a new, manufacture movement, calibre MT5602-U1 with silicon hairspring that is antimagnetic up to forces of 15,000 gauss which segues into the twist – it’s a Master Chronometer!
To get the watch up to Master Chronometer specification, Tudor had to make a number of changes to their in-house movement. The Master Chronometer certification is bestowed upon a watch by METAS, which stands for METrology and Accreditations Switzerland or the Federal Institute of Metrology. The certification has several requirements and stipulations that each watch must meet around timekeeping and also it assures all the claims made by a brand about elements such as power reserve and depth rating, which COSC does not. To receive Master Chronometer status a watch must:
– Be Swiss made
– House a movement that is COSC certified
– Have a level of precision with a daily tolerance interval of 0 / + 5 seconds
– Be unaffected by magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss,
– Have the claimed power reserve
– Be waterproof in line with the manufacture’s claims
It’s important to remember that Tudor has its own rigorous in-house standards that are higher than even COSC. The COSC tolerance for its certification is -4 to +6 seconds a day, so 10 seconds in total. Tudor shaves two seconds off each of that for its own in-house standards, achieving -2 to +4 seconds a day, so 6 seconds in total. METAS insists on a 0 to +5 seconds per day as part of its Master Chronometer standard. Additionally, this performance has to be in six positions at two different temperatures, at both 33 percent and 100 percent power reserve and after being exposed to a hypothetical magnetic field of 15,000 gauss! So, you can be pretty sure that this watch will keep awesome time.
The hi-tech elements aren’t just limited to the internal workings. This isn’t the first mono-block ceramic watch from Tudor, that title belongs to the Fastrider Black Shield, but this is the first dive watch. The ceramic case is pretty much impervious to scratching as is the ceramic bezel insert. Ceramic won’t fade or change colour either, which is great news for your watch looking fresh over the years but bad news if you were hoping for a ghost bezel look in 20 years’ time! The watch is fitted with what Tudor calls a hybrid strap that fuses leather and rubber for a durable yet elegant look.
And there’s more! The watch’s performance stats are logged in a new online product called Tudor Watch ID. Using a smartphone’s in-built NFC technology, a chip in the Tudor guarantee card will give the owner access to their watch’s unique performance data. In line with the brands commitment to not acquiring customers personal information for guarantee purposes, the Watch ID portal won’t require a download or registration.
So another impressive launch from Tudor in an already hugely successful year that has encompassed new precious metal dive watches, a reimagined chronograph and the announcement of a new formal partnership with the French national navy, the Marine Nationale.
Movement: Tudor MT5602-U1 Master Chronometer with silicon hairspring and 70-hour power reserve.
Case and dial: 41mm ceramic midcase and ceramic bezel insert. Black dial.
Strap: Tudor hybrid leather and rubber strap with folding clasp.
Price : CHF 4,500