The original Black Bay first launched in 2012 with a burgundy bezel and it was given the Manufacture Calibre treatment in 2016. Now it returns in a third evolution foreshadowing the aesthetic and technical future of the line. Named Black Bay, this emblematic design in the TUDOR collection is another example of TUDOR's expert command of one of the industry's most demanding standards in terms of chronometry and resistance to magnetic fields. Tested by the Federal Institute of Metrology or METAS, the Black Bay brings together cutting-edge watchmaking technology with design elements inspired by TUDOR’s nearly seven-decade heritage of making robust professional diving watches.
METAS Master Chronometer certification is comprehensive and covers the main functional characteristics of a watch including precision, resistance to magnetic fields, waterproofness and power reserve. Its standards are incredibly high, starting with precision. In order to qualify, a watch must be able to function within a 5-second range of variation each day (0 +5), that is to say 5 seconds less than the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) (-4 +6) carried out on a single movement and a second less than TUDOR's internal standard, which is applied to the brand's models with a Manufacture Calibre (-2 +4). The certification also guarantees the timekeeping accuracy of a watch subjected to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss. Finally, it also guarantees that the waterproof capability claimed by the manufacturer conforms with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard 22810:2010, as does the power reserve of each Master Chronometer watch. It should also be noted that two prerequisites are necessary before the certification can be obtained: Swiss manufacturing must conform with the criteria of Swiss Made, and the movement must be certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
The Manufacture Calibre MT5602-U, which powers the Black Bay, displays hour, minute and seconds functions. It offers the general look and feel of TUDOR Manufacture Calibres with dedicated sun laser design and bears the Master Chronometer mention on its bridges, emphasising its distinctive performance. Its rotor is fashioned in tungsten monobloc and is openworked. It also features the distinctive laser radial grooving with sand-blasted details. Its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted and polished surfaces and laser decorations.
Its build is designed to ensure robustness and precision. To do this, the variable inertia balance wheel is maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge with two-point anchoring. This system together with its non-magnetic silicon hairspring, means the Manufacture Calibre MT5602-U is able to function within a tolerance range of 5 seconds (0/+5) tested on a fully assembled watch.
Another notable feature is that the power reserve of the Manufacture Calibre MT5602-U Calibre is “weekend-proof”; that is to say, it has been certified for 70 hours by METAS, which enables the wearer to take the watch off on a Friday evening and put it back on again on Monday morning without having to wind it. Even if you need a weekend away, your watch does not.
The Black Bay comes fitted with either an entirely satin-brushed three-link steel bracelet or a five-oval-shaped-link brushed and polished steel bracelet, both complete with the TUDOR “T-fit” clasp equipped with a system for rapid length adjustment. Easy to use, requiring no tools and offering five positions, this practical system allows wearers to carry out a fine, instant adjustment of the total length of the bracelet along an adjustment window of 8mm. The clasp features ceramic ball bearings that ensure a smooth and secure closure in addition to adding a pleasing tactile element to the action of the clasp.
A black rubber strap option is also available for the Black Bay. The strap comes in three sizes complete with TUDOR “T-fit” clasp, and for the perfect fit, it is able to be cut down to the exact size of the wearer’s wrist. On the inside it features the signature snowflake motif for added grip, and it is form-fitted specifically for the Black Bay.
The Black Bay draws its most characteristic features from past models in the brand’s history. Its general lines, domed dial and crystal were inspired by the first TUDOR diving watches. It features the particularly prominent winding crown from the famous 7924 reference of 1958, aka the Big Crown, while its characteristic angular hands, known as “Snowflake”, were borrowed from the TUDOR watches used by the French National Navy in the 1970s.
In 2015, TUDOR announced the first Manufacture calibre in its history. A high-performance movement of excellent precision and proven robustness, the TUDOR MT5602 Manufacture calibre offers a 70-hour power reserve meaning that its wearer can, for example, take off the watch on Friday evening and put it on again on Monday morning without having to wind it.
The history of the TUDOR divers’ watch dates back to 1954 and the launch of reference 7922. The first in a long line of ergonomic, legible, accurate and robust divers’ watches, it perfectly embodies the approach formulated by the American architect Louis Sullivan, according to whom the form of an object must follow its function. Furthermore, it laid down the aesthetic and technical foundations of an ideal divers’ watch, those of an understated, functional and reliable tool.