Tudor adds a new material to its growing list of Black Bay variants, with the new Black Bay Ceramic. This is the first time a full ceramic case is used on a regular production model, succeeding an earlier Only Watch 2019 all black model. Other notable changes include METAS certification, an anti-magnetic movement, and a two-liner dial instead of the usual Rolex style ‘paragraph’.
Tudor Black Bay Ceramic
The Case and Dial
The watch measures 41mm in diameter and 14.4mm in thickness. Its the middle sized option between the Black Bay 58 at 39mm, and the Black Bay Bronze at 43mm. A full ceramic case comes in addition to Tudor’s growing line of dive watch options, with a variety of sizes, metals, colors, straps/bracelets. At the time of writing, a newer full bronze with bracelet Black Bay 58 has just hit the market.
More options for this hardy dive watch has largely been welcomed by the watch lovers’ community. The Silver case Black Bay 58, is possibly the most popular model in its latest line up. This ceramic model however, packs quite a punch for the 41mm case size category.
There are manifold benefits to ceramic, in particular corrosion resistance and scratch resistance. The material is hard and light, while more brittle than steel, has a more stealthy quality to it that will impress military style watch enthusiasts. The new Tudor uses a micro-blasted finish and monobloc middle case.
A raised dome sapphire crystal is used, sitting above the iconic snow-flake hour hands. Hour markers and hands are lume-filled with a cream colored Superluminova paint.
This is sensible for legibility, especially on an all black dial. The luminous paint charges up using external light and can maintain a glow in the dark.
Other components of the watch are as before, but with a ceramic insert for the bezel. Both the crown and the bezel are made of PVD treated stainless steel.
Competing for market share in the entry luxury dive watch space requires more than just a good-looking case. In that aspect, Tudor movements derived from Kenissi, packs quite a punch. The new MT5602-1U caliber is COSC certified and METAS certified – which is also used by Omega.
METAS certification tests for precision at two temperatures, in six different positions and at two different levels of power reserve: 100% and 33%. It also requires that the movement maintains smooth functioning when exposed to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss and maintains precision following the exposure. In essence, the watch is now highly accurate across different environments, anti-magnetic, with a 3 day power reserve and is self-winding.
The METAS certification – in particular the anti-magnetic properties is a key attraction of the Ceramic Black Bay. It maintains the same 200m water resistance, and has a stealthy all-black look. As an owner of a Pelagos LHD and a Black Bay Bronze, I have found both watches to be as designed, hardy, tough and accurate. In particular the Pelagos is my ‘go anywhere, do anything’ doomsday watch.
This new Ceramic Black Bay is possibly the same, and more, for its anti-magnetism and cool stealthy appearance. The downside however, is a more brittle case – as compared to titanium, and a strap instead of a bracelet. The watch is priced at US$4,725 or S$6,510.