It’s not often I write about a Tudor watch. I must say, I feel it’s mainly because the Masthead knows that I’m not particularly enthusiastic about them. I’ve worn them and enjoyed the experience, but I’ve never felt it the awe-inspiring experience to write home about that others have. It’s easier for me to respect the distance they’ve come so far. Remember, Tudor wasn’t much more than a name from the past ten years ago, but now they’re world-renowned watchmakers and rightly so. Today sees them release a new watch which increases the distance they’ve come, as they release the new Black Bay Ceramic, now with master-level credentials.
The Black Bay is Tudor’s main diving watch line, it’s similar in some ways to the Rolex Submariner (Rolex owns Tudor), but there’s clearly enough difference between the two to avoid considering the Black Bay a cut-price Submariner, or indeed the Submariner an overpriced Black Bay. This version features an all-around case and bezel made entirely of ceramic, which is something Rolex doesn’t do with the Submariner. Typically, this isn’t a massive deal for us, but what makes this new Black Bay with its 41mm x 14.4mm ceramic case is the new in-house movement inside it.
The calibre MT5602-1U inside the watch is a METAS-certified Master Chronometer, making this one of the first (if not the first) non-Omega watch certified as a Master-Chronometer since the certificate first appeared in 2015. The Master Chronometer name came out when Omega worked with the Federal Institute of Metrology in Switzerland to create a new and more stringent test for its watches. This included a higher accuracy requirement than a standard COSC chronometer and an extreme antimagnetic rating (15,000 Gauss). Sceptics mentioned that, at the time, only Omega was capable of producing watches that could pass the test, and indeed, the place they set up to test watches was built within Omega’s factory.
Now, though, Tudor has made the MT5602-1U, which is also a Master Chronometer. For the full rundown on how the METAS testing works, check out our Jargon Buster on the topic. The process doesn’t change, but Tudor tests the watches at its factory rather than sending them to Omega.
The movement runs at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 70-hours. There is some finishing and blackening applied to the movement too, which is on display around the back of the watch. To denote the use of this movement, the dial no longer lists the watch’s depth rating (200m) and ‘Chronometer Officially Certified’ on it. Now, it has ‘Master Chronometer’ written on it, just like Omega’s watches, and the name ‘Black Bay’ is also present on the dial for the very first time.