The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic… METAS Master Chronometer Certified, with 15,000-Gauss Resistance
A full-black ceramic version of Tudor's successful dive watch... with the most stringent of certifications!
Following the introduction of its new collection just over a month ago at Watches & Wonders, we clearly didn’t expect to see new models from Tudor for a while… And certainly, we didn’t expect to see something as big as what’s coming today. Sure, there’s a new Black Bay Ceramic, which was somehow announced two years ago with a unique model for Only Watch charity auction. Sure, it looks cool (better than the OW model…) and is the first time ceramic is used in this collection. But most importantly, the big deal is in the technologies, and specifically in the certifications, as the manufacture calibre has been reworked and is now Master Chronometer certified by METAS, with impressive 15,000-gauss magnetic resistance… something that is not exclusive to Omega anymore (but was never meant to be from the very beginning). So let’s have a look at this new Tudor Black Bay Ceramic M79210CNU.
The idea of the Black Bay Ceramic was teased by the brand more than two years ago already, with the watch you can see above, the unique Black Bay Ceramic One auditioned for Only Watch 2019. This year, the watch comes in a more classic edition, which is available to a wider audience (not limited) and with some slight visual modifications.
The 41mm case of this Tudor Black Bay Ceramic M79210CNU is made of matte black ceramic with a micro-blasted finish and monobloc middle case architecture. It retains the classic proportions and shape of the BB 41 collection, with the non-protected oversized crown, the bevels on the lugs and the same overall diameter. New to this watch, the unidirectional bezel is in PVD-coated stainless steel with a black ceramic insert with sunray satin finish and engraved markings… and without luminous pearl at 12 o’clock. The watch is topped by an ultra-domed sapphire crystal and, thanks to a screw-down crown and caseback, it retains its 200m water-resistance.
Another evolution for this new Tudor Black Bay Ceramic, compared to the unique model of 2019, is its dial. Still domed and matte black, it now features dark-grey coated applied indexes and Snowflake hands, filled with grade A Swiss Super-LumiNova… and not black material as in the prototype. Far more legible indeed. No date comes to disturb the clean display and the printings on the dial are relatively discreet, as executed in grey.
The watch is worn on a hybrid leather and rubber strap closed by a black coated folding buckle. An additional textile strap with beige band and PVD coated hardware is also included. All in all, Tudor brings a cool, stealth edition of its Black Bay that is visually pleasant. But there is far more to this watch…
Tudor goes METAS and Master Chronometer
Here’s the real deal with the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic… It is indeed announcing Tudor’s entry in the brands obtaining the Master Chronometer certification. As of now, only Omega was submitting its watches to this stringent testing procedure. Yet, as explained by the Biel-based brand, the certification developed with METAS was not the exclusivity of Omega and was meant to become the new standard for the industry, covering most of the aspects that can affect a watch, including the risks inherent to magnetism.
Tudor is thus the second brand to have successfully submitted watches for tests to obtain a Master Chronometer certification. As explained by the brand “This is the first application of this standard to a watch in the Tudor collection. This certification, which requires a substantial number of changes to the Tudor Manufacture Calibre, will mean that Tudor will be able to offer accreditation by an independent body.”
What does this move to Master Chronometer and METAS certification mean? Well, this requires intense work on the movement, specifically on the most crucial parts that are responsible for the regulation of the movement. 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.
- Precision: 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 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)
- Magnetic resistance: watches with Master Chronometer/METAS certification must retain timekeeping accuracy when subjected to magnetic fields of 15,000-gauss
- Waterproofness: the waterproof capability claimed by the manufacturer conforms with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard 22810:2010
- Power reserve: same as above, the power reserve claimed by the manufacturer conforms with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- Swiss made: the watch must conform with the criteria of Swiss Made, and the movement must be certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC)
For all of these reasons, the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic M79210CNU features a newly developed version of the classic manufacture automatic movement, the new Calibre MT5602-1U. If most of the specifications are identical to previous models – 31.8mm diameter, 25 jewels, 70h power reserve, 28,800 vibrations/hour – some work has been done on both chronometric parts and anti-magnetic components, even though Tudor doesn’t list the new parts or technologies involved, except that the hairspring is made of silicon (which was already the case on previous manufacture movements). It also retains its variable inertia balance and transversal bridge.
Then, the movement has been drastically reworked in terms of decoration, which is visible through the sapphire caseback. While the bridges and plates are now blackened, the rotor is now a monoblock construction and is made of openworked tungsten, with satin-brushed and sandblasted details. The bridges have geometric patterns in relief with alternating sandblasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations.
Availability & price
The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic M79210CNU-0001 will be offered in the permanent collection. In addition to the COSC and Master Chronometer certifications, it comes with a 5-year transferable guarantee with no registration or periodic maintenance checks required. Tudor recommends 10-year service intervals.
The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic and its two straps will be priced at EUR 4,440. For more details, please visit tudorwatch.com.
Oh boy! Omega has to think further now
First, as always, Monochrome have delivered a succinct and hyperbole free write up of what might be a tectonic shift in the Wilsdorf group of brands. Other websites have also covered the matter but with a little more “hysteria”. the second point is wrapped up in the following statement from Tudor:
“This is the first application of this standard to a watch in the Tudor collection. This certification, which requires a substantial number of changes to the Tudor Manufacture Calibre, will mean that Tudor will be able to offer accreditation by an independent body.”
This seems to be an acceptance by Rolex/Tudor, firstly, that their watches and movements need to be updated/refined to cope with an increasingly magnetically hostile world. Anyone who doubts this should think about not just mobile telephones, their magnetic field is usually only 80 to 100 Gauss, but to iPad cases with magnetic shut offs for the device (around 150 to 200 Gauss) as well as laptops, other computers and hi-fi speakers but also electric cars. With the new induction plate charging systems being rolled out by BMW and others your PHEV or BEV will find itself in very powerful magnetic fields and the cars themselves generate a strong magnetic field as the electric motors work too. unless mechanical watches adapt they will be vulnerable to these fields to the detriment of the owner.
The second and perhaps even more important point in the statement seems to be an acknowledgement that secretive, unspecified in-house testing regimes are not worth the paper they are written on. Tudor are acknowledging that METAS is a genuinely difficult standard to achieve and that it is independent of Tudor and of course Omega. I would not be surprised if Rolex watches were never sent for certification by METAS but I would be equally surprised if they were. At least if Rolex watches did achieve Master Chronometer status they could remove at least half the wording from the dial!
As for “Omega has to think further now” – completely wrong and actually it is the other way round, Omega have led the way and it would seem that Rolex/Tudor have acknowledged that they have to follow. In any event Omega have already produced a movement that can withstand 160000 Gauss or over ten time the level of the METAS testing equipment.
There’s got to be a new Milgauss on the way. If Rolex were to ever enter one of their models for METAS certification then that’s the one.
@SPR great post. Does the 200 gauss of modern iPad cases affect Rolex 31XX and older movements?
@JC Modern Rolex watches are not likely to withstand more than around 80 to 100 Gauss (80 Gauss is the level of anti-magnetism required in the ISO 6245 standard for divers watches) there are assertions that modern mechanical watch movements can withstand 1000 Gauss due to silicon or other amagnetic hairsprings but there is no published material on this other than assertions made without evidence. I have been present in 2019 at a trade show when a senior Omega representative showed the effect of an iPad case on an Aqua Terra Cal.8900 METAS certified watch and at the same time on a Rolex Datejust. The Aqua Terra was unaffected but the Datejust stopped. He could get the Datejust to run again and set it accurately but in the hour or so after exposure to the iPad case magnets it was running 15 seconds fast. He then degaussed it and it ran OK for the next hour but would no doubt need a service if it was your own watch.
@SPR interesting thanks. I have am typing on a brand new 2021 IPad Pro with the magic keyboard right now. Both are full of magnets, with magnets even under the palm rest! Have only had for a few days but haven’t noticed any issues so far with a 5 digit GMT, 6 digit Daytonas. given the popularity of iPads, you’d think there would be more noise on it if were a real issue?
What’s the point of a bezel you can’t read? It’s a lifestyle watch. They could have done so much better.
Impressive movement, accurate and anti-magnetic. Two tone grey dial, no date, no bracelet around £4000, I’ll give it a miss.
SPR just hit it, pure marketing. I wouldn`t wear a R**** even for free…
This is a major development in Rolex/Tudor hopefully for the better. Now Rolex must develop the milgaus it seems the next logical step.
And charge 10x what its worth, that’s the trend. Oh and of course ” not available at retail prices” .