Among the many unique pieces introduced for Only Watch 2019, there was one surprising watch, made by Tudor, in an unprecedented colour scheme and material. Based on the signature Black Bay model, the brand presented the first full-black, ceramic version of this popular dive watch. We had the chance to have this watch in our hands and we wanted to share this with you… but also to talk about future, as we know that Tudor’s unique pieces for Only Watch can sometimes lead to more than just one watch!
The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic One
Let’s get straight to the point… This watch is black, really black. Clearly, Tudor’s intention wasn’t to offer optimal legibility here (p.s. it is one of the most complex watches we recently had to photograph). Everything in this watch is black or dark grey and most of the watch is treated with matte surfaces. Stealth mode activated!
Back to the topic, the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic One ref. M7921 is first and foremost a Black Bay and as such, it feels pleasantly familiar. However, it is also rather different from the rest of the collection, including the “Dark” model – the PVD-coated version of the BB, which already featured a black case and dial. To make this ceramic version unique, Tudor had to come up with something different on the dial.
The main novelty here is the full ceramic case, presented in matte black. Ceramic isn’t new to Tudor, it is already used on the Black Shield, a modern racing-inspired chronograph. However, it is new to the Black Bay collection, which was already available in steel, in steel-and-gold, in PVD-coated steel and in bronze. Ceramic is used here for the central case and the bezel insert (with a brushed finish). The caseback and the crown are PVD-treated steel, while the bezel itself is PVD-coated titanium.
The case still retains the classic BB shape, with bevelled lugs and a 41mm diameter. The crown has an engraved rose logo. The watch is paired with a new style of strap, a mix of rubber base with alligator insert on top. This complements the modern look of the watch.
The second novelty on this Tudor Black Bay Ceramic One is that the manufacture movement is visible through the caseback – also new to the Black Bay collection. Only the North Flag was equipped with a transparent back until now. No change in terms of mechanics and the watch is fitted with the calibre Tudor MT5602, an automatic, chronometer-certified movement with a 70-hour power reserve, anti-magnetic silicon hairspring and transversal cock. For the occasion, the rotor is PVD-coated in black.
As for the dial, we also have a full-black scheme… It certainly creates a bold watch but not the easiest to read. While it retains the no-date display of other BB 41mm, the domed dial has a matte, grained texture, with tone-on-tone inscriptions and a minute track. As for the hands and the applied indexes, all are blackened metal with dark grey luminous material – with green light emission in the dark. The result gives this Tudor Black Bay Ceramic One a unique personality, even though the collection DNA is still present.
This Tudor Black Bay Ceramic One M7921 for Only Watch 2019 will be auctioned on Saturday 9 November 2019 and has an estimate of CHF 4,500 – 5,500 – but we all know this watch will fetch far more than that.
A teaser for a future model?
So now, back to reality. Tudor has already participated twice in the Only Watch charity auction. And on one occasion, the unique piece presented announced the launch of an upcoming model.
In 2015, Tudor introduced the Heritage Black Bay One Ref. 7923/001. Back in 2015, the BB was only available with a burgundy or a midnight blue bezel. The unique piece for Only Watch came with a black bezel, a red triangle and gold plated (gilt-like) markers and hands. This watch, which sold for a record price of CHF 375,000, was, in fact, a teaser for the Black Bay Black Bezel 79220N introduced a few weeks later. See below, the Only Watch version on the left and the standard model on the right.
For the 2017 edition of Only Watch, Tudor donated a unique bronze-green, LHD version of the Black Bay, a model that already existed in the collection with a brown dial/bezel and the crown classically at 3 o’clock. In this case, neither the colour combo nor the left-hand crown was a teaser for an upcoming model – it was simply a mix of popular elements to create a unique piece.
But what about the 2019 model? Of course, Tudor hasn’t said anything yet and if something does materialise, it won’t be before Baselworld 2020. However, since this Tudor Black Bay Ceramic One M7921 for Only Watch 2019 is entirely unprecedented, we could easily imagine the brand introducing a slightly revised version of this watch, with a more legible dial and more contrast on the indexes and hands. Will 2020 be the year of the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic…? Wait and see!
More details at tudorwatch.com.
Only Watch is a biennial fundraiser for research on muscular dystrophy – Association Monégasque Contre les Myopathies (AMM). Organized under the patronage of HSH Albert II de Monaco, the watches of the 8th edition will be auctioned by Christie’s on Saturday 9 November 2019. More details at www.onlywatch.com. And discover all the Only watch 2019 timepieces here.