The 2018 Tudor Black Bay GMT is arguably the one wristwatch no one was expecting at this year’s Baselworld but boy were we glad to see it. As the first GMT complication to appear in the Black Bay collection, it boasts a new in-house movement. Tudor really impresses with a fully-developed, well-executed timepiece that offers great value for money.
The Black Bay GMT provides an interesting alternative to certain other pieces that is just as satisfying on the wrist.
The Black Bay GMT offers travel time functionality in much the same fashion as its ‘big brother’ – jump-set local hour hand and independent GMT hand coaxially located at the dial centre. The supplementary GMT or ‘home’ hand pairs with a 24-hour scale denoted on the bezel, where the colours blue and red reflect night and day. A third time-zone can also be read by rotating the bezel to reflect the number of hours ahead of or behind home time.
However, the Tudor Black Bay GMT sets itself apart by keeping to the Black Bay formula, which in turn results in a contemporary GMT with a vintage feel from yesteryear. The Black Bay collection is a line of dive watches distinctively inspired by a series of past iconic Submariners, and Tudor has done a great job in creating the new travel version while retaining the collection’s characteristics. It’s these characteristics that lend the Black Bay so well to the new GMT complication.
The case of the Black Bay GMT is fashioned from steel at a diameter of 41mm and features the large (unprotected) crown characteristic of the first-generation Tudor dive watches to be waterproof to 200m (20 bar/ 660ft). A date window appears at 3 o’clock and luminescent hands and hour markers set against the black matt dial makes for optimum legibility in the dark.
Given the Black Bay’s reputation for versatility, there are of course options to personalise your watch – choose from a riveted (matching) steel bracelet with polished satin finish inspired by historical models of the 1950s, a “Terra di Siena” brown leather strap with folding clasp and safety catch, or a black fabric strap with a burgundy stripe (a signature feature of Tudor’s Heritage line).
A New Movement for Tudor
The new, self-winding, in-house calibre that introduces the GMT function to the Tudor movement portfolio is the main talking point for the Baselworld debuting in the Black Bay GMT. The manufacture calibre MT5652 – which incorporates the additional hour hand that completes one full rotation every 24 hours – was specifically designed for the Black Bay GMT and is COSC-certified as a chronometer.
Its structure was designed to be robust – employing a sturdy traversing bridge with a two-point fixation – and its finishes include a satin-brushed rotor with sand-blasted details. Running at 28,800 vibrations/ hours, the calibre MT5652 equals the GMT-Master II’s 70-hour power reserve. The variable inertia balance wheel (with non-magnetic silicon balance spring) is held under a full cock. MT5652 is a hacking movement, allowing for precise time setting.
More bang for your buck
The Tudor Black Bay GMT will range in price from $4,290 on a leather or fabric strap to $4,670 on the riveted steel bracelet.
To get all the information (including the availability of both wristwatches) and to express your interest, please contact us at Watches of Switzerland. See our line of Tudor Watches in person at one of our boutiques.