It takes a lot to surprise us when it comes to new product releases. This Baselworld 2019, as the curtains went up at the TUDOR booth, everyone at the Hours and Minutes fraternity were lost for words, yet thrilled, to see TUDOR’S 60’s Prototype Dive Watch, resurrected. Today we’re looking at the new TUDOR Black Bay P01.
In 1967, TUDOR, who had been supplying the US Navy with divers’ watches since the late 1950s, began development of a technical model to replace the Oyster Prince Submariner 7928 reference, which was standard-issue at that time. This new watch needed to meet a set of specifications decreed by the American government and incorporated the results of the latest research into functionality and ergonomics carried out by the brand’s engineers. A development phase was launched which resulted in the production of prototypes, as well as a patent for a hitherto unseen function. This ambitious project, which carried the code name “Commando”, never came to fruition as the regular TUDOR divers’ watch, reference 7016, which replaced reference 7928 in the TUDOR catalogue, was eventually adopted by the US Navy.
TUDOR has taken the legacy of its 60’s Prototype Dive Watch and added the best advances of watchmaking into it. The satin-brushed 42mm stainless steel case feels quite tall, but then again that’s the whole idea; to give the watch a more contemporary look. You have a winding crown at 4 o clock. According to TUDOR, positioning the winding crown at 4 o clock, makes it less prone to damages, considering the crown is one of the most fragile parts of a watch. The hinged end-link system on the period prototype was the subject of a patent in 1968, which covered a locking and disassembling system for the bezel to aid maintenance of the watch. The Black Bay P01 model does not literally reproduce this mechanism but borrows liberally from it, providing a stop system for the bidirectional rotating bezel via a mobile end-link at 12 o’clock. Black Bay P01 is waterproof to 200 metres.
You simply cannot miss the “snowflake” hands on the domed matt-black dial, which first appeared in the brand’s 1969 catalogue. Accentuating the whole vintage theme further, are painted luminescent hour markers. The result of subtle combinations of historical aesthetic codes and contemporary watchmaking, the Black Bay line is far from simply being an identical re-release of a classic. It brings together over 60 years of TUDOR divers’ watches, while remaining firmly anchored in the present.
Housed inside the new TUDOR Black Bay P01, is the Manufacture Calibre MT5612 that powers the the hours, minutes, seconds and date functions offering a magnanimous 70 hours of power reserve. Its openwork rotor is satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, and its bridges and plate have alternating polished sand-blasted surfaces and laser decorations. The movement has also been fitted with a variable inertia balance and a non-magnetic silicon balance spring. Thanks to these qualities, the Calibre MT5612 is certified as a chronometer by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
The brown leather strap developed for the Black Bay P01 model has a rubber base with a “snowflake” motif on the back.
42 mm steel case with satin finish
60-notch, 12-hour graduated steel bidirectional rotating bezel with stop system for the bidirectional rotating bezel via a mobile end-link at 12 o’clock
Screw-down steel winding crown at 4 o’clock, with the TUDOR logo in relief
Black, domed, Date at 3 o’clock
Domed sapphire crystal
Waterproof to 200 m (660 ft)
Hybrid leather and rubber strap with folding clasp and safety catch, entirely satin-finished
Manufacture Calibre MT5612 (COSC)
Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system
Approximately 70 hours
Swiss chronometer officially certified by the COSC
(Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute)
Central hour, minute and second hands
Stop seconds for precise time setting
Instantaneous date at 3 o’clock with rapid adjustment without non-correction range
Variable inertia balance, micro-adjustment by screw
Non-magnetic silicon balance spring
Frequency: 28,800 beats/hour (4Hz)