Welcome to Always On Time, where we’re always there when you call with the most interesting new watches in the world.
The watch: The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic.
The single best thing about this watch: The classic Black Bay now comes in brawny ceramic.
The backstory: The Black Bay is Tudor’s signature piece, its version of Jordan Brand’s Jordan 1, if you will. And in that spirit, many of Tudor’s new releases are always remixes of the Black Bay. Case in point: out of the five new releases Tudor announced in April during Watches & Wonders this year, four of them were riffs on the Black Bay. There is a Black Bay for your dad, mom, brother, sister, and Fido, too.
Now Tudor is releasing its Black Bay in another flavor: ceramic matte black, like a SR-71 Blackbird plane, a fleet of Kanye’s SHERP ATVs, or something we might describe as murdered out if this were 2013. There’s a reason this particular shade of monochrome is so popular: it looks really freaking cool. While the Black Bay at its roots is a dive watch—the rotatable bezel and the hour markers painted with glow-in-the-dark lume are hallmarks of the style—the ceramic version watch is more concerned with design with function. The dial isn’t the super-legible stuff most dive watches are made of and this watch’s lack of lume means its best for showing off above sea level.
The Tudor Black Bay (the Ceraremix): To continue the Jordan analogy, remixing the Tudor in ceramic is a bit like making a Jordan 1 out of Kevlar. The material is super tough—like 10 out of 10 of those steam-streaming-from-the-nostrils tough. Although stainless steel is still the most popular material for watches, many of the best new releases are classics made out of something new and different.
Over and over, brands have turned to ceramic: it’s key to the most exciting new Royal Oaks from Audemars Piguet, it’s remade in a sandy taupe for a new IWC, and it’s responsible for Omega’s most badass release this year. (Omega and Tudor have also turned to bronze to differentiate their watches from the pack.) It’s a smart tactic: instead of reinventing the wheel, brands can add juice to beloved pieces by making them in new materials.
A note on METAS: Another note Tudor is hitting with this release is Master Chronometer certification from METAS. So, uh, what the heck does that mean? METAS is the Federal Institute of Metrology and in 2015 it established a test to set a new standard for timepieces. Among other things, METAS tests for timing precision and accuracy as well as resistance to magnetism. The twist is that METAS actually founded the test in partnership with Omega, which uses Master Chronometer certification as a major selling point. Now, Tudor aims to show that Omega isn’t the only brand that can make hyper-accurate and tough watches.
Where and when to buy it: The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic ($4,725) is available at the brand’s retailers now.