Basel world 2019 is always a highly anticipated event for avid watch enthusiasts and collectors, as it’s often the hub for new releases to be unveiled to the world. Excited whispers were circling on social media platforms surrounding a new TUDOR Submariner model, and everyone’s attention was focused towards hearing more!
TUDOR certainly did not disappoint, as they instead revealed a brand-new dive watch, the TUDOR Black Bay P01.
TUDOR Black Bay P01
Created from the archives
This unique Black Bay model was inspired from a legendary prototype developed for the US Navy in the late 1960’s. The ambitious project, code named “Commando”, never actually made it to full production as the US Navy opted for the TUDOR Submariner 7016 instead.
As a prototype was produced, TUDOR ensured it was kept safe in the brand’s archives, to perhaps be rejuvenated at a later date. After waiting over 50 years, TUDOR decided that 2019 would be when its distinctive aesthetics would be brought to life, in the way of the TUDOR Black Bay P01. They have also kept true to its origins, including P01 in its name, which stands for prototype 01.
The design influences
The new TUDOR Black Bay P01 features satin brushed steel casing, in sizes of 42mm wide. It also adopts key design features from the period prototype, most notably the crown position of 4 o’clock that gives the P01 its unique shape.
Here you can see the design similarities between the original prototype (left) and the new TUDOR Black Bay P01 (right)
Unlike many other Black Bay models, the TUDOR Black Bay P01 only comes on the brown hybrid strap. This seamlessly links to the distinctive lugs and hinged link bezel blocking system, yet provides a strong and intriguing contrast in textures.
This blocking system is a mechanism borrowed from the prototype, allowing the 12-hour bidirectional rotating bezel to be locked into place by a mobile end at 12 o’clock.
The spirit of Black Bay
Fitted with a black domed dial that has luminescent painted hour markers, the Black Bay P01 follows the standards of the Black Bay Collection and has adopted the signature “Snowflake” hands, taken from TUDOR’s 1969 catalogue.
Of course, being a present-day divers’ watch, the Black Bay P01 is waterproof up to 200 meters and consists of the same modern-day manufacturing techniques, reliability, robustness and quality that the TUDOR Black Bay collection is renowned for. These are all essentially qualities needed to create a historically aesthetic inspired, contemporary manufactured timepiece.
The manufacture Calibre MT5612 that powers the Black Bay P01 displays hours, minutes, seconds and date functions.
Beating at a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour with 26 jewels, the movement is purpose built for longevity and reliability. This (COSC) certified chronometer ensures a robust, precise self-winding movement that provides approximately 70-hours power reserve.
so what is the verdict?
There’s no doubt that the new TUDOR Black Bay P01 has certainly divided opinions across the globe, but I have discovered that once you delve into the inspiration behind this remarkable divers’ watch, you realise that it isn’t just an oddly shaped Black Bay, but instead a declaration of appreciation to a legendary archived prototype.
It is the history and journey that this watch has experienced, which is the true captivating feature of its design and creation. All Black Bay watches are desirable, however you will grow to embrace the spirit, dedication and contemporary manufacturing techniques this timepiece has to offer.
Availability at Burrells
The TUDOR Black Bay P01 is currently available for pre-order, with arrival in our stores estimated for July 2019 (subject to change).