BaselWorld 2018 is just getting underway, and there are some heavy hitters coming out swinging.  You’ve likely seen the news around the new Rolex GMT Master in steel that’s come out, replete with different bezel colors.  While I like what the crown makes, the handsets on the GMT Master have bothered me.  That’s why, when I saw the news on the Tudor Black Bay GMT, I sat up and took notice.

On one hand, the Tudor Black Bay GMT does not do much to help separate the brand from it’s older brother.  On the other hand, it does a lot that makes this feel like it’s more than just a parts-bin grab bag.  For starters, it’s got the snowflake handset that we all know Tudor for.  When it comes to the bezel, we’ve got a completely different font getting used in the iconic Pepsi two-tone.  Case-wise, the 41mm steel has a whole lot of brushed finish to it (with polished bevels, quite nice) that give the watch, as a whole, a much more “tool watch” feel.  Finally, the crown has no guards to it, and it’s a look that works for this case profile.

Along with the history-laden Pepsi bezel, the Tudor Black Bay GMT also brings forth the riveted bracelet, something many aficionados will be familiar with.  Add that in with the overall looks and functionality of the design, and you definitely have some familiarities here.  I’ve talked with some buddies about the watch, and they’re split – some just straight up don’t like it, and others use the phrase “it’s not wrong”.  For me, I think there’s a lot to like here. And, with pricing starting at $3,575 for leather or textile straps, and topping out at $3,900 for the riveted bracelet, it’s definitely a sharp alternative to it’s bigger brother.

What do you think, dear readers?  Is this a sharp take on a classic design (as I appear to be calling it) or is it something less?  Feel free to sound off below, or over in our Slack channel.  In the mean time, we’re in contact with the brand, and let’s just see if we can’t get some wrist time with one (presumably after Basel wraps) to give you our “in-the-steel” take.

Tech Specs from Tudor

  • CASE:  41 mm steel case with polished and satin nish
  • BEZEL:
    • Bidirectional rotatable
    • 48 notches bezel in steel with 24-hour graduated anodised aluminium disc in matt burgundy and blue
  • WINDING CROWN:  Steel screw-down winding crown, with the TUDOR rose in relief, with circular satin-brushed steel winding crown tube
  • DIAL:  Black, domed
  • CRYSTAL:  Domed sapphire crystal
  • WATERPROOFNESS:  Waterproof to 200 m (660 )
  • BRACELET:  Riveted steel bracelet, with polished and satin finnish, or “Terra di Siena” brown leather strap with folding clasp and safety catch, or black fabric strap with burgundy band and with buckle
  • Movement
    • CALIBRE:
      • Manufacture Calibre MT5652 (COSC)
      • Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system
      • Built-in architecture
    • PRECISION:  Swiss Chronometer officially certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute)
      • Jumping hour, (second time zone), 24-hours, minutes and seconds at the centre
      • Instantaneous date at 3 o’clock without non-correction range being synchronised on the jumping hour hand
      • Stop seconds for precise time setting
    • OSCILLATOR:  Variable inertia balance, micro-adjustment by screw
    • Non-magnetic silicon balance spring
    • Frequency:  28,800 beats/hour (4Hz)
    • Total diameter:  31.8 mm
    • Thickness:  7.52 mm
    • Jewels:  28 jewels
    • Power Reserve:  Approximately 70 hours

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