Baselworld 2019 - TUDOR Black Bay P01
After a successful Baselworld launch in 2018 with new additions to the Black Bay collection - The introduction of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight caused quite a stir in the watch world, this innovative watch paid homage to the brands first divers’ watch and maintained the vintage appeal.
Fast forward a year and Tudor has replicated that appeal with the new Black Bay P01, a watch based on a legendary prototype developed in the late 1960’s and proposed to the US navy before disappearing in to the archives for 50 years!
The inspiration behind the original prototype was a result of extensive research into functionality and ergonomics carried out by the brand’s engineers to meet the specifications as requested by the American government. 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.
This revisited historic prototype boasts a 42mm satin steel case with a matt finish. Underneath the domed sapphire crystal glass you will find the snowflake hands, a signature design of Tudor’s divers’ watches. Although it may be a Black Bay by name, the P01 is definitely unique in its own right – The asymmetrical case is like no other Black Bay and a 4 o’clock crown also makes this watch a stand out from the rest of the Black Bay collection.
A feature which you may miss at first glance is the prototype 1’s bezel locking system. 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.
The strap developed for the Black Bay P01 model is a rubber base with "snowflake" motif on the back, finished with a brown leather trim. In the spirit of the period prototype, mobile satin-brushed steel attachments connect the strap to the watch case.
The P01 is powered by a Calibre MT5612 COSC certified movement, waterproof up to 200m and with a 70-hour power reserve, a wearer can take off the watch on Friday evening and put it back on again on Monday morning without having to re-set and wind it.