Only Watch 2021: Tudor Black Bay GMT One

In aged gunmetal.

Tudor’s entry into Only Watch 2021 is typical – a reinterpretation of one of its current models – but at the same time strikingly unusual. The Black Bay GMT One is a dual time zone with a heavily aged finish on the case and bracelet, along with an open back showing off a movement similar to that found in the recent Black Bay Ceramic.

Initial thoughts

Tudor’s watches are ordinarily excellent quality and tremendous value, though most are styled within certain aesthetic confines. The brand gets to do things differently at Only Watch, and the Black Bay GMT One is probably the most interesting to date.

Most Tudor watches look shiny and new, and even those that acquire a patina remain pristine under the crystal. The GMT One is purposefully aged, even on the dial and movement, which gives it a lived-in look that’s appealing in a sports watch.

Granted, the aged bracelet seems a bit much – I’d wear it on a strap – but given that there’ll only be one of these and it’ll sell for about US$350,000 that’s a moot point.

Lastly, it’s notable that the GMT One is powered by a Master Chronometer movement, perhaps a reference to the strategic genius of the similar movement found in the Black Bay Ceramic.

Slightly worn

The GMT One has a case steel and bracelet that are identical to that found on the standard model, except for the surface treatment. Both are finished with a black coating that is then partially and randomly worn off via tumble polishing, creating an aged-gunmetal finish.

The rest of the watch is similarly treated for a faux-vintage appearance. The bezel insert is aged steel with engraving markings, while the dial is a matte black with a variegated surface finish.

Most surprising is the MT5652-1U within. It features bridges and a rotor identical to the movement in the Black Bay Ceramic, except that the components have been aged just like the case. The bridges and rotor are first coated black, and then tumble polished to create a worn finish.

Key facts and price

Tudor Black Bay GMT One
Ref. M7983/001U

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 14.6 mm
Material: Steel with aged coating
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 200 m

Movement: Cal. MT5652-1U
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, second time zone, and date
Additional features: METAS and COSC certification
: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet with aged coating

Limited edition: Piece unique
 To be sold at Only Watch on November 6, 2021
Estimate: 4,000-8,000 Swiss francs

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