With the release of the new Black Bay Prototype 1(P01), TUDOR has brought back to life the incredible prototype watch that was developed and proposed to the US Navy back in the 1960’s. Since the late 1950’s, TUDOR has been supplying the US Navy with Diver’s watches. The Oyster Prince Submariner 7928 reference was the standard issue for the US Navy during the 1950s. This was when TUDOR stepped in and started designing a technical watch to replace the reference model.
TUDOR created the project codenamed “Commando” to build a watch that met the specific requirements of the American government to be used by the US Navy. TUDOR’s engineers incorporated the results of testing and research to build several prototypes. Unfortunately, these prototypes were eventually replaced by TUDOR’s regular divers watch, reference model 7016 as the preference for the US Navy. Almost 50 years later, the original prototype from 1967 was brought back to be redesigned and is now being produced as the TUDOR Black Bay Prototype 1.
The unique feature of this timepiece is the winding crown being at the 4 o’clock position (instead of the traditional 3 o’clock) and the end links for the strap. The hinged-end link system was to be patented in 1968 from the original prototype model. The special feature of the hinged end link system was that it covered a locking and disassembling system for the bezel so that it would aid the maintenance of the watch. The new TUDOR Black Bay P01 does not replicate the hinged end link system from the original prototype model entirely, but rather utilises parts of it to achieve a similar effect. This is essentially done by providing a stop system for the bi-directional rotatable bezel with a mobile end-link at the 12 o’clock position.
The TUDOR Black Bay P01 comes in a 42mm steel case with a satin finish. The dial is black with domed sapphire crystal and has contrasting white indexes along with the hour, minute and constant second hand. With a few slight tweaks, this was all done to keep a close resemblance to the original 1967 prototype model.
The movement inside the TUDOR Black Bay P01 is the manufacture calibre MT5612. This movement has been officially certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The movement runs the central hour, minute and constant seconds hand while also giving out a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. An instantaneous date change with rapid adjustment can also be made with the calibre MT5612.
The strap that comes with the TUDOR Black Bay P01 is a hybrid of leather and rubber. The folding clasp and the safety end link have all been done in a satin finish.
WatchAdvice’s take on the Tudor Black Bay P01
With the original Black Bay Prototype never coming to fruition in the late 1960’s, TUDOR has done a great job bringing the ambitious prototype piece back to life. What was meant to be a cross between a diver’s watch and a navigators watch, TUDOR has given the Black Bay Prototype 1 a more refined approach while still keeping the aesthetic feel of the original Black Bay prototype alive. With the use of the offset crown and the hinged end link system, this is a certainly a unique piece in TUDOR’s Black Bay range.
Tudor Black Bay P01 specifications
- Reference : 70150
- Case diameter : 42mm
- Case material : Steel case with satin finish
- Bezel : 60-notch, 12-hour graduated steel bidirectional rotating bezel with stop system for the bidirectional rotating bezel via a mobile end-link at 12 o’clock
- Crystal : Domed sapphire crystal
- Water resistance : 200 meters/ 660 feet
- Movement : Caliber MT5612 (COSC)
- Power reserve : Approximately 70 hours
- Bracelet : Hybrid leather and rubber strap with folding clasp and safety catch, entirely satin-finished