We’ve watched Tudor’s Only Watch designs carefully over the past five years. The charity auction usually showcases Tudor and other luxury watch manufacturers trying out new design elements or materials that are later used in new Tudor models. Looking carefully at each year’s Only Watch often contains hints about what’s to come in future Tudor lineups.
Five Years of Tudor Innovations
Tudor first joined the charity watch event in 2015, when it auctioned off the Heritage Black Bay One, a tool watch originally designed in the 1950s. Tudor refreshed this watch with a Calibre 2824, a lollipop hand, and red accents on the bezel and the dial. This intentional reimagining of a beloved vintage model garnered the attention of collectors, who snapped up the limited-edition for 375,000 Swiss francs.
In 2017, Tudor designed the Black Bay Bronze One for Only Watch, featuring a green khaki dial and unusual left-side crown. It was powered by the Manufacture Calibre MT5601-LHD, Tudor’s most updated in-house movement. This watch didn’t presage any major innovations to the Tudor Black Bay line since Tudor had already released a Black Bay in a bronze case. But the unexpected color-way did bring new attention and enthusiasm to the Black Bay Bronze.
A Black Ceramic Tudor?
The latest Tudor Only Watch dropped in November of 2019, the unforgettable Black Bay Ceramic One. A vision in jet black with an engraved ceramic bezel, it acknowledges and then quickly surpasses the contemporary trend of blacked-out PVD-coated luxury watches. Using both glossy and matte black finishes, it creates a symphony in black that doesn’t miss a single note. The engraved ceramic bezel and bezel insert almost glows next to the matte black dial. Tudor currently uses ceramic in its Fastrider Black Shield case, and the Black Bay Ceramic One shows that they have the in-house ability to use that material with other watch cases.
The BB Ceramic One uses the highest spec MT5602 movement, free-spring balance with a silicon hairspring and a 70-hour power reserve. Surprisingly, the manufacture movement is visible through the back of the case, similar to the sapphire window on the Tudor North Flag. Could this be suggesting that Black Bay case backs could be transparent in the future? It’s unlikely -- but a delightful possibility to consider. It’s placed on a hybrid alligator and rubber strap, showing that a Black Bay on a rubber or leather strap can make quite an impact. Tudor collectors may be able to expect that type of hybrid strap appearing on other watches in the future.
What’s Next for the 2020 Tudor Only Watch?
As for the 2020 Tudor Only Watch, only time will tell what the next auctioned piece will be. But judging from the enthusiasm over the release of the Navy Blue Black Bay 58, it’s likely that it will steal just as much attention as the 2019 Black Bay Ceramic One. As a brand, Tudor has a bit more freedom to innovate and change its lineup, keeping it more in-step with current trends and preferences. We’re eager to see what Tudor will introduce next, both at the Only Watch auction, and in its more accessible timepieces. Shop Everest watch bands for your Tudor watch model here.
Written by Meghan Clark
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