The Rugby World Cup is only a couple of weeks away, kicking off in Japan on 20 September – and it’ll be the first time that the competition has been held in Asia. It’s no surprise that Tudor are the Official Timekeeper, thanks to their reputation for creating resilient, daring, boundary-pushing watches. The watchmaker’s ambassadors are the reigning world champions, New Zealand’s All Blacks, making the Tudor Black Bay Dark (£3,240) the ideal piece to mark the occasion.
Tudor has long supported the high-pressure world of rugby, from sponsoring the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year and the World Rugby Hall of Fame to acting as Official Timekeeper of the famously fast-paced Rugby World Cup Sevens last year. Rugby at the highest level requires endurance, physical skills and mental fitness, and the New Zealand All Blacks reflect Tudor’s ‘Born to Dare’ philosophy by going above and beyond to challenge themselves in pursuit of greatness. Tudor’s Black Bay Dark is worn by the All Blacks – not only perfectly matching the team’s colours but also the players’ robust and hardy attitude to the game. The Kiwis’ record speaks for itself: they are the most successful international rugby team in history, with a win rate of over 77 percent in Test Matches.
Tudor has a reputation for creating resilient, daring, boundary-pushing watches
A high-endurance, historic watch
Tudor produced its first divers’ watch in 1954, with the launch of the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner Reference 7922. The watchmaker’s highly legible and extremely accurate timepieces played a pivotal role in laying down the rules for divers’ watches by keeping them understated, highly functional, and of course – an essential for any diver – extremely reliable.
The 41mm Black Bay Dark takes inspiration from Tudor’s early diving watches, incorporating a vintage-style domed dial into what is a sleek, matt-black steel creation. It also boasts Tudor’s prominent winding crown – the ‘Big Crown’ from the famous Submariner 7924 of 1958 – while its highly recognisable snowflake hands are taken from the sturdy Tudor wristwatches used by the French National Navy in the 1970s.
Returning to the watch at hand, the cool, contemporary Tudor Black Bay Dark’s case has been finished with a PVD coating. Standing for ‘Physical Vapour Deposition’, PVD – developed by NASA for its space programmes – enables practically any inorganic material to be bonded with metals. The matt-satin finish given to the watch creates the appearance of black military utility equipment – perhaps a nod to the diving watch’s military inspiration.
Precise and robust
The Black Bay Dark watch, which is water-resistant to 200m, is powered by the selfwinding MT5602 calibre, a variant of the Tudor Manufacture calibre produced for the Black Bay model. Like the first manufacture calibre produced by Tudor in 2015, it offers a robust approximate 70-hour power reserve. The high-performance calibre is certified by COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. The timepiece is priced at £3,240.