The Owners Perspective: Tudor Black Bay GMT

by Matt Clymo

The Tudor Black Bay GMT was a hit when released in 2018 giving people a much more affordable alternative to it’s older and wiser cousin, the Rolex GMT BLRO, otherwise known as “The Pepsi”. And being more attainable and a great value proposition, I decided it was time to add a GMT to the collection.

Why I Bought It

  • I had never owned a GMT
  • Great Rolex alternative
  • Classic styled GMT & similar to my Black Bay

The Ownership Reality

  • Wears larger than a 41mm watch due to it’s 14mm thickness and slab sides
  • No micro adjust or extendable links for on the fly adjustment
  • Aluminium bezel insert more prone to scratches than ceramic

Overall rating: 8.5 /10

Value for money: 9/10

Wearability: 8/10

Design: 9/10

Build quality: 8/10

A few months ago, Tudor released a new variant of the Tudor Black Bay GMT with a white dial, which you can read about here, but personally, I didn’t love the white dial on this watch. The black dial “Pepsi” configuration, The OG looks better in my opinion, which made me think why, and then made me think – maybe I should write about it in this next Owners Perspective article.

The original and the best – Tudor Black Bay GMT

Having never owned a GMT, and les face it, over 2020 and 2021, I’ve not needed one as I’ve not really gone anywhere thanks to COVID. But with the world opening up again early last year, and with a few family holidays planned combined with an itch for a new watch, I decided to take the plunge and get a Tudor Black Bay GMT. Why? Having owned a Black Bay Heritage 41 with the blue bezel and loving that up ’til we parted ways, I felt the need to jump back into Tudor again. That and a Rolex Pepsi or Batman wasn’t on the cards for me so it was then next best alternative in my eyes.

And what’s not to love? A nice wearing 41mm GMT that’s COSC, has vintage styling going back to the original GMT’s of the late 50’s and costing under $6,000 AUD at the time, it was a no brainer. Plus it was available and a great alternative to the Rolex that everyone lusts after, so for me, at a third of the price, was a great way to get into a similar styled GMT to see if it’s something that resonated with me or not. Thankfully, it did!

The Design

I’ve heard people talk about how chunky the Tudor GMT is on the wrist. Compared to it’s bigger cousin, yes it’s a little more chunky due to it’s thickness, but also the case design. The Tudor Black Bay range is known for this, especially in the 41mm versions and whilst not overly thick, their ‘slab sides’ with high polish does give it more of a solid, bigger look. Personally, having worn bigger watches for a lot of my life, this aspect I actually liked as it gave you the sense of wearing a watch with great wrist presence, but without the heft of one.

The 41mm wears well even at 14mm thick.

As mentioned earlier, the styling of the Black Bay GMT is vintage, as is with the whole Tudor Black Bay range. It harks back to the 50’s when both Tudor and Rolex were bringing out Subs with the riveted bracelet, aluminium bezel insert and highly legible dials. The GMT was just a variation of this, and when you compare this new GMT version to some of the first GMT’s like the Rolex GMT 6542, you can see the lineage here.

Vintage Rolex GMT ref. 6542 – you can see the similarities with the current day Tudor GMT. Image courtesy of Blomberg

The dial is very clean and easy to read, and like all Tudor Black Bays, a lot of lume in the hands and the indices so very easy to read in low light or at night. Being a tool watch type of person, this one element I do look for in the watches that I buy for myself. I like to know that if I’m wearing it, I can be in any situation and have on a watch that will do the job. The Tudor GMT doesn’t disappoint in this area.

The lume on the GMT is brilliant in low light and at night.

The bracelet design of the Black Bay line is one element that has polarised the watch community since the original Black Bay was released in 2012. You either loved the look, or hated it. My personal opinion is it makes sense based on the design, and the watch it was designed from. A vintage inspired watch that’s a modern re-interpretation should have these style cues. If not, it’s not really paying homage to the original version.

The bracelet design isn’t bad, and does give it a vintage vibe

Overall, the construction is solid. the case feels like it can take a beating, and the bracelet it designed to wear like a typical Oyster styled bracelet. The clasp is again solid, with a safety catch so it won’t open accidently and isn’t too large, so it sits fairly flush to the wrist. The one small criticism I would have is that is doesn’t have the ability to be adjusted on the fly, like it’s Rolex cousins with the easy-link extension or Glidelock, or the new Black Bay released this year wit the “T-fit” clasp. It does however have the holes for the adjustment, but again, at around $6,000 this isn’t a deal breaker at all.

The date function for me personally is a deal breaker on a watch, given I use it a lot. It’s the one downside to the standard Black Bay, and the GMT rectifies this. Tudor have kept the date window in the more traditional 3 o’clock position, but the size and the white colour wheel means it does balance the dial out opposite the 9 o’clock baton without being overbearing.

The date window balances the dial well

How It Wears

The Tudor GMT wears incredibly well. It was one aspect I was very surprised with when it came to my first Tudor Black Bay. Putting it on the wrist, it sits flush due to the flat case back, and very little protrusion of the crewed in case back. Due to the slab sides and high polish, the GMT can wear slightly larger than a standard 41mm watch, and at 14mm thick, it’s not super slim. But this is one aspect that I liked coming from larger watches and transitioning into smaller case sizes.

I have a 17.5cm wrist normally, and to be honest, the Tudor GMT looked about the perfect size on my wrists. 41mm for me is my Goldilocks zone, not too big, not too small – just right. And I feel that this will work well for people who have wrists that go down to about 16cm, or even larger wrist sizes due to the thickness.

Not too big, not too small – just right!

Whilst the clasp doesn’t have an on the go micro adjust as mentioned earlier, it does have the adjustable holes. So if you’re like me with a wrist that changes sizes in summer and winter, you just need to size the bracelet so it’s comfortable in either season and leave the right amount of holes to go up or down in size and make those adjustments for hotter or cooler weather.

Coming back to what I said at the start of the article, this is a great watch for travelling, be it interstate with time zone changes, or overseas. The Tudor GMT was actually perfect for me in this instance, as you can dress it up or down. With 200m water resistance as well, it just works brilliantly if you’re going on a beach or tropical holiday. You can put it on in the morning, wear around all day, and still head out at night and still looks the part. A true one watch collection for your trip!

The GMT is great travelling interstate!

The Movement

Inside the Tudor GMT is the Manufacture Tudor Calibre MT5652, which is COSC rated movement with GMT function and date. Tudor have improved leaps and bounds in their movements over the last 10 years, and this shows, especially with their latest Black Bay being METAS certified as well, now rivalling Omega in this department. Whilst the OG Black Bay GMT isn’t quite this accurate (yet), it still keeps pretty good time, in fact, probably one of the most accurate watches I’ve owned in recent years.

The GMT’s did have an issue a few years back with the date function skipping, but this was rectified in about 2020. Any GMT’s bought after this didn’t have this issue, and I’ve not experienced any problems in this regard either. This is one drawback with an in house movement that’s still in it’s early years, however Tudor to it’s credit jumped on this and now owners can rest easy.

Final Thoughts

Having owned the Tudor GMT for about 12 months, I’ve been able to put it through its paces in many scenarios and locations. It’s just a good tool watch in every sense of the word and if it was the only watch I owned, I would be quite comfortable with it on my wrist each day. It’s the one ethos I follow when buying a watch, if it was the only watch I owned, would I be happy wearing it each day.

At 41mm and 14mm thick, it’s not a small watch, but by the same token, it’s not overly large either and wears extremely well. The design is classic, and being a steel sports watch, pairs with almost anything really and has the versatility of going from the beach to the boardroom, so makes a great daily wearer.

The perfect daily wearer or travel companion

Like all brands, the GMT has gone up in price now to $6,090 AUD, but still represents great value for a steel sports watch, with the GMT function, date, 200m WR, screw down crown and vintage good looks! If you’re toying with the idea of a GMT, then I would highly recommend the Tudor GMT as your entry point, or depending on your budget, as your next everyday watch.

Reference: M79830RB-0001


  • Size: 41mm, 14mm thick, 50mm lug to lug
  • Case: stainless steel case with polished and satin finish
  • Bezel: 48-notch bidirectional rotating bezel in stainless steel with 24-hours graduated matt burgundy/blue anodised aluminium disc
  • Crown: Screw-down crown, with the TUDOR rose in relief, with circular satin-brushed steel winding crown tube
  • Dial: Domed black dial
  • Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal
  • Movement: Manufacture Calibre MT5652 (COSC), Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system. Anti-magnetic silicon balance spring, vibrating at 4Hz / 28,800 vph.
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof to 200m (660 ft)
  • Bracelet: Three-link stainless steel bracelet with polished and satin finish

Availability: Available at all Authorised Dealers, Tudor Boutiques or online at

Australian Recommended Retail Pricing: $6,090 (on steel)

You may also like