Tudor Black Bay 58: Four Ways to Style a Dive Watch
Two years ago at Baselworld, Tudor surprised the watch community with their new Black Bay 58. As always, the audience warmly welcomed the new addition to the family. In fact, a lot of fans claim that 2018 was the brand’s strongest year yet.
But what makes the Tudor Black Bay 58 different from the other models? Even though it looks almost like a regular Black Bay, it has a few details which make a world of difference. Let’s find out what’s so special about this iconic watch that wins the hearts of people in a split-second.
The Black Bay Collection
First, let’s look at an overview of the Black Bay collection. Tudor released the line back in 2012 as a redesign of their iconic Submariner. The Tudor Submariner, which dates way back to the early ’50s, was originally made as an affordable alternative to the Rolex timepiece of the same name. In time, the collection branched out and became a notable watch of its own.
Now, the Tudor Black Bay collection features a lot of different versions. There are GMTs, chronographs, and others. One of those is the Black Bay 58, which is considered one of the most bang-for-your-buck dive watches around.
What are the features of the Tudor Black Bay 58?
Case and Size
One of the most noticeable things about the Black Bay 58 is the size. When compared to the classic Black Bay model, it shrunk by 2mm. To be more specific, the watch is 39mm wide and 11.9mm thick. A couple of millimetres might not look much, but believe me when I say it made a huge difference in how it feels on the wrist.
Another factor to consider is the lugs which are 20mm. On the original Black Bay, these were 22mm. This detail makes the watch feel lighter on the wrist.
When it comes to the overall design, it features the same materials, curves, and finishing. Case in point, the sides are well-polished. Both the brushing on the lug and the bevel on the edge are finely-crafted.
I’m happy to say that the bezel of the Black Bay 58 uses a familiar warm colour scheme. The combination of black and gold give it both an elegant and vintage vibe. In fact, it will remind you of old-school dive watches in the ’50s. I bet that, as you’re reading this, you’re already thinking of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms or the Omega Seamaster.
And staying true to its Black Bay heritage, it bears the brand’s logo, the depth rating, and the chronometer certification in gold. The chapter ring and the accents on the hour markers are also in the same shade of gold. Tudor is fond of calling it “pink gold”. However, a lot of proud owners would attest that it is more of dark yellow gold.
The bezel, just like the dial, comes in a black and gold colour combination. And the only element to disrupt the status quo is the red triangle at 12 o’clock. If you look closely, there’s a lume pearl right in the middle. This is another reference to the ’50s divers.
The coin edge of the bezel is slim, which contributes to wearability and comfort. It also makes the watch more aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, it can be difficult to turn especially when wearing gloves or diving gear.
Strap and Comfort
The metal strap that comes with the Tudor Black Bay 58 is the rivet bracelet that was introduced in 2016. It is 20mm at the lugs but gradually slims down to 16mm at the end. Each link has rivet-plated sides with removable links. This makes it easy for the wearer to adjust the size.
Meanwhile, the clasp has a fold-over style with a secondary lock. To make it more special, the second lock resembles a shield — Tudor’s logo.
When it comes to wearability and comfort, the Black Bay 58 is top-notch. It is only slightly smaller than the other Black Bays. However, the small difference in size made a big impact. In spite of its size, there is no denying that the watch feels durable and solidly built.
Enough of the exterior. I bet a lot of you think that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The good news is Tudor also did a good job in that department. In fact, it excelled with flying colours.
As mentioned above, the Tudor Black Bay 58 is smaller than usual. No one’s complaining about that. However, the brand couldn’t use any of their existing movements as nothing would fit. This is why they decided to craft a movement specifically for the watch.
Under the hood of the Black Bay 58 is the Calibre MT5402. As expected, it is smaller than the average Tudor movement with a size of 26mm. But don’t let its size fool you. It is still COSC chronometer-certified, has a 70-hour power reserve, and a 4 Hz balance.
Going for an in-house movement instead of an ETA calibre is a great decision from Tudor. It only made the watch community respect them more.
4 Reasons Why You Should Check out the Tudor Black Bay 58
1. It has a perfect size.
The Tudor Black Bay is legendary. There’s no doubt about that. However, one of the common complaints that it gets is its size. The standard model comes in a 41mm case which may be too broad for a lot of people. Meanwhile, the Black Bay Bronze edition comes in a whopping 43mm size. This can be a problem for people with small wrists.
Thankfully, Tudor has heard your feedback and decided to give the Black Bay 58 a slightly smaller stature. I’m pretty sure Tudor took note of the average wrist measurement because the 58’s 39mm size falls on the sweet spot. For many people, it is neither too big nor too small.
2. It has a vintage feel.
As I have mentioned before, the Black Bay 58 draws inspiration from the ’50s divers. In particular, it takes a lot of design cues from the Tudor Ref. 7924 “Big Crown”. A few of those details that give it a vintage vibe are its smaller size, the oversized crown, and the snowflake hand.
In all honesty, the Black Bay 58 will give you a close experience of owning a vintage Tudor dive watch. From its wearability to its styling, I bet you can fool people into thinking that it is a dive watch from the 1950s.
3. It has great value for money.
If there’s a phrase that can describe the Tudor Black Bay 58, it is “bang for your buck”. As mentioned before, Tudor was originally made to be the affordable sibling of Rolex. However, affordable doesn’t mean lower quality.
On the contrary, the brand has learned to stand on its own two feet. They gradually learned how to have their own personality and transformed from a “stepping stone to Rolex” to a fully-fledged iconic brand. This is one of the reasons why a lot of watch collectors are drawn to it.
To point out, the Tudor Black Bay 58 is a capable dive watch with an in-house movement. Apart from that, it has a bi-directional rotor and an adjustable mass balance wheel which has a silicon balance spring. All of those for half the price of luxury dive watches with the same features.
4. You can style it any way you want.
Indeed, one of the highlights of the Black Bay 58 is its iconic design. And due to its neutral colour scheme, it catches the attention of people without having to be loud.
All things considered, this means that the Black Bay 58 is versatile enough to go with most wardrobes. You can wear it with a brown leather NATO with a safari jacket for that explorer vibe. On the other hand, you can choose a metal bracelet for that chill, street style.
Below are a few ideas that you can try with your Black Bay 58.
Straps that Look Good on the Tudor Black Bay 58
Things to Consider:
What do you need from the watch? First up, it is important to know your demands from the watch. Yes, the watch is handsome; however, we must remember that it is a tool watch. And each strap has its own advantage to suit your needs so you have to consider that aside from aesthetics.
What colour goes with the Black Bay 58? The important thing to keep in mind is the Black Bay 58’s gilt dial and bezel. With this in mind, straps or bracelets with a warm colour will surely match the watch.
Thankfully, the Black Bay 58’s dial is matte black. This makes it easier for you to try out straps with loud colours and patterns.
NATO Nylon Strap
Perhaps the NATO nylon strap is one of the easiest straps to put on. You just have to pass it through the spring bar and across the back of the watch. No tools needed.
Apart from convenience, it is great to wear for a trip to the beach. It is breathable, washable, and does not deteriorate like leather.
Nato straps are also available in various colours and patterns so it could give you more room for experimentation when it comes to style.
For a lot of people, the Black Bay 58 looks best in a leather strap. In particular, one that has a dark brown colour as it will match the warmth of the gold accents on the dial.
As for the kind of leather, a number of options are available. Suede, calf, or even leather with natural grain are all fine choices.
Normally, people who opt for the leather strap use the watch for casual or smart casual occasions. Indeed, it would look at home in both a denim jacket and a sport coat.
Pairing the Tudor Black Bay 58 with a metal bracelet is one of the most classic looks you can achieve. In fact, you can never go wrong with it because it can be paired with almost anything.
Among the straps listed here, this one is the most durable. It is waterproof and can not be torn so it can be used to take your watch out for a quick swim.
The rubber strap is the most viable choice if you intend to dive with your Black Bay 58. It is sporty-looking and comfortable to wear. Aside from that, it can be easily adjusted, which is a useful feature if you’re underwater.
This option truly shines during physical activities. However, the downside is that the rubber strap is limited to casual occasions only. Apart from that, it can also be hard to integrate with some pieces of your wardrobe.
There’s no question about the Black Bay collection’s social standing in the watch community. It is adored by hundreds of watch lovers. Yet, Tudor was able to make it even better with the Black Bay 58.
It seems that Tudor meticulously inspected the watch to see what could still be improved and it shows. They did not use gimmicks like wild colourways and such. Just straight-up improvement on its features. Indeed, the Tudor Black Bay 58 is a product of the brand’s passion to create excellent watches.
While you’re at it, read all about an iconic watch from its older brother — the Rolex Day-Date, also known as the Rolex Presidential.