Tudor, along with its corporate “big brother,” Rolex, had been holding back indefinitely on releasing new products to the market in pandemic-challenged 2020. But this week, Tudor finally took the plunge, so to speak, launching a new version of its vintage-influenced divers’ watch, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, in Navy blue livery. Here’s what you need to know about it.
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue derives its name from the distinctive blue coloring on its dial and bezel insert — matching the one used on Tudor’s dive watches for the French navy in the 1970s — as well as the year 1958, which saw the release of the Ref. 7924 “Big Crown,” the first Tudor divers’ watch that achieved 200-meter water resistance. The steel case measures 39 mm in diameter — more modest than the 41-mm size of the mainline Black Bay models and more in tune with the proportions of the 1950s dive watches that inspired it. The blue dial has a grained finish and the hallmark “Snowflake” hands and variety of shaped hour markers, all elements derived from vintage Tudor watches for divers.
The dial, like the sapphire crystal over it, is domed. The ratcheting, steel unidirectional rotating bezel is fitted with a dive-scale insert, made of anodized aluminum in the same matte blue as the dial and featuring silver-gilded numerals and indices. The screw-down crown, with Tudor’s historical rose emblem in relief, helps ensure the timepiece’s 200-meter water resistance.
Ticking behind a solid steel caseback is the self-winding Caliber MT5402, which was developed specifically by Tudor for the Fifty-Eight series’ smaller case dimensions. Despite being hidden, the mechanism boasts a high level of haute horlogerie flourishes. Its monobloc tungsten rotor is openworked and features sand-blasted and satin-brushed details, while its bridges and mainplate have a variety of polished and sand-blasted surface treatments. Built with robustness and stability in mind, its variable inertia balance is held sturdily at two points by a traversing bridge, and its silicon hairspring resists the detrimental effects of magnetic fields. The movement has been chronometer-certified by the Swiss testing agency COSC, and it holds what Tudor cleverly terms a “weekend-proof” power reserve of 70 hours.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue is offered on three bracelet options: a riveted steel bracelet with polished and satin-brushed finishes; a blue “soft touch” strap made of a material resembling flannel; and a blue-toned Jacquard fabric NATO-strap, woven on 19th century looms by Tudor’s partner of 10 years, 150-year-old French family firm Julien Faure. Prices are $3,375 on a “soft touch” or Jacquard textile strap and $3,700 on a bracelet.
For an in-depth analysis of how the Black Bay Fifty-Eight compares to its historical predecessor, click here.
|Manufacturer:||Montres Tudor SA, Rue François-Dussaud 3-7, 1211, Geneva 26, Switzerland|
|Functions:||Hours, minutes, seconds|
|Movement:||Tudor Caliber MT5402, automatic, 27 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz), 70-hour power reserve, variable inertia balance, silicon balance spring, COSC chronometer certification|
|Case:||Stainless-steel case with solid caseback, screw-down crown, domed sapphire crystal, unidirectional rotating bezel, water resistant to 200 meters|
|Bracelet and clasp:||Stainless-steel bracelet with folding clasp, blue “soft touch” or blue Jacquard textile strap|
|Dimensions:||Diameter = 39 mm|
|Price:||$3,375 (strap), $3,700 (bracelet)|