Tudor’s Black Bay Fifty-Eight collection was designed as an alternative to the standard Black Bay collection for those with slim wrists.
First available in a gilded version with a black dial in a 39 mm stainless steel case in 2018, a Navy Blue version was subsequently added to the Black Bay Fifty-Eight collection in 2020. And while many consumers and publications predicted that new variations to the stainless steel Black Bay Fifty-Eight line, including a GMT option, might appear in 2021 — out of left field — Tudor instead added two precious metal options to the BB58 lineup. One in solid 18K yellow gold and the other comes in a 925 sterling silver case.
Tudor is the accessibly priced relative of Rolex, capturing an audience just below Rolex’s entry-level price points. So a solid 18K yellow gold case, is not exactly the type of watch you might expect. However, as Tudor grows revenue, newness, not just existing models, will always be part of the formula to continue to increase the top and bottom line. Being able to offer something unique, and that they can mark up further without changing the popular Black Bay Fifty-Eight formula too much, seems to be the marketing strategy. Although, like Rolex, you never really know the thought process, just the products that result from that process.
In this case, we get the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925, which features a 925 sterling silver alloy case made up of 92.5% silver (with copper or nickel as the remaining 7.5% of the metal). The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 has a taupe dial, with a matching taupe anodized aluminum bezel insert with a diving scale. The indices are applied to the matte frosted domed dial, highlighted by a silvered finish. Snowflake hands indicate the time and also don a silver finish, contrasting well with the matte surface of the dial and case.
A flat raised sapphire crystal protects the dial, as with all of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight references, however, for the first time, Tudor is offering an open caseback, revealing the manufacture caliber underneath. For the two new precious metal BB58 dive watches, the new caliber MT5400, not the existing caliber MT5402, powers the watch. A new, wider caliber was used to perfectly fill the opening of the sapphire caseback. The wider caliber is also a bit thicker at 30.3 mm x 5 mm, and the result when combined with the new sapphire caseback, is a case that is 12.7 mm compared to the original Black Bay Fifty-Eight that measures 12 mm in thickness. Not a super noticeable difference but it’s worth noting. The movement has the same design as the existing BB58 movement, including a silicon hairspring, full balance bridge, free-sprung Microstella balance wheel, and 70-hour power reserve.
In our estimation, Tudor created an entirely new caliber, for one or two reasons. Tudor is offering this as a COSC movement, meaning it’s been adjusted to chronometer levels of -4/+6 before being cased up, like the past MT5402. Although once cased up they are adjusting the rate to -2/+4, which is even more accurate. And perhaps the MT5402 does not offer this additional level of accuracy. Or, the new caliber was subtly changed to match the case, which, unlike previous Black Bay Fifty-Eights, has a fully matte finish, and so the movement may have received a similar treatment.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 (Ref. M79010SG-0001) comes with either a brown leather strap or a brown nylon fabric strap with a silver stripe, both fitted with 925 sterling silver hardware. As mentioned above, additional markup is likely an impetus for dropping a precious silver model, and accordingly, the 925 cased version costs almost $1,000 more than the standard steel Black Bay Fifty-Eight watches on a strap. There is no silver bracelet option at this time.
The retail price is $4,300.