A Skeptic's Hands On Comparison of the Tudor Black Bay 58 and the Black Bay 54

Tudor Black Bay 58 and Tudor Black Bay 54

In the world of horology, Tudor has cemented itself as a brand known for marrying timeless design with exceptional craftsmanship. The brand that used to be known as “Rolex’s little brother” has secured their placement as a serious Swiss watch brand that can stand on its own and has taken over the luxury watch market in that two to five thousand dollar price point. Their craftsmanship, quality, and value was one of the biggest selling points that sold me on the Black Bay 58 blue a few years ago (and if I’m being honest, maybe it was also the hype of that watch at the time). 

Three years later and this watch still dominates my wrist time as being a phenomenal everyday watch. At 39mm, it's perfect - or so I thought. Earlier this year, Tudor surprised almost the entire watch enthusiast world by doing something extraordinary - listening to their fans. The Black Bay 54 was introduced, taking all of the things the community has loved about the 58 and making it smaller, by two millimeters. I remember laughing at everyone’s reaction. I mean, how much of a difference could two whole millimeters really make? And like any true watch geek, I’ve read the countless comparisons of the two models and I still didn’t understand the hype over such a minor change. Thankfully I’ve got a watch loving friend who recently picked one of these new models up and was able to get hands on with them both together.

Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue

It's a showdown of epic proportions, quite literally. Before we get into my thoughts, and I have a lot of them, let’s take a look at the specs.

Black Bay 58

Black Bay 54

Case Size



Lug to Lug Measurement



Case Thickness



Water Resistance




Manufacture Calibre MT5402

Manufacture Calibre MT5400 

Power Reserve

70 Hours

70 Hours

Chronometer Certified



 Even writing this I still don’t understand the hype about it. On paper, there’s such a minute difference that it’s barely even noteworthy. That all changed once I got hands on with the 54, on a day that I made sure to wear my 58.

So how much of a difference does two millimeters make? The short answer - a lot! I remember being shocked sitting across the table and seeing the Black Bay 54 on my friend’s wrist. I fully expected to barely be able to tell the difference between our two watches (dial color aside of course). I had never been more wrong in judging a watch! The size was the first thing I noticed on her wrist. The Black Bay 54 looked almost delicate - a word that I never thought I would use when describing a sports watch. I was in absolute awe and couldn’t believe it. For the most part these two watches are the same. Similar movements, dials, hand design. Even the same bracelet with the faux rivet links. A quick hot take, I may be the only person who doesn’t mind them. Honestly I never even look at the side profile of my watch to even notice they are there. 

Left- Tudor Black Bay 54; Right- Tudor Black Bay 58

Spending some time with the two watches side by side and you can’t help but notice how they are two completely different watches. One of the biggest complaints about the Black Bay 58 is the thickness (not my complaint by the way). And that thickness increases significantly if you’re looking at the GMT model. With the Black Bay 54, you can tell it’s significantly slimmer just by seeing it on someone else's wrist. Comparing the two side by side and I was speechless. I’m not sure what I really expected here. On paper the 54 reads .7mm thinner than its 58 counterpart, but seeing it in person almost makes me rethink my love of thiccc watches (obviously a temporary thought so that none of my watches begin to panic sitting in the watch box).

Top - side profile of the Tudor Black Bay 58, Bottom - side profile of the Tudor Black Bay 54

The most surprising difference was staring at the two side by side, dial up, lying on the table. I never in my life would have expected two little millimeters to look so different. I’ve never had a problem with the size of the 58, after all 39mm is arguably one of the most perfect case sizes in my opinion, but when that watch sat next to it’s smaller counterpart, I felt for the first time that it was too big. Or is the 54 too small? Honestly, weeks later I’m still struggling to see which is right. 

I’ve always been a massive proponent of the belief that you have to try things on. Numbers don’t mean anything, it’s how something fits on your body. But honestly, I had discarded the Black Bay 54 as being too small from the beginning. And if I were in the market, I would have never even bothered trying it on and would have automatically gotten the more perfectly sized (in my head) Black Bay 58. I’ve never been a fan of smaller watches (with the exception of a few vintage pieces in my collection), but my hands-on experience with the 54 really makes me wonder what other watches I’ve dismissed because of a few millimeters. Somehow, the Black Bay looks even better when it’s smaller. One of my favorite characteristics of the watch since it launched was the vintage inspired look that it has. At 37mm, the Black Bay 54 truly embodies the look and feel of a vintage sports watch without compromising on all of the characteristics we watch fanatics adore. 

Tudor Black Bay 54

While I may not be getting rid of my Black Bay 58 anytime soon (famous last words), I’m open to adding a 54 to the collection as well with the gilt dial. Looking at these two side by side, they are two completely different watches. One, a rugged sports watch made to take a beating. And the other, a more refined watch still designed to handle everyday life and whatever you throw at it. While there may be no right answer when it comes to the perfect case size, I can definitely say that I have learned my lesson about judging a watch just by what the specs say. What do you think? Are you team 58 or team 54?

Tudor Black Bay 54

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.