We had the opportunity to snag the much-sought-after Tudor Black Bay 58 by chance during our travels to Switzerland. Of all places, we found ours in a jewelry store in the airport on our way home.
In our short time with the watch, we can say the 58 lives up to the hype. In short: It addresses all of the complaints watch collectors had about the original Black Bay. We’ve heard the original, released in 2013, was too tall, too thick, too wide, just not the right proportions. Perhaps this was intentional, as Tudor wanted to separate its steel dive watch from its older brother company’s Rolex Submariner models, which are closer in proportion the 58.
Nevertheless, the original Black Bay has been one of the brand’s top sellers and the release of a smaller and more refined version is a smart move for the thirst for watches (across categories) for men that around 40mm or under. Thinner cases simply allow for more versatility considering that rocking a sport watch with a dress shirt at the office is an accepted look nowadays.
So by the numbers the Black Bay 58 comes in at 39mm and 11.9mm thick/tall, whereas the original Black Bay comes in at 41mm and 14.75mm thick/tall, which is the dimension that was the biggest point of contention for many. The coup de grace for Tudor was they managed to fit an in-house movement into the 58, upping the ante for desirability at the sub-$5,000 price point for fancy divers. The new caliber MT5042 uses a silicone balance spring, is chronometer-certified and offers 70-hour power reserve.
We noted in our video that the fake rivet style bracelet on the 58 doesn’t have a diver’s extension, which is a nice bonus to have. Some prefer the original oyster style bracelet on the Black Bay (ETA version). For us, a simple swap to an Everest rubber strap was the elegant and practical solution. We like to take our sports watches into harsh environments, even if it means the school drop-off battle of messy kids and potential clashes with a seat-belt buckle.
So there you have it. We are decidedly in the camp that for everyday wear, the smaller proportions of the 58 work better. This thinking also aligns with our approach to watches, as our Monta like are all on the 40mm or under range and feature thinner cases. Of course, the original Black Bay will always hold a place for ushering in Tudor during its North American brand re-launch, but if you can get your hands on 58, we highly recommend adding one to your collection.