If I were to make this review concise, I’d write: The Tudor Black Bay 58 Navy 79030B is Tudor’s best watch.
Photo by Monochrome Watches
I’ve owned one for a week now and I am confident this is Tudor’s best currently offering bar none. Praise has been widespread for this watch.
Yes, the new Black Bay chronographs look great, but with a date complication and thick case, it can’t compete with the comfort of the Black Bay 58, which is 39mm wide, 11.9mm thick and 47mm lug-to-lug. The Black Bay GMT has the same issue and of course would be ideal in a slimmer case.
The good news is that Tudor has been able to fit its in-house move in a slimmer case as proven with the Black Bay 58. The navy version in my mind has the right colorway to give the watch just enough pop without trying too hard. In fact the blue color is dark enough to be as versatile as a black dialed diver. I wear a lot of blue and collect denim jackets, so a blue watch just works with my personal style.
Why would I make the statement of best current Tudor? The Black Bay 58 works for both seasoned watch collectors as well as someone getting his or her first over $2,000 watch. It has a classic design and a silhouette that resembles a vintage Submariner. And the lack of crown guards is the ultimate detail that won me over big time. I’m also a huge fan of time-only watches for convenience and a cleaner design.
Photo by Pro Watch Zine
Priced at $3,700 on bracelet, it’s entire package is tough to beat.
First, the weaknesses. The clasp does not have an on-the-fly adjustable clasp. I have an Easylink on my Oyster Perpetual 39 and it’s a simple and efficient mechanism that should be on most watches. Just a simple adjustment can make a big difference. The clasp itself is really nice and has a notably smooth action when opening and closing it.
The second weakness turned into a strength after spending some time with the watch. At first my major hesitation was the fact the the Snowflake hour and seconds hands did not have a similar shape as the round markers on the dial. Snowflake hands just look great with square markers. But whenever I looked at the Black Bay 58 Navy on my wrist the large snowflake on the hour hand stood out magnificently making it really easy to read the time. I really have grown to like this seemingly incongruent design decision of the watch. The circular markers remind me of what I like best about my Submariner, so it’s become comforting to feel that the 58 is a relative of the Submariner.
And now, the strengths. The strengths far outweigh the negatives. I mentioned the lack of crown guards being one of my favorite details. The fact that Tudor chose not to put an anodized color ring around the base of the crown on this version is a game changer. As silly as it seems that such a small detail would bother me, let’s just say the overall cleanliness of the design of the Tudor Black Bay 58 Navy is now unsullied thanks to that key omission.
Some may wonder why I didn’t list the fake rivets on the bracelet in my negatives, it’s because in real life one hardly notices them. I could take them or leave them, but ultimately applaud the Tudor design team’s overall effort to distinguish the watch with small details. I’d rather have faux rivets than fauxtina.
The case is exquisite in that it’s just finished to a level worthy of its price category but has beautiful proportions. This may be the best watch under $4,000 right now.
On the wrist is where the true magic happens. I know I’m gushing about this watch, but it’s really that great to me with full recognition of the shininess of the new object coming into play. But what’s most telling about my embrace of the Black Bay 58 Navy is that there’s nothing that special about it either. It’s all about how subtle details add up, which is exactly the type of material objects I’m drawn to.
You’re buying into the Rolex family. You can get it serviced easily. And I’m certain this watch (in this style, shade of blue and case size) will look just as good in 50 years. That’s why i declared it Tudor’s best current offering.