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The Everest Journal

by Theresa DiMartini April 28, 2021 3 min read

rolex submariner

Image Source: Monochrome Watches

Ask anyone to name the most popular dive watches on the market today and they’ll most likely name the Rolex Submariner and Tudor Black Bay 58. At first glance these watches are similar, but they may be more different than you expect.

Bezel

tudor black bay 58

Image Source: Hodinkee

Not the feature most watch reviewers would start with, but possibly the most noticeable difference to the casual observer is the difference in their bezels. The Black Bay 58 sports a flat, matte bezel. The bezel on the Black Bay 58 is made out of aluminum with printed markings and features a coin edge. One interesting feature of the Black Bay 58 bezel that many may not know is that it actually “stops” at the 12 o’clock position; a little extra force is needed to turn it from that position compared with any other position on the dial.

rolex submariner up close

Image Source: Pinterest

The Submariner bezel may appear more deep than the Black Bay 58, and that’s due to the fact that it’s made of ceramic as opposed to aluminum. Another feature which gives the Sub bezel additional depth is the fact that the markings are recessed and filled with platinum. The knurls on the edge of the Submariner bezel are deeper making it easier to grip, as opposed to the Black Bay 58’s which may be considered slippery to some. Another difference with the Submariner bezel is the fact that it turns in increments of half a minute, so it takes 120 turns to make the full rotation, as opposed to the 60 needed for the Black Bay 58.

Case

blue bezel rolex submariner

Image Source: Watchonista

The next thing your eye is drawn to is the cases of the two watches. The Black Bay 58 is slightly smaller at first glance, coming in at a diameter of 39mm and a thickness of 11.9mm. Although the Submariner is listed as a 41mm diameter, actual measurements put it at 40.6mm, so not as large as you may initially believe. The Sub also comes in at a thickness of 12mm, much like the Black Bay 58.

tudor bb58 blue

Image Source: Hodinkee

Another difference that many people notice is the lack of crown guards on the Black Bay 58, this gives it a more retro look that resembles Submariners of the past. The updated 2020 Submariner has shorter crown guards than its maxi-case predecessor, but still retains its distinctive look.

Finally, a difference you may not be able to see is the difference in case material. The Rolex Submariner features a case made of 904L steel which is made specifically in Rolex foundries for Rolex watches. This type of steel offers the highest resistance to corrosion and pitting and also holds a higher polish than other grades of steel. The Tudor Black Bay 58, on the other hand, is made out of 316L steel which you may hear of as “medical grade”, although these differences appear on paper, it’s very difficult to tell the differences in steel by the naked eye, even on highly polished surfaces.

Bracelet

black bay 58 bracelet

Image Source: WatchesbySJX

The final difference between the two watches is in the bracelet. Both watches feature solid end link, oyster style, stainless steel bracelets. However, the Black Bay 58’s bracelet features fake rivets on the side to pay homage to vintage dive watches. The Submariner’s bracelet is flat sided and very clean looking.

rolex bracelet

Image Source: Monochrome Watches

Another aspect of the bracelet that sets the Submariner apart from the Black Bay 58 is in the clasp. The Submariner features Rolex’s patented Glidelock clasp which allows the user to tool-lessly extend the bracelet up to an additional 20mm in length in 2mm increments ensuring a comfortable fit for all wrists sizes. On the other hand, Tudor’s clasp does not allow any tool-less adjustments at all, not even for a few millimeters to allow for your wrist to swell or shrink throughout the day, something many may find uncomfortable.

Which watch appeals more to you? The vintage styling of the Black Bay 58 or the modern behemoth of the Rolex Submariner?

Everest watch bands have the best Swiss-Made rubber straps for your Submariner.

 

By: Joshua Jiang

Theresa DiMartini
Theresa DiMartini


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