Tudor is introducing a new version of its popular model, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, in 18 ct yellow gold with an open case back. This is a first for both features in a Tudor divers’ watch.
The name Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is, of course, a reference to the precious metal of its case. But it also harkens back to 1958, the year in which the first Tudor divers’ watch 7924 or “Big Crown”, waterproof to 660 ft, was introduced. Among other aesthetic nods to this historic watch, this model offers a case 39 mm in diameter in keeping with the characteristic proportions of the 1950s. Ideal for slim wrists, people who like more compact watches and, of course, vintage enthusiasts, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is also the first Tudor divers’ watch to be made in 18 ct yellow gold and offered with an open case back.
Stunning Matte Gold
Entirely satin-finished for a matte effect that may seem counter-intuitive with the traditional bright finish typical of a gold watch, the case of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is another first for a Tudor divers’ watch. An open case back, which reveals the new Manufacture MT5400 Calibre, has not been offered by the brand before for this type of product and reinforces the dual aesthetic language of this model. Midway between the legacy of a robust tool-watch that still defines TUDOR and a precious object, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K remains as rare as it is exclusive.
“Golden Green” Tones
The 18 ct yellow gold of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is emphasized by the elegant combination of dial and bezel, which are a rich “golden green” in tone with matte gold details. The “Snowflake” hands are in 18 ct yellow gold, as are the appliqués of the hour markers. The same color palette is found on the fabric strap offered with this model. The fabric strap is one of the hallmarks of TUDOR, which, in 2010, became one of the first watchmaking brands to offer it with its products. Woven in France on 19th century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company in the St-Etienne region, its manufacturing quality and comfort on the wrist is unique. In 2020, TUDOR and Julien Faure, a 150-year old family company, celebrated ten years of partnership that began with the Heritage Chrono – the first model to be equipped with a fabric strap created by the craftsmen – that was launched at Baselworld 2010.
The Manufacture Calibre MT5400
The Manufacture Calibre MT5400, which powers the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K, displays hour, minute and second functions. It has the finish typical of TUDOR Manufacture Calibres: its rotor in tungsten monobloc is openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, and its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations.
Its build has been designed to ensure robustness, longevity, reliability, precision, and a variable inertia balance, which is maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge with a two-point fixation. Together with its non-magnetic silicon hairspring, the Manufacture Calibre MT5400 is certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), with its performance going beyond the standards set by this independent institute. In fact, where COSC allows an average variation in the daily running of a watch of between -4 and +6 seconds in relation to absolute time in a single movement, TUDOR insists on -2 +4 seconds’ variation in its running when it is completely assembled.
Another notable feature is that the power reserve of the Manufacture MT5400 Calibre is “weekend-proof”; that is to say about 70 hours, which enables the wearer to take the watch off on a Friday evening and put it back on again on Monday morning without having to reset it.
The Essence of Black Bay
Like other models in the Black Bay range, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K adopts Tudor’s characteristic angular hands known as “Snowflake” that first appeared in the brand’s 1969 catalogue. The result of a subtle blend of traditional aesthetics and contemporary watchmaking, the Black Bay line is far from simply being an identical rerelease of a classic. Resolutely anchored in the present, it brings together almost seven decades of Tudor divers’ watches. Whilst it is neo-vintage in conception, its manufacturing techniques and its robustness, reliability, durability and precision as well as the quality of its finish are above modern industry standards.
The Tudor Divers’ Watch
The history of the Tudor divers’ watch dates back to 1954 with the launch of the reference 7922. Waterproof to 330 ft, it is the firstborn in a long line of “divers”. Affordable, robust, reliable and precise, it is representative of the philosophy of a tool-watch of the brand. The seven decades following its introduction have witnessed the constant improvement of the Tudor divers’ watch and it has gained unanimous acclaim from professionals in the field, including some of the greatest military navies in the world.