04/13/2023
 4 minutes

Tudor Black Bay 58 vs. Tudor Black Bay 54

By Pascal Gehrlein
Tudor-Black-Bay-58-vs-Tudor-Black-Bay-54-2-1

Tudor Black Bay 58 vs. Tudor Black Bay 54

Sayonara, Black Bay 58! Is the Black Bay 54 the new top dog?

There are a few brands out there that give me good reason to be afraid. That is, afraid of presenting a new watch that I simply cannot resist, despite promising myself I wouldn’t buy another timepiece. Tudor is one of those brands.

Tudor has been pulling out all the stops with their new releases in recent years, both in terms of speed and ingenuity. They’re literally withdrawing money from my bank account at this point. The Rolex subsidiary is introducing winner after winner, including this year’s surprise Black Bay 54, a watch based on the classic ref. 7922 from 1954.

Tudor BB, BB 58, BB 54
From left to right: Tudor Black Bay, Black Bay 58, Black Bay 54 (image: Tudor)

Tudor is not only tuned in to the watch community’s wishes for smaller dimensions, but also its love of vintage homages. The Black Bay 58 is available in 41 and 39-mm sizes, but the new unisex diver comes in at a compact 37 mm. Size aside, what distinguishes this surprise release from the popular Black Bay 58? And will the 54 replace its predecessor as the most popular Tudor on the market? Let’s find out.

Black Bay 58 vs. Black Bay 54: Look & Feel

Tudor has only minimally altered the lug-to-lug measurement on the 54, reducing it from 47 to 46 mm. That said, the overall case has been updated and slimmed down, helping it to sit perfectly on wrists that were just too small for the 41-mm Black Bay. The 54 is notably more comfortable to wear than the 58, standing just 13.5 mm as opposed to the latter’s 14.5 mm. The shape of the case is also slightly different, with the 54 more cushion-shaped and the 58 more rounded.

Another striking change is the Black Bay 54’s crown, which is not only smaller, but also sits tighter against the case. This is another plus point for wearing comfort, but proves slightly less convenient to use given the reduced grip.

Tudor Black Bay 54
Tudor Black Bay 54 (image: Tudor)

It’s also noteworthy that Tudor adjusted the hue of the stainless steel bracelet, opting for a lighter steel this time around. The bezel likewise strikes a cooler, more minimalist tone in matte black and does without the gilt indices. The silver rather than red marking around the luminous pearl at 12 o’clock is in keeping with the overall reduced statement. All in all, the 54 comes very close to the original reference from 1954.

Tudor Black Bay 54 Bezel
Tudor Black Bay 54 without the hash marks (image: Tudor)

Some enthusiasts might miss the hash marks between the 0 and 15 on the bezel, but to be honest, I’m really digging to find some points of criticism here.

The hash marks are an integral part of the Black Bay 58’s bezel.

However, I do think Tudor could’ve done better with the bracelet. Of course, they did outfit the new watch with their “T-Fit” quick adjustment system, but I think losing the visible rivets would’ve done the bracelet – and the watch as a whole – a world of good. What a shame. But then again, it’s really a matter of taste. The bracelet does come with a new clasp that is both longer and narrower. It sits very comfortably on my 17-mm wrist and feels close to Rolex-level quality. Bravo Tudor!

Tudor Black Bay 54: Tempting and Readily Available

Back to the positives: I’m pleased to see the switch from a snowflake to lollipop second hand. Moreover, each of the hands is now thinner, which suits the overall proportions of the watch. The 54 is powered by the MT5400 caliber instead of the MT5402, though both the COSC certification and 70-hour power reserve remain.

This isn’t a difference, but it’s worth noting that Tudor has made the new watch available for immediate purchase in their boutiques. They even went so far as to open a pop-up shop at Watches & Wonders where you could get one – smart thinking on Tudor’s part! I think it’s a sound strategy for picking up customers who are tired of the endless waiting lists of some other manufacturers. One reason behind the ample availability is certainly Tudor’s new, widely-advertised production facility in Le Locle, Switzerland. Plus, Tudor delivers!

I’ll just give a quick nod to IWC here, which took a bashing for the availability of the new Ingenieur.

Summing Up

Overall, I think the Tudor Black Bay 54 is a superb new release that will not only satisfy watch enthusiasts’ hunger for modern retro diving watches, but also fuel it. Tudor managed to pull it all off with a degree of simplicity that – in true Rolex style – offers just the right amount of improvements. I’m personally going to try and get my hands on a 54 on a rubber strap. That way, it won’t replace my Black Bay 58, but rather complement it.

Read more about Tudor’s 2023 releases here.

I’m holding on to my Tudor Black Bay 58, but expanding my collection to include the Black Bay 54.

What do you think about this article?


About the Author

Pascal Gehrlein

Hi, I'm Pascal. After spending many hours searching for my first luxury watch on Chrono24, I ended up visiting their "Legal details" page and saw their headquarters …

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