Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight: A Diving-Watch Legend
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight is the epitome of a classic diving watch. Its moderate size makes it an attractive option for both men and women. An in-house caliber and high-end finishes further increase its luxury feel.
An Homage to the Prince Submariner
Tudor is a company with a proud heritage, and that is on full display in the Heritage Black Bay collection. The watches take design elements from models that stopped rolling off the production lines decades ago. By combining the charm of classic diving watches with modern technology, Tudor never ceases to surprise their fans. One such surprise came in 2018 when the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer announced the Black Bay Fifty-Eight.
When Tudor released the very first Black Bay (ref. 79230R) in 2011, it was met with a warm reception from fans and industry experts alike. People couldn't stop talking about its timeless diving watch design and extraordinary snowflake hands. Of course, this was no coincidence: After all, the modern timepiece had been modeled after the Oyster Prince Submariner ref. 7924, which Tudor originally launched all the way back in 1958. Despite its universal popularity, many fans still had one gripe about the first Black Bay and its two successors: The 41-mm case was too large and bulky for many wrists.
Tudor responded to these concerns with the Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight in 2018. The manufacturer shrunk the case from 41 to 39 mm in diameter and whittled it down to a thickness of 12 instead of 15 mm. The lug width also fell from 22 to 20 mm. All told, Tudor managed to keep the case's total length – including lugs – to under 50 mm. Not only were these dimensions more in line with diving watches from the 1950s, but the Black Bay was also finally an option for smaller wrists.
The chronometer-certified in-house caliber MT5402 ticks away inside the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. Unlike like the ETA calibers Tudor used until 2015, this movement has an impressive 70-hour power reserve. While proprietary technology means a higher price tag, most felt the increase was appropriate and affordable. There are three different versions of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight available: one on a stainless steel bracelet, one on a leather strap, and one on a textile strap.
Reasons to Buy a Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
- World-class quality at a fair price
- 39-mm cases that look good on any wrist
- A retro design from the 1950s
- The in-house caliber MT5402
- Available on three different bands
Prices at a Glance: Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Feature(s)|
|79030N-0001||3,800 USD||Stainless steel bracelet|
|79030N-0002||3,500 USD||Brown leather strap|
|79030N-0003||3,500 USD||Black textile strap with golden stitching|
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight in Detail
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight's stainless steel case is water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). Its sides are polished, while the top of the lugs are satin-brushed. Like its historical predecessor – the Oyster Prince Submariner 7924 – this model lacks a crown guard, making it easier to operate. The crown itself features the famous Tudor rose. Applied dot indices mark the hours on the matte black dial. There are also bar indices at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock, and an inverted triangle at 12. Domed sapphire crystal protects the dial from the elements.
Tudor has opted for a decidedly elegant color scheme for the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. The indices, hands, minute scale, and inscriptions are all in a refined golden hue. Its dial bears a strong resemblance to the gilt dials found on Rolex and Tudor diving watches from the 1950s. White SuperLuminova fills the hands and indices, guaranteeing optimal readability under all lighting conditions. The black aluminum bezel inlay has a golden 60-minute scale, as well as a red triangle with a glow-in-the-dark pearl – another common feature of vintage diving watches.
The ref. 79030-0001 is paired with a stainless steel bracelet in the classic Oyster style. One notable feature is the use of rivets, which are visible on the sides of the bracelet's links. While older bracelets actually used rivets to connect the links, they are purely decorative on the Fifty-Eight. Like most modern watches, the bracelet's links screw together.
You can find the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight on Chrono24 at the following prices: A new watch on a stainless steel bracelet requires an investment of around 3,800 USD. Since this version is so popular and has a waiting list, pre-owned pieces cost only slightly less at 3,600 USD. If you'd prefer a leather strap, you should take a closer look at the ref. 79030N-0002. This model costs about 3,500 USD, regardless of its condition. Tudor mounts the ref. 79030N-0003 on a textile strap. You can call this timepiece your own for roughly 3,600 USD new or as little as 3,100 USD pre-owned.
About the In-House Caliber MT5402
The automatic in-house caliber MT5402 is a smaller version of the MT5602, which powers the 41-mm Black Bay watches. The letters "MT" stand for "Manufacture Tudor." This movement has central hands for the hours, minutes, and seconds. It also boasts a 70-hour power reserve, 27 jewels, and a balance frequency of 28,800 alternations per hour (A/h). Finally, Tudor has had the MT5402 certified as a chronometer by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres, or COSC).