Swiss watch brand TUDOR presents a bold new version of its best selling model, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, in 18 ct yellow gold with an open case back. This is a first for both 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 also to 1958, the year in which the first TUDOR divers’ watch waterproof to 200 metres (660 ft), reference 7924 or “Big Crown”, 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.
Entirely satin-finished for a matt 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 in 18 ct yellow gold 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.
The matt 18 ct yellow gold of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is emphasised by the elegant combination of dial and bezel, which are a rich “golden green” in tone with matt gold details. The “Snowflake” hands are in 18 ct yellow gold, as are the appliqués of the hour markers. The same colour 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 are 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, 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 and precision, as has 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. This movement provides a power reserve up to 70 hours.
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 history of the TUDOR divers’ watch dates back to 1954 with the launch of reference 7922. Waterproof to 100 metres (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.
TUDOR is offering a five-year guarantee on all its products sold after January 1st 2020. This guarantee does not require the watch to be registered, or any maintenance checks, and is transferable.
All TUDOR products bought between July 1st 2018 and December 31st 2019 will therefore benefit from an 18-month extension to their guarantee, that is to say, a total of three and a half years. TUDOR also recommends that its watches should be serviced approximately every 10 years depending on the model and the extent of its use on a day-to-day basis.
Model: Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K
39 mm case, satin finished, in 18 ct yellow gold
Open case back with sapphire crystal
Unidirectional rotatable bezel in 18 ct yellow gold with 60-minute graduated disc in matt green anodised aluminium and gold gilded markings and numerals
18 ct yellow gold screw-down winding crown, with the TUDOR rose in relief with circular satin-brushed 18 ct yellow gold winding crown tube
Domed sapphire crystal
Waterproof to 200 m (660 ft)
Matt “golden green” in tone, with applied hour markers in 18 ct yellow gold
“Snowflake” hands, one of the hallmarks of the TUDOR divers’ watches introduced in 1969, in 18 ct yellow gold, with grade A Swiss Super-LumiNova® luminescent material
Manufacture Calibre MT5400
Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system
Swiss Chronometer officially certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute)
Power reserve: Approximately 70 hours
Total diameter: 30.3 mm
Thickness: 5 mm
Jewels: 27 jewels
Centre hour, minute and seconds hands
Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Variable inertia balance, micro-adjustment by screw
Non-magnetic silicon balance spring
Frequency: 28 800 beats/hour (4 Hz)
Domed dark brown alligator strap with 18 ct yellow gold buckle
Additional green fabric strap with gold-coloured band and 18 ct yellow gold buckle, included in the box
Five-year transferable guarantee, without registration or mandatory maintenance checks