Ever since the brand’s relaunch a decade or so ago, Tudor has really come into its own. Stepping out of big brother Rolex’s shadow, the brand is now considered a major player in the luxury watch space, and it has releases like the Black Bay 58 to thank. Arguably Tudor’s most popular current model, at least among watch enthusiasts, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight has a massive following and is frequently touted as one of the best divers and one of the best everyday watches on the market. But does the BB58 live up to its massive hype? We went hands-on to find out for ourselves.
At A Glance
Black Bay 58 Specs
Case Size: 39mm
Lug to Lug: 47mm
Case Thickness: 11.9mm
Lug Width: 20mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Water Resistance: 200m
Movement Type: Automatic
Power Reserve: 70 Hours
Movement: Tudor Manufacture Calibre MT5402
Strap: Rivet-Style Stainless Steel Bracelet
Video Review: Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
If tough to get across the size and scope of the BB58 with still photos alone, so have a look at our Tudor Black Bay 58 video review for a more in-depth examination of the watch.
It’s hard not to be struck by the perfection of the BB58’s design. The thin black aluminum bezel with its red triangle, the generously domed sapphire crystal, the symmetrical no-date layout on the matte black and gilt-accented dial… everything about the design just works. It can be extremely challenging to resurrect a 1950s design like Tudor has done here (naturally, the watch is based on a Tudor Submariner from 1958) and have it seamlessly work for today without looking like it’s trying too hard, but the BB58 accomplishes this feat with ease.
When the original Tudor Black Bay was released, enthusiasts loved the diver’s retro design, but not everyone was a fan of its 41mm case size and thick profile. It wasn’t a huge watch by any means, but it was certainly larger than the vintage divers it was emulating. Tudor corrected this oversight with the BB58, as its 39mm size and 11.9mm thickness make it much more in line with its mid-century design. Combine the compact size with its thin coin edge bezel, oversized unprotected crown, and beveled lugs and you have the recipe for a perfect vintage-styled diver.
The on-point vintage styling of the case would be wasted if Tudor whiffed on the dial design of the Black Bay 58, but thankfully that didn’t happen. The dial is just as perfectly realized as the case when it comes to mimicking mid-century cool. Avoiding the dreaded “fauxtina,” Tudor went with modern-looking Super-LumiNova offset with gilt printing and gilt snowflake hands and indices on the matte black dial. The contrast works wonderfully, as it gives the watch a classic, vintage feel without veering into “trying too hard” territory.
Too Much Of A Good Thing?
If there is one aspect of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight that has drawn criticism, it is its bracelet. Rather than going with a straight three-link Oyster-style bracelet, Tudor affixed rivets to the outer edges of the links, mimicking a style from its vintage divers. Except Tudor didn’t go all the way with its rivet design, as the rivets on the bracelet are not actual rivets — they just look like them. Some enthusiasts have been critical of these “faux” rivets, but they don’t really bother us. The bracelet looks good, the faux rivets add to the vintage feel, and let’s be honest, there’s probably a reason why no major watch brands produce actual riveted bracelets anymore. When it comes to the watch’s backward-opening clasp, though? Well, we’d probably change that to open the right way if given the opportunity.
In The House
Part of what’s been driving Tudor’s brand makeover in recent years has been its increasing use of in-house movements. It’s a pretty new concept for the brand, as Tudor was originally founded by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf to be a more affordable alternative to the Crown, and for decades the brand’s watches were essentially Rolex-produced cases housing off-the-shelf movements instead of Rolex’s in-house chronometers. But these days Tudor, through its collaborative subsidiary Kenissi, is making its own movements, and they don’t leave much to be desired. The engine in the BB58 is a COSC-certified automatic chronometer with 70 hours of power on tap. Really, what more do you need?
On The Wrist
As we mentioned previously, the Black Bay 58’s dimensions are a dream, so it’s no surprise that the watch wears wonderfully. Everyone in our office, possessing wrist sizes ranging from less than 6.5” to more than 7.5”, was totally enamored with how the BB58 wears. It’s graceful and comfortable, but still striking and cool. It’s versatile enough for many wrist sizes and almost any occasion, and we really can’t think of a thing we’d change about its on-wrist performance.
The Daily Diver
There’s really not a whole lot we could find wrong with the BB58. Its vintage styling is perfectly executed and not the least bit corny, its dimensions should be the blueprint for every modern dive watch, and its movement is a solid performer. At the end of the day, it’s clear why the Black Bay 58 has become such a winner for Tudor, and it makes us seriously excited for the future direction of the brand.
The 20 Best Dive Watches in 2022
The Black Bay 58 is a fantastic choice for a modern diver, but it’s not the only option out there. To get a sense of the competition, have a look at our roundup of the best dive watches currently on the market.