Tested For You: A First-Hand Look At The New Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue
Watchonista takes an in-depth look at the biggest surprise release of the year (so far) as it lands at Watches of Switzerland and MAYORS just in time for the height of summer.
The day has come. Although the world has been brought to a near standstill by the likes of COVID-19 and the ensuing downturn, one thing never stops turning: the perpetual motion of the rumor mill. Now that the “will they / won’t they” questions surrounding international watch fairs like Baselworld and Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) have been laid to rest, the WIS community has moved onto new horizons: 2020 watch releases.
The New Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight In Navy Blue
Here it is, folks! The fan-favorite Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight returns with a new colorway of blue-on-blue. Whereas its predecessor sported the warm and decidedly vintage-inspired touches of a gilt dial with black bezel, this new Tudor balances the growing BB58 lineup with modern doses of Navy Blue.
Beyond the new dial and bezel, the rest of the watch stays true to the BB58 we know and love. The case diameter is still the classic and manageable 39mm size. The watch is still a svelte 11.9mm thick. And, yes, the riveted bracelet is still in tow. Buyers also have the option of two straps that complement the new color scheme.
The strap and bracelet choices fit neatly into the three categories of dress, casual, and sport, with all the various iterations showcasing the same dress-up, dress-down versatility that we saw with the original BB58. The two straps options, one in blue jacquard fabric and one in blue suede which Tudor refers to as “soft touch”, feature touches of white or silver that complement the accents of the new dial and bezel designs. The natural materials also go a long way in softening the appearance of what, in contrast, is a more clinical color palette.
Tudor’s in-house MT5402 movement, original to the BB58, is back in this latest release, much to the delight of Tudor enthusiasts. The arrival of the MT5402 received a warm welcome as the brand had opted for ETA-based movements in the past. Since then, the manufacture caliber has proven to show the kind of reliability that one would expect from Tudor. It’s COSC-certified with a silicon balance spring and its 70-hour power reserve makes it a natural choice for collectors with more than one watch in their rotation.
The Waiting Game
Sometimes, the best part of getting a gift is your anticipation of its arrival. Those who celebrated Christmas growing up know the feeling of running down the steps on Christmas morning and finding a beautifully wrapped box with your name on it. For many, the past few days have embodied that same spirit of excitement.
The internet and social media were on fire leading up to this moment as predictions came flying in on what the next Tudor might be. And while the rumor mill was in full swing, Watchonista was more than pleased to see the new Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue. Inspired by Tudors ref. 7924 "Big Crown" this Navy Blue stunner is sure to delight fans of the brand new and old.
An End To Vintage Revival?
The release of this blue-on-blue version is not entirely surprising given the brand’s incrementalist philosophy towards change, the popularity of the BB58, and the current prevalence of blue dial watches. However, there are details therein that perhaps point to broader design shifts in the industry.
With this new model, Tudor opted for a contemporary treatment of saturated blue and stark white. Yes, the case size is still a relatively modest 39mm, but watches can only be so big for so long.
What this move symbolizes, we dare to guess, is that the peak of vintage-revival has passed, and the pendulum will now swing back towards the modern. This will, of course, need to be reinforced by other brands going forward. But given the limited industry activity this year and the sheer pull that Tudor commands in the market, this could be the moon that draws back the tides.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)