Timepiece makers often create wristwatches which appeal to wider trends in fashion and lifestyle. Usually, these creations can be spotted across multiple manufacturers, and tend to build on previous incremental changes to production watches from each brand. Take the trend of blue faces, or the recent article we wrote about two-tone watches and smaller case sizes. These timepieces are part of a broader series of watches from multiple manufacturers that fit into a “seasonal” theme of watchmaking at a given time. There are a few occasions however, where a watchmaker will create a timepiece that builds on a historical trend, often dominated by another brand, and gives the new timepiece a twist all its own. This is the case of the TUDOR Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K.
TUDOR has introduced a bold new version of the popular Black Bay Fifty-Eight timepiece. The 18K model features two firsts for the famed watchmaker, an open case back on a diver’s watch and a solid 18K gold case. Taking its name from the year 1958, when the first TUDOR diver’s watch was introduced, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight has been a hit for TUDOR since it was introduced in 2018. At a smaller case size of 39mm, the Fifty-Eight builds on the legacy of the Black Bay, arguably the most popular TUDOR watch of the last two decades. The theme of building on tradition continues with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K, harkening back to the introduction of the first Rolex gold Submariner timepiece in 1969. The year marked a second inspiration point for the 18K, using angular “snowflake” hands inspired from the TUDOR 1969 brand catalogue. The use of gold undoubtedly appeals to vintage enthusiasts, with nods to the history of watchmaking. TUDOR, however, didn’t go completely vintage with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K, opting away from a gold bracelet and instead providing the timepiece on a dark brown alligator leather strap with 18K yellow gold buckle and a complimentary green fabric strap with gold color band and 18K yellow gold buckle.
In an additional nod to the history of the Submariner, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is presented with a green dial and crown. The use of green and the lack of a gold bracelet sets the TUDOR apart from current submariner offerings and instead moves the 18K away from the realm of dress watches, and more into the light of an every day watch which is easily dressed up for a formal occasion. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is powered by the self-winding mechanical movement Calibre MT5400 which is COSC certified. Approximately 70 hours of power reserve keep the hands moving across the green dial, which appears to lighten and darken depending on the type of light in which it is viewed. A satin-brushed finish is matched across the case and the bezel, with the bezel displaying gold gilded markings and numerals on a green anodized aluminum base. The open case back displays the larger MT5400 movement nicely, with a clear view of the stamped TUDOR – Geneva Switzerland displaying the heritage of a fine timepiece.
While many of the ultra-luxury timepiece manufacturers have been making gold watches for some time, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K elevates TUDOR from its usual price point, while also remaining an exceptional value for a true 18K gold wristwatch. This bold move from the brand is sure to catch the eye of many looking for a unique timepiece at an exceptional value. A little bit of flash with a mix of classic appeal and the pedigree of an exceptional Swiss brand. We can’t find anything not to love about the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K.