NATHAN: Hey everyone it’s Nathan with Crown & Caliber, and today we have something really exciting, something fresh, something new. Today we’re going to be looking at the new Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue. How we have this new watch is pretty awesome. So, one of our good friends and actually ambassador is Noah Williams. You can find him on Instagram @noahwilliamsstyle. He was lucky enough to get the new Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue and then was generous enough to actually send it to us to go ahead and review and give our thoughts on it. So first and foremost go check out Noah Williams, noahwilliamsstyle. And Noah thank you man. We appreciate the love from Charlotte. So anyway, that’s how we got this watch and what we’re going to do today is we are going to compare it to its brother, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, and then we’re also going to compare it to the original Tudor Heritage Black Bay. Give our thoughts, give the pros, the cons, what Tudor has done so well over the years of the Black Bay line and potentially some stuff they could do better. So ultimately what we’re doing is we’re giving a preview of a watch that Crown & Caliber will probably be seeing later this year as people begin to resell it in the pre-owned market. So, let’s dive in.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay
All right so up first we are going to be looking at the Tudor Heritage Black Bay. Now this watch was released in 2012 and had a ton of fanfare basically Tudor went and made, we’ve called it before, the” best of” kind of heritage watch. It was a 41-millimeter case, it had a pretty clean dial, it had Tudor snowflake hands. Originally it came with a red bezel, more of a burgundy, eventually they released a blue bezel and a black bezel. You also received a domed sapphire crystal which kind of furthered that “best of” Tudor heritage kind of vintage aesthetic which is welcomed and it does create some of that kind of distortion at the sides when you look at it from an angle which is pretty cool. But there were some drawbacks. It was a 41-millimeter case size so maybe a little bit more on the contemporary side of a larger watch. And it is fairly thick which for some people maybe isn’t that big of a deal but for maybe a more modest wrist sized individual that was kind of a somewhat of a drawback. Also, the bracelet was not your traditional 20-millimeter bracelet so it definitely has some wrist presence and a lot of people love that. I think the traditionalist in me prefers kind of that 40-millimeter dive watch aesthetic with a 20-millimeter bracelet, but all in all it was a really well received watch.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
Fast forward to 2019 and the Black Bay Fifty-Eight comes out. No, it is not a 58-millimeter watch. 58 refers to the year 1958 and a lot of the heritage that comes in this Black Bay. Namely what is great about this watch is its size. It is a hair under 40 millimeters. It is, I think, around 39.6 millimeters and it is under 12 millimeters thick. That is crazy. It is about the same thickness as my Datejust. This watch, in every way, feels like you are wearing a vintage Submariner. I think Tudor knocked it out of the park. Some of the pros of this watch. The size, the thickness, it has a 20-millimeter bracelet, it is time only, the use of kind of that faux gilt, some of this gold colored accents both on the dial and in the hands and on the bezel definitely warm the watch up. There is a spacer in Black Bay Heritage crowns, and they went ahead and made it completely steel colored. So again, kind of just cleaning the watch up and making it a little bit more vintage inspired.
Something else that is really cool about the Tudor heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight is it does have an in-house caliber. Now most of the Heritage line has been updated to have in-house calibers but with the Fifty-Eight being smaller in size Tudor had to go and make a new movement so the MT, manufacturer Tudor, 5402 is what is inside the Tudor. And it has, among other cool specs, a 70-hour power reserve. So, a truly modern movement inside this watch. The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight did maintain that domed sapphire crystal from the original Tudor Heritage Black Bay and it just works. It’s nice to see kind of that domed crystal aesthetic that is vintage inspired but also is sapphire so has that creature comforts of being able to take a beating. Now the watch is not without flaw and there was some controversy.
A few of the things to me that Tudor maybe missed the mark on is the faux patina or fauxtina. The fact that the hour indices and the hands kind of have a more yellowish hue to it. To me that’s something that definitely pushes that vintage aesthetic, but I think in in years to come we’re going to look back and say wow that feels very dated. So yeah, the faux patina to me is a little, feels a little contrived. Some people may like it but to me it is unnecessary. Also, I would say the bracelet, and this is getting a little nitpicky, but it is a faux riveted bracelet. So vintage dive watches like a vintage Tudor would have had a riveted bracelet where the links are actually riveted together and to kind of push that vintage aesthetic Tudor did create a faux riveted bracelet. It’s a nice nod, but I think again it just felt a little contrived. I don’t know it just it doesn’t do it for me so those were some of the I would say cons of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, and the last one is the movement.
And this one is really getting nitpicky, but I think speaks to what Tudor is doing and what Rolex the older sibling has always done. Is they make movements that don’t necessarily look pretty but work are robust are reliable and get the job done and the MT5402 is definitely that, but it’s a little underwhelming it doesn’t fill the case it’s just there to do its job, so I know i talked about how great that in-house movement is but it is definitely an austere movement and there’s not a lot going on there other than the fact that it works.
JONATHAN: You can respect that.
NATHAN: Absolutely, and that’s like I said that’s me getting really nitpicky on kind of that pros/cons list. That is the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, an awesome watch, really well received. I’ve talked about it in many videos how I think it is a perfect watch in so many ways, but it does have some flaws.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue
So fast forward to July 1st of 2020 and Tudor releases the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue. And if they could hit a home run in 2019, they just hit a home run again in 2020. This watch is awesome. So, it has all of the characteristics of the original Black Bay Fifty-Eight that made it so great. It does still retain that same faux riveted bracelet. I can learn to live with that, and this is a watch that can be on many different straps so it’s not going to always live on the bracelet. Basically, with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue they fixed a lot of the cosmetic issues. So, the faux gilt coloring on the hands dial our indices and bezel is gone. It’s been replaced by silver and the faux patina in the hour markers and the hands is also gone. It is now just white. So cosmetically speaking the watch is a little less…
JONATHAN: More modern.
NATHAN: It’s more modern. It’s a little less in your face as a vintage inspired watch. It just happens to have the dimensions of a vintage watch, and the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue maintains the dome sapphire crystal as well.
JONATHAN: So, I just had a light bulb. It references the Marine Nationale. These were Tudor Subs made for the French Navy.
JONATHAN: They’re all blue.
NATHAN: It’s what Spike Feresten has.
NATHAN: Yes. It definitely does. Yeah like they’ve they basically… If a Marine National was created in 2020 this is what it would look like. So it’s not trying to be a watch from the 1950s or it’s not trying to mimic a watch from the 1950s it just happens to be a modern watch that looks like it could have been from the 50s or 60s and it is it is so good in that execution. And then lastly cosmetically speaking is it’s blue. Everybody loves blue and blue is like the hot color in watches right now. We have two blues to look at here. We have the blue bezel which existed previously on the original Tudor Heritage Black Bay, but now we have a blue dial.
So first the blue bezel. In comparison to the Heritage Black Bay it’s more blue and I think that is probably because the dial is also blue so it can kind of pop a little more, but it’s just a little bit more of a rich blue almost a navy. And then that dial that dial is an almost matte blue um it’s teetering on a navy blue. I mean it is so good. It is what you want in a vintage Tudor Submariner that would cost you three four times as much and you get it in a modern-day watch. It is so good so cosmetically speaking. I think that the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Blue” knocks out of the park. It is definitely in my opinion um and I’m going to say it better than the original Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight. The blue is so good it does still maintain that Tudor in-house caliber so you get that 70-hour power reserve you get the COSC certification and like i mentioned it’s maybe not the most impressive movement visually speaking but it’s there to do its job and it does it so well so. This watch is awesome. It’s a perfect timing for Tudor to release it coming into the summer. It is such a good watch you can get it as it is here on Tudor NATO’s which are exceptional you can also get it with a bracelet, and you can also get it with a Tudor leather strap.
I think another point worth mentioning is we talked about how the Tudor Heritage originally was a 41 millimeter and maybe a little too large for some people and then we went straight from that to this Tudor Black Bay being under 40 millimeters and some people may be like well that’s going to be too small for me i have a larger wrist and I’ll say right now that it is not too small it absolutely will hold its weight next to a standard Submariner or any number of dive watches or sport watches. It’s almost more in the thickness that it has that appeal of a vintage watch and so many people love vintage Submariners. You know those aren’t relegated to smaller wrist sizes so i think that the Black Bay Fifty-Eight not only works well on smaller wrist sizes but it still works just as well on a larger wrist size, but it does have more of that vintage aesthetic in its size. And I cannot say enough about how awesome this watch is.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue “Hot Take”
So “Hot Take” on the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Blue.” I think this is going to be one of the watches. I think in years to come and potentially even in decades to come people are going to look back at this watch and that’s why it’s a hot take this is crazy but here’s a perfect example. I have a good friend he has a vintage Tudor Sub and he is in the process of trying to sell it because he wants to get the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy. And that may sound crazy to some and may sound like heresy but let’s look at the facts. He’s got a vintage Tudor Sub; you know effectively it is an ETA movement. It is old you know its kind of like having a vintage car it can’t necessarily be his daily driver. He does have to baby it you know in some instances. Where he goes ahead and ends up getting the Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Blue” and maybe it’s just also because it’s not as you know maybe valuable as a vintage timepiece, he doesn’t necessarily have to baby it. And so, I think that’s one example. That’s an anecdote, but the fact that there are people that are thinking about selling vintage Tudors to get the new Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Blue” I think speaks to a definite turning point in the industry.
So, I’ll hang my hat on it. Hot take the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Blue” is definitely a turning point in the industry. This is going to be a watch that is definitely going to be flying off the shelves and if you get the opportunity to get one you absolutely should. If you decide to wait until it hits the resale market, the pre-owned market like at Crown & Caliber I’m sure it’s going to be just as hot then as it is right now. So be on the lookout for this watch guys. It is awesome and again thank you Noah Williams for sending us this watch to look at. It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about buying a new watch but the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight in blue is now at the top of my list. That is our preview of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Blue”. Let us know in the comments below what you think about the new watch. What you think it does well what you think could potentially be better about it and let us know which you prefer. Do you prefer the original Fifty-Eight or the new Fifty-Eight “Blue?” And as always thanks for watching.