Blue Magic. The New Blackckbay 58
This week we were greeted with a new release from Tudor. A new Blackbay 58 in blue so this week I wanted to give it a glance over, talk about what I like about it and offer some thoughts on this already iconic watch.
It’s funny because only a few years ago Tudor was having a bit of a tough time of it. Being known as Rolex’s little brother, the brand found it difficult to step out of the shadow of the luxury behemoth and you would often hear people refer to the brand as “a poor man’s Rolex”. I always thought it was a shame because I actually liked Tudor as a brand. While it’s hard to shake off the strong connection to Rolex and the Wilsdorf name, I liked what Tudor was offering and the direction they were going.
And Tudor isn’t just a brand that makes cheaper Rolex watches. They have years of history behind them and a lot of heritage. The fact that they are owned by Rolex is only a bonus in my opinion so to knock them down because of it always seemed like idiocy to me. That’s like saying an Audi R8 is a poor mans Lamborghini. One of reasons the Audi R8 is such a fantastic car is thanks to the years of experience and innovation of the Lamborghinis that came before it and I feel the same can be said for Tudor.
However, it didn’t take long for Tudor to step out of the shadows and start making their own waves. When the Blackbay line of watches was released in 2012 watch enthusiasts went wild. It was an absolutely stunning watch that came in different colour options and it looked fantastic on the wrist. It was a solid watch that you could say looked very similar to a Submariner. But at the same time, there was something very “Tudor” about it. I still feel the same now. Unlike the Sub, the Tudor gives you the same level of style and luxury without worrying too much about knocks, scratches and scuffs. It’s a watch you don’t have to nurture or worry about. Additionally, it was really competitively priced. It’s one of those watches that creates conflict in a watch wishlist. For example, I had been looking an Omega Seamaster (pre-2018) and almost pulled the trigger but then the Blackbay came out and I was torn. If I was in the market for one today I’d go for the Harrods Edition. I think it’s an absolutely stunning watch. The green is so subtle compared to Rolex Kermit which can be spotted from a mile away, which I think is a good thing if you want to keep a low profile.
Fast forward to 2018 and Tudor released the Blackaby 58. To say this is a great watch is an absolute understatement. Taking inspiration from Tudors 7924 from 1958 (there’s the 58) it is a heritage watch that has been brought up to date in a big way. Compared to the original Blackbay it had a much more streamline design and profile. At 39mm the watch is perfect for almost any wrist and, since 2016, Tudor have been using their own in-house movements, which we could argue, are Rolex movements (Definity not a bad thing) and the BB58 features a calibre MT5402. It’s an absolute workhorse of a movement that comes with a 70-hour power reserve and COSC certification. On top of all that, it starts (as of today) at £2300. Let’s be honest, I like Rolex, but I’m not going to pay three times more and wait 10x longer just to have a crown on my watch. Give me that shield any day of the week!
This week saw the release of the Blackbay 58 in blue and while you might be thinking “so they just threw on a blue bezel?” But it’s actually not the case and Tudor have given the watch a whole new look and feel. Unlike the original BB58 which mixes black and gold, the blue variant goes for white indices. Additionally, where the original black and gold BB58 featured a cream-coloured lume and gilt features, the blue BB58 has a whiter lume and a silver sweeping seconds hand and lettering.
It certainly gives the new blue BB58 a much more modern aesthetic and I can’t help but describe it as “colder”. It keeps the same COSC certified movement as the original which I think is a good thing – if it isn’t broke don’t fix it – so you’ll get the 70-hour power reserve which, in a watch this small is impressive.
Overall, I am a big fan of the Blackbay 58 and I love what Tudor are doing. Being a fan of blue watches, this is right up my street but, also being a fan of date windows, I feel compelled to see what Tudor may offer in the future. I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see the BB58 in other colour variants (hopefully a non-limited edition green), date options and a GMT (pure hope). If you are in the market for a fantastic daily driver then Tudor would be right up there. You just can’t go wrong with the aesthetic, movement, heritage and, most of all, the price. For what you get for your money Tudor have just nailed it and hopefully we see more of this in the future.
Thanks for your time and see you in the next one!
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