Over the past few years we’ve seen the rise of Tudor’s heritage collection but arguably one of their most coveted pieces has been the Black Bay 58, and just in case you weren’t aware – the BB58 is a nod to the past but done with Tudor panache. Of course, over the past few years we’ve seen the emergence of vintage inspired watches but only a handful of brands are even capable of pulling this feat off. That said, I’m sure this is something that Rolex would like to participate in but fortunately for them they have a sister brand that can indulge in these nostalgic exercises – plus, let’s be honest, Rolex don’t do trends, even if they do have quite the back catalogue.
In the past I’ve been somewhat, impartial to bronze timepieces and the Black Bay Bronze was no different. I neither love them or loathe them but some clearly work better than others. There’s no denying the Black Bay Bronze is a big watch, coming in at a size of 43mm in diameter but it’s still clearly wearable. Perhaps, what I have liked most is that Tudor have taken this unusual case material and made it seriously cool. To be honest, Tudor’s bronze Black Bay’s never really excited me before but now there is this Black Bay 58 Bronze, which in my humble opinion is a gamechanger for me.
Like all previous BB58’s, this new bronze model also features a 39 mm case, in-keeping with the characteristic proportions of the 1950s model it was inspired by. As already mentioned, the case has been fashioned out of bronze, for the very first time in this size. As you may or may not know, bronze is a “living” metal and because of this, each example will produce a subtle, unique patina, based on the wearer’s habits. To aid this uniqueness, the Black Bay 58 Bronze has been entirely satin brushed that guarantees homogeneous development of the patina.
The Black Bay 58 Bronze makes use of a new calibre, that unlike the BB58 models introduced this year, doesn’t feature an exhibition case back but it is important to note the case back is steel for obvious servicing reasons. With its 30.3 mm diameter, the Calibre MT540o displays hour, minute and second functions and has been designed for medium-sized Tudor watches. And, is certified as a chronometer (COSC), with a 70-hour power reserve.
The dial on this BB58 bronze has been well executed and incorporates a 3, 6, 9, explorer-type dial, coupled with snowflake hands – which adds to the overall effect. The matte brown-bronze dial exhibits a subtle ombré, where the dial gradually gets darker towards the edge of the dial – which kind of gives the dial a vintage vignette patination. On top of this, the use of gilt printed minute scale and text harks back to the days of old and adds an overall warm look.
Like the rest of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze, the bezel has been well executed too. The brown-bronze “coin edge” bezel creates the perfect backdrop to the gilt scale, with a gilt triangle at 12 o’clock with a pearl that has also contains Super-Luminova. Adding to the overall vintage inspired look too is the “Large Crown”, though this is more finely fluted and features a Tudor rose.
Oh, and of course there is the bronze bracelet. We first saw this 1950s/1960s vintage-style inspired, riveted bracelet a few years ago on the Black Bay Black/Dark. This modern interpretation is true to form and features the very distinct stepped construction, though instead features faux rivets, with solid links that deliver that vintage look with modern robustness. And if that wasn’t enough, Tudor have now incorporated a new on-the-fly micro adjuster into the clasp, which they’ve dubbed the <<T-fit>>. It should also be noted the Black Bay 58 Bronze comes with a complimentary brown and bronze woven fabric band with a bronze pin buckle.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze is priced at £3,390 and comes on a bronze bracelet and an additional fabric strap. For more information on visit the official Tudor website.