When you think of Tudor watches, you typically think of stainless-steel, value-driven offerings. But Tudor surprised us all, making the leap to yellow gold as well as silver for the Tudor Black Bay 58. While the Tudor Black 58 18K presents a formidable step up in price, the new Tudor Black Bay 58 925 in silver remains approachably priced for a Black Bay 58 diver. Personally, I applaud Tudor’s innovation and the fact they took the familiar BB58 design and shaped it into new metals – for both the collection and the brand. But I am left wondering how well silver, as a case metal, will hold up during daily wear.
A quick rundown of the Tudor Black Bay 58 925 ref. 79010
The Tudor Black Bay 58 925 retains the 39mm case diameter the BB58 is known for, its creation both harking back to their vintage divers as well as creating an opportunity for those who like to wear more classic diameters on their wrists. Upon the initial release of the Black Bay 58, it was lauded for taming the dimensions of a Black Bay diver and for creating a novelty closer in proportions (particularly its thickness) to what Rolex Submariner buyers are presented with. Like the Tudor Black Bay 58 18K, the case finish is bit muted, leveraging a satin brush throughout its design. The case framework remains mostly the same, its lugs still executed with a tapered bevel that exhibits vintage sporty flair. But what is particularly different is a new sapphire caseback, also found in the new 18K yellow gold version. While the exhibition caseback may add less than a millimetre in thickness, buyers will be pleased to know the diver retains its 200 metre water resistance and 925 silver screw-down crown. The other really neat thing about silver is that as a precious metal it has precious metal heft to it weight which means it has an even more luxurious feel on the wrist.
The dial and bezel, with a silver toned timing scale, are rendered in a muted taupe tone that pairs well with the finish and colour of the silver case. It is a very modern, monochromatic aesthetic and while robust will look killer with a smart casual wardrobe at the office or after work drinks. It, of course, features the iconic snowflake handset originally presented in 1969, with white metal hands and circular frames to the hour markers. The watch can be paired with either a fabric or leather strap in case/dial matching tones. Considering the superb quality of Tudor’s fabric straps, that would personally be my configuration pick – especially as a diver. I also think its silver and taupe aesthetic better matches the case, dial, and bezel.
Inside the watch is the Tudor manufacture caliber MT5400, a certified COSC chronometer automatic movement that the brand regulates even further to -2/+4 seconds per day. The tungsten winding mass will keep the watch wound while worn, but off the wrist the movement is “weekend proof” with a power reserve of 70 hours. Normally we don’t discuss the finish of Tudor movements, but with it now on full display the aesthetic is very industrial yet attractive, with sand-blasted and laser polished surfaces.
But Zach… will silver hold up during daily wear or while diving?
Silver is definitely not known to be a case material for daily wearers, no less a full fledged dive watch. In fact, to my knowledge the metal has never been used in dive watch – which actually makes this offering that much interesting. Tudor was very hush-hush about their proprietary alloy of silver, but the manufacture insists the material was developed with daily wear in mind. Tudor explains, “The use of 925 silver is a first for a TUDOR divers’ watch, and the composition of the chosen alloy is a secret that the brand keeps close to its chest. The properties of this alloy are such that use does not affect the appearance of the case of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925.” The interesting thing about silver, according to Tudor, is that the metal has a “precious aura” and “incandescent brilliance” which means the diver will definitely stand out in the metal.
Assuming Tudor’s proprietary silver alloy will hold up under daily wear, it is an interesting proposition to own a silver diver that has a more scratch and tarnish resistant surface than we normally expect from the precious metal. As I said earlier, I am a big fan of this novelty and think Tudor has done a great job of surprising and delighting the consumer this year – arguably more so than big brother Rolex. Perhaps titanium would have been a more expected choice if Tudor were to deviate from steel for the collection. But their brand motto is “Born To Dare”, so I think Tudor has done a great job of living up to the phrase and presenting the unexpected in what can be, at times, a rather predictable and traditional industry.
Tudor Black Bay 58 925 pricing and availability:
The Tudor Black Bay 58 925 is available now from Tudor Boutiques and Authorized Dealers. Price: $4,300 USD on fabric or leather