First Tudor boutique in Australia opens with launch of the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight BronzeZach Blass
Tudor achieved a perfect storm in Australia recently – launching the first Tudor boutique in the country, and the 50th around the world, while at the same time unveiling another eye-catching new model – the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze. The third moment of note was the opportunity to meet in person the new General Manager of Rolex and Tudor in Australia, Benoit Falletti.
The boutique, at 257 Collins Street is run in conjunction with The Hour Glass and is located in the heart of Melbourne, within walking distance of most major watch destinations in the city. Mr Falletti took the occasion to celebrate Australia’s long history with Tudor, which stretches back to 1932. His choice of wristwear for the evening also had an auspiciously Australian twist – it was the yellow gold version of the Fifty-Eight with green dial and green and gold striped fabric strap to match.
A brief introduction to the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze
The new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze is a boutique-only edition that merges the familiar aesthetic of the Bronze 43mm with a matte-shaded tropical “brown-bronze” meets burgundy bezel and 3,6,9 dial. The more compact Fifty-Eight case is water-resistant to 200 metres with a screw-down crown and comes on an all-new bronze bracelet with a major upgrade… but more on that in a bit. To review, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze will maintain the dimensions found on previous models with a case diameter of 39mm and thickness of 11.9mm, but Tudor lists the lug-to-lug measurement as 48mm across the wrist – which may be a millimetre or so longer than the steel configuration.
Its case shares the same finishing as the recently introduced 18K Gold and 925 Silver models, forsaking polished bevels and case flanks for a more matte brushed look. While it is a more utility finish, I personally miss the polished elements as that was a design cue that tied the watch into its vintage roots – which was effectively the original mission of the lineup. That being said, Tudor explains that the uniform satin finish ensures the subtle and unique patina it will achieve over time remains more consistent throughout the watch. Inside is the same MT5400 manufacture caliber found in previous Black Bay Fifty-Eight watches, with 70 hours of power reserve, a silicon hairspring, and notably COSC-certified and not METAS certified.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze is offered on a new faux-riveted bronze bracelet with a complimentary fabric strap that largely matches the brown/burgundy dial with a centre stripe that matches the tone of the bronze case. In my opinion, the best part of the new release isn’t so much the new material. The draw here for me is the all-new clasp, outfitted with Tudor’s new “T-fit” micro adjustment system. The rapid adjustment system allows you to adjust the length of the bracelet in five positions up to 8mm length through a lever/slide style interaction similar to Glidelock.
On paper, it would seem it is an even better system than Rolex’s EasyLink (5mm extension that effectively adds or removes a link) but not quite as extensive as the Glidelock system found on Rolex divers (incremental 20mm/26mm adjustment on the Submariner/Deep Sea and Sea Dweller respectively). As a former owner of two Black Bay Fifty-Eight watches my biggest gripe was finding the perfect fit, and as I like to have my watches snug I wasn’t able to find my Goldilocks fit. I either had to have it a little too snug, or add a link and pull the micro adjustment all the way in for a fit that meant my Fifty-Eight would slide up and down my wrist all day. So in this regard the T-fit clasp is a sure-fire game changer, and I bet many steel Fifty-Eight owners will be wondering when the technology arrives to the more common steel configurations. The only lingering question is how will the system perform as the metal patinates? Will it have a fluid and secure tactile experience over time? Only time will tell.
So, where can I actually buy the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze? (as of now)
The watch is likely going to be a hot-ticket item for some time, but my concerns are not particularly based around the usual issue of a waitlist – in this instance it is a matter of geography as it’s only being sold through Tudor boutiques. Based on Tudor’s website there are currently 45 (though as above Tudor are citing the latest, Melbourne, as their 50th) Tudor boutiques worldwide where this new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze will be sold – all of which are located in Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Japan, Macau SAR, Mainland China, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan Region, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze pricing and availability:
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze will only be sold through select boutiques, for a complete list click here.
Price: $4,525 USD / €4,250 Euro / CHF 4,300 / AUD $6160