The year was 1958 when Swiss watchmaker Tudor introduced its first diver’s watch waterproof to 200m — a big jump from the original 100m. It was characterised by an oversized “Big Crown” (ref. 7924), a gilt dial, red triangle bezel, lug bevels and 39mm case — smaller than the typical 41mm diver’s watch.

Its sturdy build remains a classic design that we would continue to see in future Black Bay collections namely the Black Bay Fifty-Eight introduced in 2018. Embodying the best of both modern and vintage, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight synthesises the most important traits of the 1958 model — such as the dome-shaped crystal and big crown — and blends in superior engineering to make this an evergreen icon that remains popular with every iteration.

Black Bay Fifty-Eight 2021

Not one to shy away from material experimentation, this year Tudor surprises us with two new vintage inspired models cased in precious metals with fresh new dial colours and matching straps. While one utilises 18K gold, the other tries something complete out of character and goes for 925 silver (a bold yet refreshing move!)

Both the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K and 925 are powered by the Manufacture Calibre MT5400 which features Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC)-certified automatic movement with 70 hours of power reserve. Its build has been designed to ensure robustness, longevity, reliability and precision, as has a variable inertia balance, maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge with two-point fixation.

Black Bay Fifty-Eight 2021 - THE EDGE SINGAPOREThe Black Bay Fifty-Eight 2021 watches feature an open case back with clear sapphire crystal

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For the first time in Black Bay collection, the Fifty-Eight 2021 models now sport an open case back covered with clear sapphire crystal to give the wearer a closer look into the inner workings of its movement such as the tungsten monobloc rotor, which is beautifully satin-brushed and sand-blasted.

Ideal for slimmer wrists and vintage lovers who appreciate the characteristic proportions of vintage watches, the new Black Bay Fifty-Eights offer a 39mm diameter case with a lug-to-lug of 47mm, and thickness of 12.7mm. Admittedly, they run a little thicker than the steel variants that are only 11.9mm, but this is to accommodate the sapphire display case back. Nonetheless, Tudor still ensures comfort on the wrist whether in bracelet, leather or fabric strap.

Here, we take a closer look at each model to discover their unique features.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 - THE EDGE SINGAPORETudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925

Hi ho silver!

Not a metal commonly used in watchmaking — because it’s a relatively soft alloy that’s prone to scuffing and tarnishing — silver makes its debut in the latest Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 watch for the case, lugs, crown and unidirectional rotatable bezel.

Entirely satin-finished for a matte effect, it possesses an incandescent brilliance best admired under natural light. Its extraordinary texture looks even brighter in photos and truly imbues that very vintage effect we all look for in Black Bay watches.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight 925 - THE EDGE SINGAPOREThe silver case is complemented by a taupe domed dial and matching bezel insert with silver markers

The real beauty in this model is how the taupe colour of the domed dial and matching bezel insert (made of anodised aluminium) pairs well with the matte silver of the case. And under certain lighting, the taupe takes on different but complementing shades of brown to charcoal and even brownish-grey.

On the wrist, the Fifty-Eight 925 shines. Numerous silver details add the finishing touches to this model's delicate face and bezel, especially the signature "Snowflake" hands, as do the graduations and text. On the underside, the radiant silver hue really marries well with the steely parts viewed from the sapphire crystal case back; the better to admire with!

Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 - THE EDGE SINGAPOREBlack Bay Fifty-Eight 925 with a dark brown grain leather strap (left) and taupe Jacquard fabric with silver band (right)

This model is offered in a choice of two straps in matching colours with 925 silver buckles: a dressier dark brown grain leather, or a more nautical-inspired taupe Jacquard fabric with silver stripe that’s handwoven in France on 19th century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company in the St-Etienne region.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K - THE EDGE SINGAPORETudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K

Golden green with envy

The idea of a gold watch is not new — we see plenty of that in sister brand Rolex — but for Tudor to incorporate a jewellery element into its dive watches is a true embodiment of the #BornToDare spirit in challenging the status quo, and we welcome it nonetheless!

This timepiece carries the same proportions as its 925 silver counterpart, only that the case, lugs, bezel and crown are rendered in satin-finished 18-karat yellow gold and matched by a golden green dial and bezel insert, with applied hour markers and “Snowflake” hands set in 18K gold.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K - THE EDGE SINGAPOREThe 18K timepiece reveals and open case back with brushed steel inner parts

To appreciate the Tudor movement, this model is presented with an open case back with sapphire crystal to reveal the new Manufacture MT5400 Calibre made with contrasting silvery steel parts. The self-winding mechanical movement features a bidirectional rotor system and non-magnetic silicon balance spring that moves at 28,800 beats per hour.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K - THE EDGE SINGAPOREThe 18K case is perfectly contrasted by a green dial and bezel insert with gold markers

Under different lighting, the green traverses from a punchy leafy hue to one that’s more olive and earthy in nature, while the gold itself morphs from yellow gold to one with a more bronzed tint. Another fun aspect is that the green glow from the Grade A Swiss Super-LumiNova luminescent material on the dial really complements the green-gold pairing of the watch.

Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K - THE EDGE SINGAPOREBlack Bay Fifty-Eight 18K comes in a green-gold Jacquard fabric strap (left) and dark brown alligator skin (right)

Included with this model are two straps – dark brown alligator for dressier days and a more casual green-gold Jacquard fabric – ­both fitted with matching 18K gold hardware. No metal bracelet is offered for this model, and without it, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K weighs approximately 103 grams which is extremely comfortable on the wrist.

In conclusion, we really applaud Tudor’s effort to push the limits of its case materials in this year’s collection of Black Bay Fifty-Eights and are quite certain both models (especially the 925 silver) will really spark a lot of interest in collectors and purveyors of precious metals.

For more information on the new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight watches, visit https://www.keehinghung.com/tudor/tudor-new-release-2021/