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Thread: Review: Tudor Blackbay 58 aka BB58

  1. #1
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Review: Tudor Blackbay 58 aka BB58

    Introduction

    The first Tudor Blackbay model was released 2012. Since then, Tudor has upgraded the model from a modified ETA movement to an in house movement with 70 hrs power reserve and free sprung silicon balance spring.


    The Blackbay 58, aka BB58, was introduced 2018 and has a new smaller in house movement (MT5402) with the same basic features as the previous in house movement but with an entirely new smaller case. The previous 41mm x 15mm case is now replaced with a slimmer 39mm x 12mm case. The band width has also been reduced from 22mm to 20mm. The BB58 has some resemblance to previous 5-ref Rolex Submariners and the Tudor Submariner 79090 case but is a homage to the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner 7924 from 1958.




    Specifications

    Diameter: 39mm
    Thickness: ~12mm
    Vertical measurement (lug2lug): 47.5mm
    Bracelet: 20/16mm


    Movement (measured in timegrapher)
    Dial up: +3
    Dial down: +5
    Crown up: +6
    Crown down: +-0
    12 o clock down: +6
    Average on the wrist: +6 secs/day.




    Case


    As mentioned previously, the case has been slimmed 2mm in width and 3mm in thickness. The thinner lugs make a big difference to the previous BB cases and itís easy to see how the 4/5-ref Rolex fans will like the new BB58 case.



    The top of the lugs are brushed and there is a discrete high gloss chamfer resembling the chargers on the old 4-red Submariners. The finish on the lugs is flawless, the brushed surfaces are even and the chamfer is razor sharp.




    The brushed surface isnít vertical, itís circular when viewed from above. This makes the already thin lugs appear even thinner and makes them appear to slant in towards the bracelet. This optical phenomenon is apparent when the watch case is exposed to light and the reflections creates a sad face-like reflection on the lugs closest to the observer. I really donít like this type of finish but it is in line with the older 4- and 5ref Submariners.




    Case-back

    The coin edged case-back has a brushed finish very much in line with the Submariner heritage. The lugs are shaped towards the wrist to ensure a snug fit against the wrist when worn.




    Bezel

    The bezel is thin and the bezel inlay is most likely made of aluminum just like on the old Submariners. The choice of material is of course a way to keep the price and size down but it doesnít bother me at all, I like it. The color of the numerals makes for a nice coherent look.


    The lume-pip border and lume matches the dial and hands, a first time for the Blackbay series. The pip is still the ďsunken inĒ style which I find odd since lint and dirt gets stuck there.




    Crystal


    The sapphire-crystal is domed and I take for granted that it has anti reflective coating on the inside. The anti-reflex effects are not Rolex-annoying but arenít exactly good either.




    Crown

    Previous BlackBay crowns have been etched and filled with black ďpaintĒ which resulted in paint coming loose on some watches of the previous models. The new relief crown rose logo is more in line with the Submariner history, is most likely better when it comes to durability and is more aesthetically pleasing.


    The crown tube has also been shortened compared to previous lack at models which I consider an improvement. When handling the watch I consider it better quality-wise than previous BB-models but not on the Rolex level.




    Bracelet

    The new bracelet tapers from 20mm to 16mm and the clasp has a long folding clasp shaped like the Tudor shield. There are three micro adjustments holes but there is of course no smart glide-lock solution.


    The bracelet is a high quality bracelet and there is nothing to complain about when it comes to finish, fit or function. Its not on the Rolex level when it comes to the screws but thatís not surprising.


    To give the Tudor bracelet some dazzle, itís been designed to look like an old river bracelet. This is purely a visual feature and has nothing to do with the functions of the bracelet, the links are solid, not folded. It looks silly and is silly, whoever let this design decision through needs to be reprimanded.




    Dial and hands

    The dial has a matte finish that is reflective when exposed to direct sunlight. I usually like this type of dial but I prefer matte dials paired with reflective indices or vice-versa. The BB58 dial reflects sporadic white spots which I donít like.



    The applied indices have the same quality finish as the Rolex dials, meaning good but not world class. The edges of the indices are very thin, glossy and dull, not sharp. The reflections from the indices are non distinctive and few.



    The hands are flat and polished to a high gloss.




    On the wrist


    The 39mm x 12mm case sits small and discreet on my 18cm wrist. There is nothing negative to note about how the watch sits on the wrist. The bracelet tapers nicely and the shape of the lugs ensures a close fit. The BB58 sits a lot nicer on the wrist than the regular BB-models.




    Conclusion

    Tudor has a great opportunity now when the Rolex steel models are ridiculously expensive and hard to come by. For around half the price of a Submariner, the Tudor Blackbay 58 seems like somewhat of a bargain. Tudor has corrected most of the issues Iíve had with the previous BB models, like the too long crown tube, the mismatching lume-pip, and the too blocky case.


    The big question is of course ďwould you consider buying a BB58?Ē - Yes, absolutely. The BB58 is a great watch and especially at this price point. There are however a few things holding me back, mainly the bracelet and how the lugs are brushed. If it were not for these two things, I would probably have been an owner already even if itís a little small for my personal taste.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Absolutely superb write up for a great watch and with some stunning photos.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Great detail shots, thanks! Did you spend any length of time with it or just long enough to take the photos?

  4. #4
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammond View Post
    Great detail shots, thanks! Did you spend any length of time with it or just long enough to take the photos?
    Thanks! A week on the wrist.

  5. #5
    An interesting review with some lovely pictures. Thank you.

    The case size is a real improvement IMO, and I canít wait for more colour schemes to be released in this size.

  6. #6
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Good objective review. Great pictures too

  7. #7
    Great review, thank you!

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    Excellent review and photos and very good objective feedback. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that!

    A very nice watch that looks well executed overall; is my personnal view from reading your review. I don't own a Tudor although I do like several models in their past and present line-up and as an owner of a matt 5513 the BB58 appeals a lot.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together, appreciated.

  9. #9
    Fabulous pictures, I'm envious of your photographic skills!

    Write-up is excellent too. Sadly, as much as a like just about everything about the Tudors, the hands kill it for me...plug ugly.

    David

  10. #10
    Craftsman WhopperSenior's Avatar
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    I called my AD about one of these. I tried the regular size BB recently and really couldn't get on with the blocky size of it. This seems to be a really nice step from Tudor. I do wonder if they will release a load more variants at Basel next year though. I think a GMT in this case would be a real winner.

  11. #11
    Craftsman Tazmo61's Avatar
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    A very good review with some great pictures . Thank you for posting .

  12. #12
    Master
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    Great macro pics. I with you agree about the pretend rivets.

    I've had mine a few weeks now and it does seem to tolerate a variety of different straps. I forked out for the Tudor fabric strap, but I think it looks good on just a basic sand coloured nato, as well as 'raw' suede type straps.












  13. #13
    Craftsman WhopperSenior's Avatar
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    Forgot to say, wonderful pictures and a very helpful review. Many thanks

    P.s. what camera gear are you using to achieve these shots?

  14. #14
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhopperSenior View Post
    Forgot to say, wonderful pictures and a very helpful review. Many thanks

    P.s. what camera gear are you using to achieve these shots?
    Thanks! Nothing fancy, a Sony a6000 + mad skillz. ;)

  15. #15
    Journeyman
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    Great review and even better pictures.

    What camera / lens did you use?

  16. #16
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    I tried it on numerous straps and my favourite was a vintage tropic.
    Last edited by yonsson; 22nd October 2018 at 12:51.

  17. #17
    Journeyman
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    Nice review. Every review Iíve seen had reinforced my liking for the BB58.

    However, I canít bring myself to put down a deposit without trying one on first. My AD claims to have about 100 on order and Iím now on their secondary wait list to look at one of these as it passes thought to the purchaser!

  18. #18
    Craftsman jchlu's Avatar
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    Nice write up and pics, thanks.
    If only they'd drilled the lugs I'd be all over it.
    Imagine shoulderless bars and a bond NATO on that - lovely.
    Johnny.

  19. #19
    Craftsman jimmbob's Avatar
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    Great pictures. It's an absolute belter of a watch. A modern classic (potentially), it reminds of the watches Rolex used to make.

  20. #20
    Excellent review and fantastic pictures. BB58 is on my wishlist too.

  21. #21
    excellent review loved that lug macro shot

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

  22. #22
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcleminson View Post
    Great macro pics. I with you agree about the pretend rivets.

    I've had mine a few weeks now and it does seem to tolerate a variety of different straps. I forked out for the Tudor fabric strap, but I think it looks good on just a basic sand coloured nato, as well as 'raw' suede type straps.


    Yes, that looks a really nice combination.

  23. #23
    Apprentice
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    I Ďneedí one!😁

  24. #24
    Craftsman
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    Great review great watch

  25. #25
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jchlu View Post
    Nice write up and pics, thanks.
    If only they'd drilled the lugs I'd be all over it.
    Imagine shoulderless bars and a bond NATO on that - lovely.
    Johnny.
    It kinda suits most things tbh


  26. #26
    Craftsman jchlu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBin5 View Post
    It kinda suits most things tbh

    I do love a perlon.

  27. #27
    Master
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    Really nice looking watch. But I find the hour hand awkward.

    If it had sword or Mercedes hands it would be a real winner.

  28. #28
    Great post.
    Thanks for sharing

  29. #29
    Master
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    Thanks for the detailed review and superb macro shots. Love the chamfered edges on the lugs!

  30. #30
    Master mindforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Really nice looking watch. But I find the hour hand awkward.

    If it had sword or Mercedes hands it would be a real winner.
    Then you'd prefer a Ginault as it has sword hands. That's my struggle, having had the larger Black Bay, I now have a Ginault and while the BB58 is now better proportioned, I don't see where the extra cash goes otherwise.

  31. #31
    Thanks for your in-depth review and awesome photos.
    As soon as I got mine, the bracelet came off and fitted with a fabric strap, so really didnít pay much attention to it.
    I love seeing the many variety of straps being fitted to the BB58. And would love to fit a leather strap, but I just canít get past my belief, that a leather strap is not practical on a divers watch.

  32. #32
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBin5 View Post
    It kinda suits most things tbh

    Have you tried it on an Erika's? Thinking it would look good on a Black Ops. Shame she doesn't do one with a gold centre line. Red could work though.

  33. #33
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsunami View Post
    Have you tried it on an Erika's? Thinking it would look good on a Black Ops. Shame she doesn't do one with a gold centre line. Red could work though.
    I wanted the gold centre line but as you say she doesnít do it so I havenít tried it on EO yet

  34. #34
    Master Steve264's Avatar
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    I had the original BB with burgundy bezel and I loved the watch while I had it. This looks even better - in fact, from the photos from OP I'd say it is one of the best looking diver's watches I've ever seen.

    Unless I exert superhuman control, I can see me ending up with one before year end

  35. #35
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Thanks for a very informative write up, it seems Tudor have addressed most of the points that initially put me off buying, case dimensions and crown tube spacer being things that didn't work for me, the issues you found with the bracelet are minor to me as I wouldn't use it anyhow, the only 'fly in the ointment' is the lack of drilled lugs however I will now pop and try one when next in town.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  36. #36
    Master
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    Excellent critique and pictures. I just need to find one that is available.

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