Tudor Brought a Piece of Baselworld to Our Wrists With the Black Bay Fifty-Eight
Because of the global pandemic and cancellation of Baselworld 2020, major Swiss watch brands like Rolex and its sister brand Tudor decided to put off the unveiling of its 2020 Novelties. Traditionally held every March, Baselworld is the world’s largest annual watch exhibition with over a 100-year history and has long been the center stage where the year’s new models are introduced by major watch brands. After organizers announced the cancellation of Baselworld 2020, Rolex together with other top exhibitors announced that they will not join next year’s event, citing policy differences.
The pandemic also put on temporary hold in the production of watches and so it couldn’t firmly give a date when it will announce its 2020 Novelties. Until now. After months of speculation among watch forums, Rolex Philippines gave us a very exclusive preview of the new 2020 Tudor Navy Blue Black Bay Fifty-Eight last July 1. It sounded like they brought a part of Baselworld to our shores and into our wrists on the same day. It was unboxed around the same time as the rest of the world.
Demand for Rolex and Tudor sports watches has been very strong specially in Asian markets, and coming out with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight totally makes sense. The watch remains faithful to the brand’s long tradition of blue sports watches, the Navy Blue version offers a beautiful blue matt domed dial, grained with applied hour markers and classic “Snowflake” hands, which has been a trademark for Tudor diver’s watches. These hands had been around since 1969 and is often a favored detail by watch enthusiasts.
Tudor diver’s watches have been around since 1954, with the introduction of its reference 7922. The first model was only waterproof up to 100 meters and has since become an affordable, reliable precision tool watch.
The Black Bay Fifth-Eight got its name from its year of birth, in 1958 when Tudor diver’s watches were designed to be waterproof up to 200 meters, featuring its distinctive “Big Crown.” The new watch has a 39mm diameter case, keeping with the classic proportions of the watches in the 1950s and is ideal for slim wrists (like mine) and for people who love compact watches with a vintage vibe.
The watch comes with three strap or bracelet options: a stainless steel “riveted” bracelet, blue Jacquard fabric with a silver band, and a blue “soft touch” strap. This year marks the 10th year of the Tudor fabric strap and it became a popular signature for Tudor. These straps are woven in France from 19th century Jacquard looms by Julien Faure, a 150 year old family-owned artisan company. The very first Tudor watch to use this strap was the Heritage Chrono model.
The watch uses Tudor’s Manufacture Calibre MT5402, that displays the hour, minute and second functions. It has all the hallmarks and finishing typical of Tudor Manufacture calibres. Its rotor is made in tungsten monobloc with an openwork design and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, and its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations. It is chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), with its performance going beyond the standards set by this independent institute.
Tudor wants to point out that this calibre has a power reserve of about 70 hours, making it “weekend proof”, which means that you don’t have to wear it over the weekend and it will still run on Monday.
Tudor's brand ambassador David Beckham also posted himself on Instagram wearing the new Navy Blue Black Bay Fifty-Eight and has gotten over a million likes so far. The fashionable football star and celebrity endorser has over 63 million followers on Instagram.
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All Tudor watches sold this year now have a five-year transferable warranty. Currently, only the steel bracelet variant is available. Priced at P182,000 locally, it offers excellent value for sports watch lovers and enthusiasts.