Tudor's latest Black Bay 58's offers something a bit different with a silver case. But is it just a gimmick?
Earlier this year, Tudor surprised everyone by releasing the Black Bay 58 in solid silver and solid gold. Whilst it was inevitable that Tudor would continue to expand the popular Black Bay line, I don’t think anyone predicted that they’d branch out into precious metals.
I’ve got to hand it to Tudor for trying something different with the Black Bay 58. It would have been all too easy for them to have just put out a new colourway and called it a day. And with a retail price of £3,230 it offers the chance to get a precious metal watch for not much more than the steel versions.
The watch shares the same specifications as its steel brothers. A domed sapphire crystal, 200m water resistance, and a chronometer certified movement with 70 hours power reserve.
The case is still 39mm, but it’s 12.7mm thick compared to the 11.9mm of the steel models. This is because the new diver has a display case back. The MT5400 movement doesn’t have much in the way of decoration, but I think it’s still nice to see it ticking away.
What’s Great About The Black Bay 58 925
On paper then, the 925 is as great as Tudor’s other Black Bay 58’s. But specs aren’t everything, and Tudor’s bold choices when it comes to colour and case material are bound to be divisive.
But, whilst the talking point of the Black Bay 58 925 is the fact it’s silver, in my opinion that’s not its greatest strength. What I think is, is the watch’s appearance. Grey is an unusual choice, and as a result the BB58 925 is a very striking watch. Technically the shade Tudor has used is taupe, which has a warmer tone than plain grey.
In fact, one of the nicest things about the Black Bay 58 925 is that the colour of the dial and bezel changes drastically depending on the light. It changes from light grey with a hint of green in the sun, through to a darker grey/brown in lower light.
Unlike the steel-cased Black Bay 58s, the case of the 925 is fully brushed. Combined with the taupe of the dial and bezel this gives the 925 a “matte” look that makes it feel very different from previous 58’s with their polished case sides.
Unfortunately, the watch doesn’t come on a bracelet, but the leather strap option is very good. The leather is nice and supple, and the buckle is solid silver to match the case.
All this means that the BB58 925 looks fantastic on the wrist, and thanks to the dynamic nature of the taupe, it really pops, despite being monochrome.
Why Use Silver?
However, for all it’s strengths there’s something about the 925 that just keeps nagging me. Why silver?
Sure, there are other sports watches in precious metals. Both Rolex and Omega offer solid gold options of their flagship models. But those pieces sit at a completely different price point to the Black Bay 925, being about ten times the cost.
The reason Tudor gives for choosing silver is that it’s brighter than steel. In fact, they went so far as to develop their own alloy to maximise the material’s luminescence. And to be fair, when you put the BB58 925 next to the original steel Black Bay 58, it is indeed a little brighter.
But I have to say I don’t really care about that compared to the fact that silver is far softer than steel. Then there’s also the issue of tarnishing. Tudor claim that their alloy doesn’t tarnish, but YouTuber The Watch Idiot has already demonstrated his BB58 925 has started to tarnish after a month’s wear.
I’d also say that actually, I think the biggest visual difference between the 925 and the original BB58 is that the 925 has an all-brushed finish, and that could of course be done to a steel case.
Which brings me back to my original question – why silver?
To be honest, the only reason I can think of is so you can say your watch is made from a precious metal. Going by Tudor’s marketing video for the Black Bay 58 925, it seems to me as though they’re aiming this at a more casual, fashion-oriented audience than us die-hard watch nerds.
So, personally, I don’t see the appeal in paying more for a silver case over the steel options.
Ultimately, for me the Black Bay 58 925 is something of a paradox. On the one hand it offers some great tweaks on the popular Black Bay 58 design. I think that the choice of taupe is a clever move on Tudor’s part. It’s reminiscent of the faded “ghost” bezels of vintage dive watches, and it’s an incredibly unusual colour to see on a watch.
However, on the other hand I feel like the choice of silver doesn’t offer enough benefits to justify the price increase over the steel models. Personally, I don’t think making the case from silver really adds anything to the Black Bay 58 design, but rather takes away from it. At the end of the day, I’d much rather have a grey Black Bay 58 in a steel case that comes on a bracelet, than one made of soft silver that’ll tarnish.
Don't forget to check out our other articles on the rest of the Black Bay 58 family:
We'd also like to thank marks.watches on Instagram for lending us the watch to review.
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