Review: The New Tudor Blackbay 58 GMT

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

One of the most talked about novelty of Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024. The highly anticipated Tudor Black Bay 58 GMT. With travel plans filling up our calendars, here’s why we think that you need Tudor’s latest travel watch.

Review: The New Tudor Blackbay 58 GMT

The Tudor Black Bay 58 GMT retails at SGD 6,320 for the watch on rubber strap and SGD 6,630 for the watch on steel bracelet. Prices is inclusive of GST and is correct at the time of publishing.

The Tudor Black Bay heritage

Tudor Black Bay is the collection that revived the brand in the recent years. After introducing the Black Bay line in 2012, the range has been aggressively expanded so that there is a model for everyone. And has become a staple among collectors.

The Black Bay 58 is perhaps one of the more popular lineups within the collection. The 58 is a reference to the first Tudor Divers’ watch released in 1958. The watch featured a water resistance rating of 200 meters, and is affectionately known as “Big Crown” ref. 7924. The Black Bay 58 was re-introduced in 2018 with a gilt dial (black dial with gold hands and indices). This was followed up with the Black Bay 58 Blue in 2020 and a few other variants in materials such as Bronze, Silver and Gold was progressively introduced. Interestingly all the numerous variants of the Black Bay 58 are time only, with no additional complications. But in 2024, Tudor decided to include a GMT function into the Black Bay 58 series.

Tudor is no stranger to GMT watches. They released the Black Bay GMT and the Black Bay Pro, both with a second timezone. Notably the Black Bay GMT initially came with the “Pepsi” colour way with black dial, Steel and Gold and finally in white dial with a “Pepsi” bezel. However, the proportions for these Black Bay GMT and the Black Bay Pro were on the large and chunky side for many. Until this novelty was launched in Geneva this year.

The Black Bay 58 GMT (Bottom) and the Blackbay 58 (Top) for comparison.

The Black Bay 58 GMT came at the right time when travel restrictions around the world have been lifted. And “revenge travelling” is trending. Certainly makes the watch an ideal companion for such individuals.

First Impression/ The Case

The slender 39mm case size is retained from the Black Bay 58. The Black Bay 58 GMT is 12.8mm thick while the time only Black Bay 58 stands at 11.9mm, thus the GMT feature added only 0.9mm to the thickness of the case.

Apart from the thickness of the case, Black Bay 58 GMT features a what many call a “Coke” bezel which is a black and red coloured bezel. This is a 24 hour bidirectional bezel that is commonly found is GMT watches and can be used to aid the wearer to find a third timezone on the GMT watch.

When worn, the watch feels very familiar. Especially to owners of the base Black Bay 58. Much to love and ready to be your best companion for your next adventure from the beach. Imagine jet-setting from Fiji Island to the Glaciers in Iceland. The 200m water resistant rating is a great excuse to go swimming in the Maldives too.

The Dial

The Blackbay 58 GMT retains the tradition of satin black dial with gilt accents. This is somewhat of a tradition for Tudor to release this colourway of satin black dial with gilt accents in their launch models. This was evident in the Black Bay Heritage and the Black Bay 58. We find that the colour combination to be quite beautiful. And while many might have missed it, we just love the satin black dial with its softly radial-brushed effect subtly shining under direct light.

The Black Bay 58 GMT also features the iconic snowflake hands on the hour and GMT hand, an element which may have come to closely with Tudor. The second hand has a lollipop design that reminisce of the early diving watches from the brand. The all hands and indices are filled with Grade A Swiss Super-LumiNova® luminescent material that enables it to glow even in the lowest lighting environment. Works perfectly in the dimmed plane cabin interior during a red eye flight.

The Movement

The driving force behind the hands that displays all the information is the all new GMT movement from Tudor. The C. MT 5450-U features the impressive METAS (Federal Institute of Metrology) certification. The words “Master Chronometer” is proudly written on the dial as a indicator of the stringent requirements to meet the METAS certification. This is one of the new standards that the Tudor have implemented since the move to their new facility. The first watch to benefit from it is the Black Bay Ceramic in 2021. Tudor have further committed to the certification by implementing it in all their latest refreshed range of Black Bay watches starting from 2023.

So what is Master Chronometer? Master Chronometer watches must operate within a daily variation range of 0 to +5 seconds, surpassing the -4/+6 seconds precision tolerance of the COSC certification.

Diving deeper into the MT 5450-U, the movement is also a true GMT, which means that one is able to adjust the 12 hours hand independently. It is impervious to magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss, helpful for going through airport security. This is made possible by a non-magnetic silicon balance spring in the watch. And to round it up, the 65 hour power reserve makes it a weekend proof watch.

The Bracelet/ Strap

The Black Bay 58 GMT is available in two strap options, one in the “rivet-style” 3-link bracelet which pays an homage the riveted bracelets used by TUDOR in the 1950s and 1960s. Secondly, a cut-to-size black rubber strap option is also available and comes with three sizes to fit its owner’s wrist. They are both complimented by the “T-Fit” clasp. It is an “idiot proof” system that requires no tools. It offers the wearer five positions of instant adjustment with the length of 8mm. Our favourite feature of the clasp is the ceramic ball bearings that ensure a smooth and secure closure, though this is evident in many Tudors but we still love it for the attention to detail.

Competitive Landscape

The main competitor of Tudor’s Blackbay 58 GMT is itself. Talk about sibling rivalry. The closest competitor is probably the Tudor Black Bay Pro, which at SGD 6,080 for the watch on bracelet and SGD 5,620 on either leather or fabric strap is close to the asking price of SGD 6,630 for the BB 58 GMT on rubber strap and SGD 6,320 for the watch on steel bracelet.

The Black Bay Pro has the same 39mm case diameter as the Black Bay GMT, but the Pro is much thicker at 14.6mm as compared to 12.8mm of the Black Bay 58 GMT. The Black Bay Pro also features a fixed bezel so, it is thus only able to display 2 timezones instead of 3 on the 58 GMT.

Another candidate is the Bell and Ross BR-05 GMT, currently retailing at SGD 8,000 on bracelet and SGD 7,200 on rubber strap.

Both are true GMTs. But the Bell and Ross does stand out is its iconic square case. This would attract individuals who would not like to confirm to the norm of having a round cased watch. Apart from that, the Bell and Ross feels avant-garde in its design as compared to the vintage inspired Tudor.

A third competition hails from the LVMH group and we are considering the Bvlgari Aluminum GMT, with a current retail of SGD 5,330. Apart from the functional similarities, the Bvlgari has the stand out feature of very short lugs. Allowing this Bvlgari a good fit those with smaller wrist. A compelling reason for those in the “Tiny Wrist Club”.

Concluding Thoughts

We are not surprised that the watch is a great hit amongst seasoned collectors. But we think it will also be a great hit at the entry level.

What we are looking forward to is the other colours that the Tudor will be releasing next. Would it be the “Batman” colour way? A “Bruce Wayne”? Or perhaps another “Pepsi“? Why don’t you tell us your predictions too!

*All watch prices are right as of date of publishing on the 4th of July 2024


About Author

Comments are closed.