You may find it hard to believe, but the Black Bay collection is already eight years old. The OG Black Bay (Ref. 79220R) from 2012 – back in the days still equipped with an ETA movement – was nice to look at, no doubt. The burgundy red watch just had one flaw: Due to its dimensions it was abundantly present on the wrist – some would even say clunky. Although the inhouse caliber MT5602 was added to the collection in 2016, Black Bay watches were still not meant to be for slim wrists. It really is a bummer, as the watches were (and still are of course) real stunners.
With the release of the first Black Bay Fifty-Eight – only two years later – the long awaited downsizing finally followed. The Ref. M79030N from 2018 retained the vintage-inspired design so dearly loved by many, but this time it came in a much more manageable package: The diameter shrank from 41 to 39mm, the strap lugs accordingly from 22 to 20mm and the case height dropped to a pleasant 12mm. Bullseye! What followed was a genuine hype around the Fifty Eight collection.
There was a lot of speculation in advance and the first leaked images have been making the rounds on the Internet for some time now: A completely blue Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is in the pipeline, so it was said.
The launch of the new reference M79030B therefore did not exactly hit us out of the blue. The watches are a more than welcome and long-awaited addition to the popular collection nonetheless.
From a technical POV, the blue Fifty-Eight is pretty much equivalent to the 2018 version: 39mm case, MT5402 caliber and aluminum bezel. Visually, however, the new edition has a completely different effect.
While the first Fifty-Eight still relied on a matt black dial with gilt accents – resulting in a cozy warm look – the new edition relies on a deep navy blue with chilly silver accents (i.e. indices and hands).
Historically speaking, the colour blue has always played a major role for Tudor. Especially the Tudor Submariner watches, which were once produced for the French Navy (Marine Nationale), often featured exactly this hue. In addition, the extension from black to blue is nothing new on the part of Tudor, as the Pelagos collection already showed: Originally presented in black in 2012, the blue colour was added in 2015.
More info here.