Watch of the Week: The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue Recreates a Piece of Dive Watch History

tudor
Courtesy Tudor

The new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue checks a lot of boxes: strong military pedigree, robust construction, and classic proportions, to name just a few. This timepiece is the latest iteration of Tudor’s popular Black Bay Fifty-Eight line of dive watches, each one inspired by the company’s “Big Crown” dive watch released in 1958. The crisp navy blue color of this particular model recalls the Tudor watches that the French navy adopted in the 1960s and ‘70s. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue combines that military history with a striking mid-century design and a modern movement for an all-around impressive dive watch.

“I love when brands pay tribute to defining moments in their history,” says Men’s Journal Fashion Editor Kevin Breen. “The nods to their past combined with the sleek modern technology and great pricing definitely makes this one of my favorite new launches.”

tudor
Courtesy Tudor

If you’re not up to speed on the history of Tudor dive watches, here’s a quick overview. The company released its first dive watch, called the Oyster Prince Submariner, in 1954. 1958’s “Big Crown” watch received its moniker thanks to its large 8mm crown, but it also stands out as a major technical step forward in the Submariner line: It was the first Tudor dive watch to attain a water resistance rating of 200 meters.

According to Tudor, subsequent Submariner watches caught the attention of the French military, and the Marine Nationale (the French navy) became prominent customers. The current Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue takes a cue from a Tudor dive watch released in 1969, which was the first to feature a blue dial and matching bezel. The Marine Nationale eventually adopted the color scheme, known as Tudor Blue, for its standard-issue watches in the 1970s.

All that history makes the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue an interesting conversation piece; the bold colorway and classic aesthetics make it a handsome accessory, too. The sleek 39mm stainless steel case bucks the trend toward ever-larger men’s watches, and it features a domed navy blue dial with luminous “snowflake” hands—another hallmark of Tudor dive watches that first appeared in the late 1960s. The rotating bezel (a dive watch staple; it allows for precise time tracking) is attired in matching navy blue and features silver-gilded markings.

tudor
Courtesy Tudor

True to its military roots, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight can handle the rigors of daily wear. It’s powered by Tudor’s COSC-certified MT5402 self-winding movement, which is made in-house and is tested to ensure no more than a few seconds’ variation per day. In addition, the Fifty-Eight features a 200-meter waterproof rating—yes, you can take it for a swim—and it has a 70-hour power reserve. According to Tudor, the lengthy power backup makes the watch “weekend-proof.” In other words, you can take it off on a Friday and wear it on Monday without having to wind it.

Of course, a watch this rugged and good-looking deserves to be worn on the weekend. To really highlight the eye-catching color of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue, opt for the matching navy blue fabric strap that Tudor has released along with it. Even the strap has some unique history: It’s made on vintage French jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company, which Tudor has partnered with for the past 10 years. The strap’s silver stripe and clasp make a great complement to the watch’s deep blue and steel color scheme—and add another considered detail to a timepiece that definitely has a story to tell.

[$3,700; tudorwatch.com]

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