First Session With The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition
We should have seen this coming. But we didn’t. Ever since Tudor announced their cooperation with the French Marine Nationale, we’ve been waiting for a special navy version of the Pelagos. In vain. But instead, we got a METAS-certified black ceramic Black Bay and now, after a gold and silver version of the “BB58”, there’s a bronze version. As I said, we should have seen this coming. Read about my first session with the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition…
After gold, comes silver, and in third place you get bronze. That order is set in stone, in sports anyway. But is 18K better than .925 Sterling Silver or bronze when we’re talking watches? Now that we’ve seen, worn, and experienced both the new gold and silver versions of the “BB58” we can compare them with the new Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition. A very “bronze”, bronze watch if you know what I mean, because of its bracelet in that very special, very nautical metal. The bracelet features the new T-Clasp with fine adjustment. During the presentation, I found out that this smooth system which works very precisely.
Bronze has a distinct scent that makes me think of the old Dutch five cent coin…
The bronze Tudor uses ages but doesn’t stain and oxidize as some other bronze watches do. What Tudor’s bronze alloy still does, though, is smell a certain way. Bronze has a distinct scent that makes me think of the old Dutch five-cent coin that contained 95% copper. Bronze, of course, is an alloy of copper and tin. The aluminum in Tudor’s special alloy doesn’t have an odor, but what it does is control the amount of patina.
Thinking of “Root Beer”
So, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition has a fragrant aura, but it also has strong visual appeal. Do you think “Root Beer” when you see this new brownish creation? When you examine the watch closer, there are more differences than similarities with the €36,400 Rolex GMT Master II in Everose gold (ref. 126715CHNR), but it’s certainly got that root beer “flavor” to it. Or what about this Rolex 6542 GMT Master in darkened 18K yellow gold we featured on Fratello Watches in 2018?
Maybe we should call the €4,270 Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition the “Root Beer Light”?
But let’s not get carried away by finding a nickname for a watch that yet has to prove itself. It will get one in due time. The rich brown color Tudor uses for the brand’s first boutique-only watch shimmers lustfully on the domed dial where it turns from a lighter shade to a deep dark brown once it reaches the indexes and anodized aluminum bezel.
The new Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition is version number ten
Apart from the materials used, the shapes and sizes are standard BB58 — there are now no less than ten different variations of the BB58 available. So what you get is a bronze 39 × 11.9mm brushed bronze case that measures 48mm from lug to lug. Inside the 200m water-resistant case beats an in-house movement, the recently introduced COSC-certified, 4Hz caliber MT5400 with a silicon hairspring and 70 hours of power reserve.
…for some reason it still uses the visually more pleasing version of the MT5402.
That movement debuted in the new gold and silver BB58’s and was on display behind a transparent case back. The bronze version has no see-through case back. Instead, it has a bronze-colored steel case back. But for some reason, it still uses the more visually pleasing version of the MT5402. The movement with the bigger, case-fitting base plate, that is. You want to know why? Me too, but Tudor will say they did that because they thought it was the way to go. Because they already scheduled a production run of the MT5400 for the earlier introduced versions, and it would just mess up planning if they were to start producing the MT5402 again, is my guess.
Find one of around fifty boutiques to try and buy the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze
We will get a chance soon to dive deeper into this very nautically inspired Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition that will only become available in around fifty Tudor boutiques throughout the world. The watch comes on a very solid-looking and feeling bronze bracelet and an extra NATO strap that completely changes the appearance and character of the watch. With the full bronze riveted bracelet on, the shaded matte “brown-bronze” dial with applied hour markers and Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock pops up.
When combined with a jacquard fabric strap in the same brown tones, the dial blends in and stays more in the background. One thing you can’t and won’t miss are the “Snowflake” hands with Super-LumiNova coating.
A first grab, wear and feel session: the half-time score
The shape and size of the Fifty-Eight model make it my favorite Black Bay. But does this one-out-of-ten BB58s take first place when I rank all ten of them? Difficult question. Let me give the half-time score now and the final answer to that question once I can spend some more time with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze: For now, it takes third place.
The Fifty-Eight 925 is my favorite so far because of its originality and soft shimmer. And the Fifty-Eight Navy Blue takes preliminary second because of its stunning colors. Let’s see if the “living” bronze version, which is completely satin-brushed for a very soft touch, can charm its way to the highest step of the podium?
For more information on the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition, please visit the official website.
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