Tudor Introduces the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K

Ultra-luxe value proposition.

Tudor’s first-ever solid-gold dive watch is making its debut at Watches & Wonders 2021. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K has a case in 18k yellow gold – in a sleek, brushed finish – along with a gold-flecked green dial. (And the Fifty-Eight 18k is launching alongside the more affordable Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 with a sterling silver case.)

And despite being ultra-luxe for Tudor, the Fifty-Eight 18k is very much like the rest of Tudor’s offerings in being a value proposition, with a retail price of a bit over US$18,000 – a solid deal for a solid-gold dive watch.

Initial Thoughts

If there is one thing this year’s Watches & Wonders has made abundantly clear, it is that green is the new flavour of the day. The Fifty-Eight 18K is one of many green watches being launched – but doubtlessly the best value proposition – and Tudor opted for a dark, rich green that complements the case metal.

Stylistically, the new Fifty-Eight models are polar opposites. The sterling-silver 925 is reserved and subtle, while the 18K clearly has greater visual impact.

The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K comes with two straps: alligator leather and fabric

The Fifty-Eight 18k is expensive for a Tudor, with a retail price of US$18,340. That’s over US$15,000 more than last year’s navy blue version in steel. But – and this is a big but – when compared with the precious-metal dive watches made by practically every other brand, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K is a bargain in relative terms.

Green and Gold

The 39 mm case of the Fifty-Eight 18K is entirely brushed, a prudent decision since a mirror-polished finished on a gold sports watch can look overly flashy.

It’s matched with a green dial that Tudor describes as “golden green”, a dark green inflected with hints of gold and finished with a fine, granular texture. Notably, both the hands and applied hour markers are also solid yellow gold, a first for Tudor.

The aluminium bezel insert is a shade darker than the dial, best described as olive, with its scale in gold

The satin finish of the case also extends to the bevel running along the upper edge of the case

The in-house MT5400 is visible through the sapphire case back. Because the back is open, the watch is slightly thicker than the steel Fifty-Eight, at 12.7 mm high against 11.9 mm for the steel model.

The MT5400 is a high-spec movement made by Kenissi, the movement manufacture co-owned by Tudor (with Chanel being the other shareholder). Though the smallest proprietary movement in Tudor’s catalogue, the MT5400 still boasts 70 hours of power reserve, a non-magnetic silicon hairspring, and a free-sprung balance wheel. And it is rated to run within -2/+4 seconds per day.

As with the Fifty-Eight 925, the interior of the gold case has thinner walls than its steel counterpart, due to the density of gold, which is double that of stainless steel. This was presumably done to ensure the gold version is not excessive weighty compared to the steel model, which is why the MT5400 has a wide base plate compared to the otherwise identical MT5402 found in the steel Fifty-Eight.

The MT5400 with its noticeably wider base plate

Key facts and price

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K
Ref. 79018V

Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 12.7 mm
Material: 18k yellow gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 200m

Movement: Cal. MT5400
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Both alligator leather and fabric, each with a pin buckle in yellow gold

Availability: Only at Tudor boutiques starting now, available at retailers subsequently
Price: US$16,800; or 23,040 Singapore dollars

For more, visit Tudorwatch.com.

Correction April 10, 2021: The retail price in US dollars is US$16,800, and not the price stated before.

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