Well, well, well, here’s the latest new addition into Tudor’s Black Bay family, a fully blue version dubbed the Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Navy Blue.” While this will come as little surprise to anyone who frequents any of the Tudor enthusiast bases online, the original black/gilt BB58 ranks among the hottest watches on the market today (even more so at its price point), so a new addition – especially one that doubles down on the vintage inspiration – is huge news (even if some of you saw it coming).
So, it’s a Black Bay Fifty-Eight with a lovely, rich blue used for both the dial and the bezel. Like the original Fifty-Eight that was launched at Baselworld 2018 (pour one out) and which got a very close look in Stephen Pulvirent’s A Week On The Wrist, this new reference 79030B is 39mm wide, 11.9mm thick, and employs Tudor’s in-house MT5402 in the same date-free format. You’ll probably recall that the MT5402 features a balance bridge for better shock resistance and stability, as well as a silicon balance spring and Rolex Microstella-style free-sprung, adjustable mass balance – very much a Rolex technology movement. As a small departure from the 2018 Fifty-Eight, this new colorway is available on a bracelet, one of Tudor’s lovely fabric straps in blue with a silver stripe (now celebrating 10 years of production), or a blue synthetic strap made of a tactile material that Tudor says resembles flannel.
So, why navy blue? Or more specifically, why blue for the bezel and the dial, when so many past Black Bay models have only shown color on their bezels? For that, you can thank the French Navy, aka the Marine Nationale. So prolific was the Marine Nationale’s preference for using Tudor Subs as issued watches that an entire range of the brand’s iconic “Snowflake” Submariner is commonly referred to as the “MN.” While MN Tudors came in both black and blue, Tudor picked the blue variant as inspiration for this 2020 model, and that is why we see a blue dial and bezel for the new 79030B.
While we will have a Hands-On post with much more context soon enough, you can get some of the backstory here or even take an inside look at a collection that featured several MN Tudors (few watches have ever looked better on a NATO).
The eventual MN Tudors were born of earlier models that saw time on the battlefield, like Moki Martin’s ref. 7928. Progressing through the ’60s and into the ’70s, Tudor’s involvement with the Marine Nationale not only helped shape the development of their Submariner as a true military-issued dive watch, but legit signed examples of references like the late-60s 7016/0 and the mid-70s 9041/0 are seriously collectible and thus offer an ideal reference for a vintage-inspired watch like the Black Bay Fifty-Eight.
Jumping back to today, I think this is a predictable hat trick for Tudor as they (1) get a really distinctive play on the exceedingly popular Black Bay Fifty-Eight; (2) link back to the brand’s storied and well-documented history as a military supplier, in this case specifically with the Marine Nationale; and (3) they get to bridge both (1) and (2) in terms of leveraging raw collectability with the continued appeal of the Black Bay lineup.
More to come once we get to see this blue beauty in the metal. Until then, get your credit card ready for the waitlist and hit the comments to let us know if you prefer your Fifty-Eight in navy blue or the original black with gilt accents.
Model: Black Bay 58 Blue
Reference Number: 79030B
Case Material: Steel
Dial Color: Blue
Lume: Yes, markers and hands
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Steel bracelet, blue “soft touch” synthetic strap, or blue/silver fabric strap.
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Chronometer Certified: Yes, COSC
Pricing & Availability
Price: CHF 3,200 (soft-touch or fabric), CHF 3,500 (steel bracelet)
Availability: Coming soon