Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight Review: 79030N

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N

Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight Review: 79030N

Tudor is a brand that no longer needs much introduction.

Originally established as a branch from Rolex as an idea by the Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf to create a watch brad that would produce watches that would offer the same reliability and quality as a Rolex watch but at a lower price. But today, Tudor has established itself to become so much more than that.

Through its many new collections of watches, as well as new in-house movements, Tudor has proven itself strong enough to stand on its own legs. And the brand has shown that Tudor should not be regarded as a daughter brand of Rolex, but rather an own branch that manufactures watches that offer extremely praiseworthy Swiss watches that hold extremely high quality.

One of the watches that has allowed Tudor to demonstrate this is the Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight and this is the model we are going to do a full review of in this article.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Review: History & Background

Before we go into a detailed review of the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight, we need to wind back a few years, more specifically to 2012 in order to understand where the Fifty-Eight is coming from.

2012 was the year when Tudor introduced a brand new collection of diver’s watches, the Heritage Black Bay collection. The release of the new collection was one of the many releases that Tudor did during the years of the brand’s relaunch after having been absent from many markets for a longer period of time.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay ETA

The Heritage Black Bay model was 41mm and featured a Tudor-modified ETA movement. The model took inspiration from all of Tudor’s different dive watches that it had produced in its earlier history, in particular in the 50s and 60s, and the result was a dive watch that combined vintage design elements from Tudor’s vintage dive watches that people have come to love, with new design and technology elements.

Since then, lots of things have happened, and in 2018, Tudor released a completely new variant of its standard Heritage Black Bay watch, and they did so with the introduction of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N

The Tudor Heritage Black Bay was released at Baselworld in 2018 and became an instant success. For the novice collector, the Fifty Eight can, in simple terms be described as a slimmer version of the existing Black Bay model, but the truth is that it is so much more than that.

To begin with, the Black  Bay Fifty-Eight features a 39mm case as opposed to the standard 41mm. Furthermore, Tudor also reduced the thickness of the watch from 15mm to 12mm. The watch also got smaller lugs to better fit the smaller design, moving from 22mm to 20mm.

There are two main reasons for the introduction of a smaller version of Black Bay Fifty-Eight, and the first one is that many people complained about the 41mm Black Bay’s size. This is the feedback that can especially be taken into consideration considering the fact that Tudor updated the first Black Bay 41mm watch to also include an in-house movement, and the result was that the case thickness was increased slightly.

Black Bay 79230 vs 79220

Tudor Black Bay 79230 thickness vs 79220
Black Bay 79230 vs 79220

And while we are only talking about a few millimeters in thickness increase between the first Black Bay 41 and the in-house Black Bay, it has quite a big effect on how the watch wears, and I am speaking from my own experience.

The second complaint that people had, which led to the introduction of the Black Bay Fifty Eight was that the 41mm Black Bay, while it did feature vintage-inspired elements, did not stay true to the size ideals of the vintage Tudor Dive watches. The vintage dive watches from Tudor are 38 and 39mm in diameter, but the modern interpretation of 41mm, while adapted for the size ”standards” of today, creates a disconnect from the original dive watches that the Black Bay took its inspiration from.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-EightTudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N

The result was the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight – a watch that not only embraced vintage design elements from Tudor’s vintage dive watches but also embraced a more traditional size. The new watch was a way to answer a lot of people’s prayers, and the result was that this model became a huge instant success. One complaint that some people had was its faux patina – faded lume plots that are made in a yellowish hue as opposed to the standard white color which gives the watch a warmer (and more vintage) appearance, but more on this later.

The Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight is not just a watch that has taken the very best from all the vintage dive watches from Tudor and mixed them into one, but it is a watch that is a modern interpretation of one specific timepiece, which can be revealed in the name. The name Fifty-Eight refers to the year in which Tudor released a new dive watch. In this case, it was the Tudor reference 7924 from 1958.

Except for the noticeable visual differences, which we will go more into detail about further on, and the considerably slimmer case, the Black Bay Fifty Eight has also received a new, smaller in-house movement, the caliber MT5402. The movement free-spring balance wheel, beating at 28800 VPH and a 70-hour power reserve, and with this technical data, it shows that Tudor is no longer playing around. It is a brand that means serious business and that it is entering a new era – an era where Tudor is independent of Rolex, and which has no reason to be compared to its bigger brother.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight Review: quick specifications

Diameter: 39mm
Thickness: ~12mm
Lug to lug) 47.5mm
Bracelet: 20/16mm

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight review: Case

Let’s begin with the case of this watch.

The 39mm is a first for Tudor for the Black Bay range. But considering the huge success of the Fifty-Eight, I can with confidence say that it sure isn’t the last. Mark my words. I am certain that Tudor will introduce more color variants of the Black Bay Fifty Eight, but there’s also a possibility that Tudor will introduce the case size to some of the current Black Bay variants such as the GMT and Chronograph, but I cannot be as certain that this will happen in the near future.

I can draw this conclusion taking into consideration that developing a brand new watch (at least in terms of size) is not a cheap investment, and now that Tudor has the necessary tooling for the case, dial, and bracelet components for the watch, it makes sense from a business standpoint. Especially when factoring in that they developed a brand new movement – but more on that further on.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N for sale online

And lastly, with Tudor essentially having introduced a brand new platform for high-end dive watches of a more traditional size (yes some brands are already doing it to some extent), it is not unlikely that other brands will follow in the future.

The biggest difference with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight is its case size. On paper, a reduction of 3mm in diameter and a 3mm reduction in its thickness, as well as lug size, may not seem like a huge change, but the effect this has on the way the watch wears is astonishing.

Measuring 39 x 47.75 x 11.9 millimeters, the case really stays true to the way the early Tudor and Rolex dive watches wear. In that sense, the Fifty Eight will give not only give you a vintage look but also a vintage feel, which is perfect if you don’t want to rack up tens of thousands of euros for the original. For those who find the 41mm Black Bay too large and clumsy (and I know of many), the Fifty Eight is the perfect alternative.

Tudor Black Bay 79220 VS 79230 ETA VS IN-HOUSE

Tudor Heritage Black Bay fifty-Eight 79030

The reduced thickness makes the watch sits super slimmed on the wrist, which makes it work surprisingly well with a suit as it slides under a cuff with ease. But at the same time, it has the sportiness needed for everyday and perhaps more casual use. Furthermore, the diameter of the watch is brought in, but the dial-to-bezel proportions have been tweaked by increasing the relative size of the dial opening. This allows the watch to get smaller without looking much smaller.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay fifty-Eight 79030

What also contributes to making the watch look slimmer is the fact that it is not a pure block of steel, but rather broken up more evenly among the case-back, mid-case, bezel, and crystal.

What you will find with the Fifty Eight is that the slimmer lugs have a huge impact on how the size of the case is perceived on the wrist. On the Tudor Fifty Eight, the lugs are brushed and feature the signature polished bevels – which not only has become a signature for the Black Bay line, but also for vintage Tudor and Rolex dive watches. Upon close inspection, you will notice that the lugs are slightly angled towards the wrist, which allows the lugs to ”hug” the wrist, of course without compromising comfort. For the vintage Tudor nerd, this can also give associations to the earlier Tudor 79090.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight M79030N-0002 for sale online

The rest of the case is polished and features crisp edges, and the whole thing feels solid and well-made. Just like you would expect from a modern Tudor.

What we can say about the caseback is that it very very much reminds of Rolex with a brushed finished with a coin edge in order to prevent the wrong people from opening the case, and potentially tampering with the movement.

 The caseback is slightly domed which gives the case a slick silhouette, but most importantly, gives room for the movement.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N

Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight review: Bezel

The bezel of the Black Bay Fifty Eight is unarguably quite thin – considerably thinner than the Black Bay 41. But just like its bigger brother, it is made of aluminum. This is of course also the same as vintage Tudor and Rolex Submariners. The choice of aluminum instead of modern ceramic can be understood for several reasons.

Firstly, aluminum allows the bezel to be thin, but it also allows the watch to be what it was meant to be in all aspects, which is a vintage-inspired dive watch. And while ceramic has its advantages, it feels like the use of ceramic would harm the vintage feel of the timepiece.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N

The bezel also introduced something that is new for the Black Bay line, and that is a gilt bezel. Unlike the standard Black Bay 41mm with a black bezel, which features white numerals, the numerals and markings on the Fifty Eight bezel have been painted in a yellowish/golden color that matches the indices and the luminous material. This allows the dial and bezel to feel more connected to the dial, creating unity.

The bezel is unidirectional, like essentially all modern dive watches and when rotating it, it gives a very pleasant click sound. As you would expect, the bezel has a 60-click mechanism as well as a locking mechanism at 0/60 where it takes a bit more effort to turn at that spot, to make the bezel perfectly stop at 12 o’clock.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

The bezel feels high quality and is easy to get a grip of and operate.

The aluminum insert is matte which tones down the watch a bit but also matches the matte dial perfectly.


There is not a lot to say about the crystal. Like all Black Bay watches, the Fifty Eight features a sapphire crystal. This crystal has an anti-reflective coating on the inside. It does not offer the best legibility out there but it works.

Of course, some may argue that if the Black Bay Fifty Eight would want to be a hard-core vintage-inspired timepiece, it would use plexiglass, but there are obviously many advantages of a sapphire crystal, and Tudor probably felt that the use of a sapphire crystal was more appropriate.

The sapphire crystal is slightly domed, but only slightly.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight


The crown of the watch feels qualitative and solid.

The first Black Bay watches had an etched Tudor rose with black color inside, but over time, this color proved to come off on some watches, which has resulted in the fact that Tudor on the Fifty Eight now has a raised rose logo on the crown side.

The crown has a coin edge which allows for good grip.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N

Today, Tudor has moved to use a shield as a logo, probably because it is seen as more modern and suitable for the brand’s image, but the choice of adding the old rose logo on the crown is a fun touch and reference to Tudor’s past.

Compared to the earlier Black Bays, the crown tube has been shortened, and the crown of course screws into the crown tube for water resistance.

Tudor 58 Bracelet

What you will notice when putting the Fifty Eight (on the bracelet) on the wrist is that it feels extremely slim. Like the updated Black Bay 41, it has faux rivets on the side which is a reference to vintage Tudor and Rolex watches.

The rivets are something that split opinions. Some people absolutely love the rivets and the vintage style it offers, other people absolutely hate it as they, in reality, have no practical benefit. It is only for visual appearance.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N-0001

The bracelet tapers a total of 4mm towards the clasp which of course improves comfort when wearing it. Before the clasp, the bracelet is 16m, but as you know, the lugs are 20mm.

The clasp has 3 holes for micro-adjustment, but something that of course would have been really good would be if it would feature Rolex’s clever Glidelock system, but this would, of course, make the bracelet too bulky.

In terms of comfort, you won’t be disappointed with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight bracelet. Of course, like the other Black Bay watches, the Fifty Eight is available to purchase on either a fabric strap, leather strap, or bracelet, but the bracelet is the way to go. Not only does it look the best (in our opinion), but shall you wish to buy the bracelet later, you will pay far more for the bracelet than if you buy the whole watch on the bracelet originally. The bracelet has removable links, which means Tudor has replaced some rivets for screw bars.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N-0001Tudor Fifty-eight 79030N

In Black Bay fashion, the clasp has a distinct shield shape like the Tudor shield logo. You also have a flip-lock that keeps the clasp in place. The closing of the lock has a ceramic ball to make sure that it can handle countless opens and closes, this is a small detail but it is greatly important in order to ensure that the clasp works flawlessly for years to come.

The bracelet is finely brushed which gives it a rugged and sporty look and polished on the sides.

Dial and hands

The dial is of course very much Black Bay. The elements on the dial are essentially the same as a Black Bay 41, however, it does feature some differences.

The Black Bay Fifty-eight has a matte black dial with a rich texture. This gives the watch a very warm and welcoming appearance, but perhaps most importantly, it stays true to the vintage look that the Fifty Eight is striving to achieve. This is particularly in mind considering all early dive watches from Rolex and Tudor (including that released 1958) have matte dials.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

If you are familiar with the dials of the standard Black Bay, the Fifty EIght dial is nothing new. It still has the telltale Submariner-style hour markers composed of lume-filled, rose gold appliqués. The luminous material has been in a color that makes it look old and vintage, also known as faux patina. And as mentioned, some people love this detail and think that it contributes to making the watch look more vintage. What is good about the lume color is that Tudor has not gone all in on the faux patina color, but only made it slightly off-white. This makes the vintage-inspired lume color noticeable, yet still very discreet.

Around the edge of the dial is a closed index of hash marks for the minutes/seconds rendered in a faux-rose gold print. In the center, you have the logo under 12 and the depth rating plus chronometer text above 6. The snowflake hour hand has become standard on the Black Bay line, so it’s not surprising that the Fifty-Eight got it as well. The snowflake hands are a matter of taste, as not everyone seems to love them, but still, they have a very relevant connection to Tudor’s history, and therefore, they are very much relevant on a watch like the Fifty Eight. The hands are t finished in polished rose gold. They are ok in terms of finish but nothing extraordinary.

At the very bottom of the dial, you will find the “Swiss Made” text, which can be hard to notice from some angles thanks to the domed glass.

The matte black dial against the rose gold hands with lume always makes it easy to tell the time on the Tudor Fifty EIght, so this is not something that you’ll ever struggle with, and the snowflake hands really help here.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight


Now to perhaps the most important part of the match.

The first versions of the Heritage Black Bay models feature ETA movements, but in 2016, the Black Bay line was updated and used in-house calibers.

For the regular person, an in-house movement may mean nothing, but for the watch nerds, the use of an in-house movement is a major deal. Since 2015, when Tudor introduced the North Flag, Tudor has continuously introduced more and more watches featuring in-house movements.

This includes the Heritage Black Bay 41, Black Bay GMT, and several more. The use of an in-house movement in the Tudor Fifty Eight is quite an important step, as it not only helps Tudor differentiate itself from its competitors (there are not a lot of other brands out there that offer a 39mm diver’s watch made in extremely high quality, featuring an in-house movement). Plus, I can guarantee that we will see more in-house calibers from Tudor in the future, and this is because the brand is working hard to establish itself as more luxurious and prestigious, and get rid of the “little brother of Rolex” mark.

And introducing their own in-house movements is definitely a step in the right direction, as it shows that you are a watch company that means serious business.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

What is particularly interesting about the in-house caliber used for the Black Bay Fifty Eight is that considering the smaller case size, the movement’s size has been made to fit the small case. In other words, the movement is not just a regular Black Bay movement which has been fitted in the Fifty Eight. Instead, it’s a completely new movement.

What is particularly interesting about this is that developing your own in-house movement is both difficult and costly. Now, Tudor gets some know-how from Rolex during its development, but with an investment as large as developing a new movement, Tudor obviously wants to take advantage of its movement once it is completed. This brings me back to what I said earlier about Tudor releasing more variants of the Black Bay Fifty Eight.

Because the movement has been developed for a 39mm Fifty-Eight case size, it only fits in such a case. With that in mind, now that Tudor has developed its very own in-house movement, it makes sense from a business standpoint to introduce more watches that feature the new caliber.

The movement that is developed for and used in the Black Bay Fifty Eight is the MT5402. This caliber features the same technical specs as its bigger, older brother, the MT5602 which is featured in the BB41s.

The movement is a COSC-certified chronometer that has a 70-hour power reserve, silicon hairspring, free-spring balance, and 27 jewels. The caliber beats at 28,800bph and features a bidirectional rotor. The core difference between this and the Black Bay 41 Caliber is the size, and this means you have to be much more delicate when assembling and handling it.

The movement measures 26 x 4.99 millimeters, compared to the old caliber which measured 31.8 x 6.5 millimeters.


The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty Eight with a reference 79030N is really a home run for Tudor.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

Almost everyone I have spoken to has expressed interest in the Fifty-Eight and said that it is a beautifully designed piece, with a really great size. Of course, the 39mm size is appreciated by a lot of people, as it sits much slimmer and discreetly on the wrist. But there are people who prefer larger watches that have a presence on the wrist, and if that is you, then the Fifty Eight is probably not for you. At the same time, you have the Black Bay 41 to choose from, and that is close enough.

The Fifty-Eight screams quality in every single part you touch and the introduction of a new smaller Black Bay version is a very interesting direction for Tudor to take, as it opens up lots of possibilities in the future. The Fifty Eight offers great value for money. since for slightly more than 3000 euro, you get an (almost) Rolex-made watch, featuring an in-house movement, having a rich and appealing history, and screams quality. There are not many other brands that can compete with that in this price segment.

When Rolex steel models have become so expensive and hard to get, Tudor can be a great alternative as it offers high-quality watches at a considerably lower price. The Black Bay 41 exists in several different colors, and that’s also how it will probably be in the future as well for the Fifty-Eight.

Quick Specifications

    • CASE: Stainless Steel
    • MOVEMENT: Tudor MT5402
    • DIAL: MatteBlack
    • LUME: Yes
    • LENS: Domed Sapphire
    • STRAP: Steel Bracelet, leather strap, fabric strap.
    • DIMENSIONS: 39 x 47.75mm
    • THICKNESS: 11.9mm
    • LUG WIDTH: 20mm
    • CROWN: Screw-down
    • WARRANTY: Yes
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