If it’s a watch with stylish heritage and rugged appeal that you want, Tudor is still the way to go. In fact, there’s one Tudor model that rises above the rest, and that’d be the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, which today gets an update in the form of the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze.
This iteration of the famed Black Bay, a design originally launched in 1958, is available in about 50 of the watchmaker’s boutiques worldwide for a cool $4,525. It takes its name from the distinctive shaded matte "brown-bronze" dial and satin-brushed bronze case, both designed to age gracefully over time.
When you see what’s gone into the production of this watch, you’ll understand why Tudor watches are rarely matched as far as material innovation is concerned.
And since the watch is classically sized at 39mm and boasts a waterproof rating down to 200 meters (like the original Black Bay), this handsome timepiece will certainly see its fair share of wear. “Tear” is out of the question, though. This watch is made out of a “living metal,” in this instance a high-performance aluminum bronze alloy preferred by naval engineers when working with parts prone to corrosion, like propellers.
That should tell you how strong and durable that material can be, and when you find yourself with a watch on your wrist made out of said material, consider yourself fortunate. This timepiece will develop a patina over time, but won’t break down.
The process Tudor used to develop this bronze is as exacting as deep-sea engineering itself. Once produced, Tudor forms the bronze alloy into bars, which are then cut down into slugs a few centimeters in length. Once these small cylinders are heated up, they’re stamped individually with a “friction screw press, applying a pressure of many tons” -- that’s only the start, but the material is close to the watch’s middle case.
A whopping 40 steps take the material from there towards its final destination as a rugged, uniquely handsome watch, including forming and shaping the case, testing its waterproof capabilities and adding other functional components, like threading or drilling.
The bracelet is also the first from the lauded watchmaker to be made entirely from bronze, with satin-brushed links that will patina at the same rate as the case. It’s a watch born out of processes that work closely with one another, and the end result of wearing this watch mimics that same effect.
As far as the dial itself is concerned, it features Tudor’s characteristic “snowflake” hands and a design meant to call to mind 1950s watches from the brand. It’s a remarkable watch that’s so much more than the sum of its parts: You’ve got your own stories to craft with this watch, after all.