You kind of forget that silver is a precious metal very connected to the watch industry history. In particular with some very collectible vintage pocket watches.
So it completely surprised many, myself included, when we saw that the always-popular Black Bay Fifty-Eight was released in full-on satin-finished 925 silver. This was the watch we wanted to see in person, in hand and on the wrist. And photos do not live up to the real thing.
There is a shimmer, a warmth, a look to silver that you might not quite get, especially since you really don’t see it in any modern wristwatches. On it’s own, you feel there’s something a little different. Once you put it down with a steel case model though, the difference becomes more apparent. The shine is a little different, the look seems to have a little more … seriousness, personality perhaps? Less austere or clinical maybe? Combined with the somewhat monochromatic color treatment (taupe dial and bezel) and the brown leather bracelet it comes with (with its own 925 silver buckle) or perhaps even better the silver-grey cloth strap, the watch has very special look.
The choice of silver is a challenging one. It isn’t something you would normally expect for a dive watch, as the material tends to tarnish somewhat easily as we all often see in probably our most familiar touchpoint, sterling silver silverware. Tudor’s answer is to create a special alloy meant to be more resistant to change and have it presented in a kind of matte that has both subtlety and shine. And yes, remember that silver is a metal that is softer than steel. The dial color (they call it taupe) is a great match, clean and minimalist but also subtly elegant. This is one of those watches that non-enthusiasts might notice but not really know why. The case size is familiar, at 39mm in diameter. And in a very nice touch, it has a see-through sapphire crystal caseback which allows you to see the appropriately simply-finished movement.
Everything else is as-expected Tudor. The sapphire crystal on the front is domed, the crown screws down to allow the 200-meter waterproofness. That crown by the way is also 925 silver, of course, with the TUDOR rose appearing in relief. Speaking of proofness, this is also one of those weekend-proof watches with the Manufacture Calibre MT5400 COSC-certified movement providing seventy hours. The bezel is, as it should be in a dive watch, unidirectional in rotation. It is also 925 silver with an inserted disk of matte taupe anodized aluminum with silver gilded marking and numerals.
Our clear favorite of the 2021 releases (so far) the silver Black Bay is a simple watch that has its own special reason for being in any collection.