In the watch world, boutique editions refer to models that are sold directly by a brand at its own stores, rather than by multi-brand retailers. It’s one of the ways for a brand to build customer loyalty, especially when the need to protect brand equity does not allow it to offer the discounts that external retailers often do.
Typically, boutique editions have a special feature, such as a dial colour that you won’t find anywhere else. In creating its first boutique edition, Tudor made sure it was really something special: The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze is the first bronze version of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, which is slimmer (11.9mm thick) and smaller (39mm in diameter) than regular Black Bay watches (41mm for the steel models and 43mm for the bronze ones). Like the reference 7924 aka “Big Crown” from 1958, a key inspiration for the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, it is water-resistant to 200m.
The brand also went beyond just pairing a sought-after model with a popular case material. The new watch also features the brand’s first bronze bracelet. (Tudor is, however, not the first Swiss watch brand to create one; Oris took that title last year with its Sixty-Five Divers Chronograph Holstein Edition.)
Like Tudor’s other bronze watches, a range that began with the Black Bay Bronze in 2016, this new model is made from aluminium bronze. According to the folks at Tudor, the aluminium-copper alloy ensures the development of a more controlled and even patina. The alloy used by Tudor is apparently 1.5 times harder than other types of bronze, and has a hardness on par with steel.
This quality definitely came in handy when the brand was creating its first bronze bracelet. Most bracelets and cases will inevitably get scratched because, y’know, life — but nobody needs this process to be sped up. Featuring satin-brushed links and rivets, the bracelet is inspired by Tudor bracelets from the ’50s and ’60s. The brand emphasises that the bracelet will develop a patina at the same pace as the case, so there’s no need to worry about a driver’s tan-type situation arising on your timepiece.
Like other brands have done recently, Tudor has added a micro-adjustment system to its bracelet with a new clasp (in bronze, of course). The system, which Tudor calls T-fit, allows the user to easily adjust the length of a bracelet by 8mm in five positions. When you want a change, just reach for the additional brown fabric strap that comes with this timepiece.
Keeping the palette harmonious, the domed dial features a gradient “bronze-brown” hue. It combines elements from earlier Black Bay Bronze watches: The brown (non-gradient) dials of the first models from 2016, and the gradient dial that debuted, in grey, in 2017. A unidirectional rotating bezel in bronze with an anodised aluminium insert features gold-coloured 60-minute markings, which add just a tiny dash of flash, and match the hour markers and hands.
Powered by the in-house calibre MT5400, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze is a COSC-certified chronometer with a power reserve of about 70 hours.
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze Boutique Edition retails for S$6,240.