Everything you need to know about tudor black bay 54

In March 2023, Tudor did what they do best. Suddenly out of the blue surprise us watch enthusiasts with a new and improved dive watch which offers new highly desirable features. The Tudor Black Bay 54 (aka the BB54) at a first glance could be mistaken for the BB58 however the smaller case size and new bracelet are amongst some of the new updates. Tudor has proven themselves to be a brand that will only make timeless, durable and true tool watches. That said, Tudor listens. They seek out continuous improvement and hence we now have the BB54 so today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about the BB54.

Tudor BB54

The black bay 54, a versatile size

Starting out with the obvious, the BB58 was a 39mm case size so as logic would explain, the BB54 has a smaller case size at 37mm. The new 37mm case size makes for a very well-balanced look and you argue more importantly now caters to more wrist sizes. For those you can wear 41mm watches, a 37mm watch might look too small at first but the smaller case size makes the watch look more elegant and will likely wear more comfortably. But, the biggest advantage of the case size is now more women or men with sampler wrists can wear a nicely sized and well-proportioned dive watch. Many other journalists or female watch youtubers mentioned the struggles of finding a great dive watch that can fit a smaller wrist and Tudor has come in to solve the issue. The case is only 11.24mm tall so it wears nice and close to the wrist which would allow the watch to easily slide underneath a cuff should you wish to wear the watch in a more formal setting. The 46 mm lug-to-lug makes it relatively compact as well so regardless of whether you have big or small wrists, the Tudor BB54 could be your perfect sized watch.

Aside from the case size, the dial has also naturally been reduced in size and retains all the same text print as on the BB58. Currently, the BB54 is only available with a black dial and Tudors famous rose gold guild colour writing, hour markers and hands. The slight new update made on the dial is the seconds hand no longer features the diamond square but now instead a circle. 

With the reduced case size and addition, or perhaps re-addition to be more accurate, of the circular seconds hand is all heading towards benign more accurate to the first Tudor dive watch. The Black Bay line in general did so well because of its looks and features. 

Previously if you wanted a vintage watch you would have to buy a vintage watch and that is of course still true today, however, now you can buy a modern watch with all its advantages yet designed and heavily inspired by a vintage watch. Tudor has again made an excellent watch that has all the charm and feel of your grandfather's watch but with all the features and reliability you would want in a watch in 2023. 

Tudor BB54 on Wrist

Source : Xupes

Tudor BB54 clasp

Source : Hodinkee

On the topic of features, let's discuss the movement Tudor has put in the BB54. The calibre MT5400 beats inside the BB54 and for those who know Tudor well, you will probably have heard this movement in some of Tudor's other new releases in recent times. This is the same calibre that can be found inside the Pelagos 39 and the BB58 made from solid 925 silver. But this is no bad thing, especially given that the Pelagos 39mm is Tudor’s ultimate dive watch so the BB54 is more than well equipped. The MT5400 has an accuracy of -2 to +4 seconds a day which is plenty accurate and the movement itself is COSC certified. 

This essentially means the movement has been tried and tested in various conditions to ensure consistent performance. So, if you are looking to wear the BB54 whilst being highly active, by all means go ahead as this watch can easily cope! The great thing with Tudor movements is that almost all of them have a 70 hour power reserve and the BB54 is no exception to this. That means you can take your watch off on Friday and then put it back on your wrist come Monday and you won’t need to wind it. 

Moving back out onto the case of the BB54, the bezel on the BB54 is something new and a style rarely seen on dive watches. The bezel is made out of aluminium like all other Black Bay lines, to give it that vintage look and less glossy look you’d get with ceramic, but it’s the numbering on the bezel that stands out. Normally, dive watches tend to have minute intervals either from 0-15 minutes or more but the Tudor BB 54 doesn't have any other than marks for every 5 minutes and numbers at the 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 position. 

The 12 o’clock position features a lumed dot with a silver white background instead of the classic red triangle Tudor normally uses. Again, it makes the watch look closer to its oldest sibling, the Tudor Oyster Prince 7922 so for those who appreciate details that pay tribute to its origins, the Tudor BB54 is an excellent watch.

Tudor BB54 on Blue Jean

Source : Worn and Wound

Double Tudor BB54

Source : Worn and Wound

Probably one the most appreciated upgrades the Tudor BB54 has over the other models is its all new bracelet. The style is still the same with the faux rivets but the clasp is a famous Tudor T fit clasp. This is essentially Tudor’s take in the Rolex Submariner glidelock clasp, but that’s no bad thing at all. For starters Tudor is the Sister company of Rolex so it’s not as much copying Rolex as it is Rolex lending Tudor a great design. The Tudor T Fit claps have 8 mm of glidelock extension and this goes for both the bracelet and the rubber strap. 

You can purchase Tudor’s BB54 rubber strap as well which features a metal end link to perfectly blend the case and rubber strap together seamlessly. Another well thought out design feature from Tudor is the lug width of the BB54. Despite being a smaller watch compared to the Black Bay heritage line or the BB58, the BB54 still manages to maintain a lug width of 20mm. This means when it comes to strap options you have plenty of options and if you have any other nato or leather straps from maybe some of your other watches, you can still use them on your Tudor BB54.

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A diver that adapts to any situation

The Tudor BB54 may be that bit smaller and therefore give the appearance of a daintier sports watch but do not be fooled. The BB54, just like the BB58, has 200 metres of water resistance so can easily accompany you on any diving expeditions. So, when it comes to wearing it in a pool or at the beach on holiday you really have nothing to worry about at all. Given it shares the same movement with the Tudor Pelagos 39, you essentially have an ultra-capable sports watch with a sophisticated design and fell to it. Tudor have really taken their time to design this to get it right the first time, and a lot of people would say they absolutely have! However, there is only one model available, you do not have any choices when it comes to colour variations or even different metals. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be quite difficult to choose a Tudor model these days with all the choices but the BB54 makes it easy. It’s the only model you need and want.

Tudor BB54 luminense

Source : Hodinkee

For those wondering if the Tudor BB54 is potentially going to replace the BB58, there is no concrete answer to give. However, compared to Rolex, Tudor does not have a big history of discounting, re-introducing them and discontinuing them again. If you were worried that you should make your mind up quickly in case the BB58 is made redundant, there has not been any indication by Tudor to discontinue the BB58. 

Tudor Black Bay 54 on Black Rubber Strap

Besides, despite both of the watches looking similar, wearing similar and even benign designs for the same purpose, there is still a sufficient difference between them. Between the Tudor Black Bay heritage and Black bay range they now offer sizes in 41, 39 and 37mm. You can definitely make the argument that those three sizes, especially for a dive watch, have the entire market covered. Watch makers will struggle to make a dive watch any smaller without it impacting on water resistance so Tudor really are leading the way here.

Preserving the essence of Tudor

Tudor Clasp for BB54

Source : Hodinkee

The wearability of the Tudor BB54 is excellent, I have seen many people with various wrist sizes wear the BB54 and it works perfectly, even those who would normally wear a 40mm watch. Because of its ultra clean dial, non-busy bezel and shape, it still gives off almost equal wrist presence to the 2 mm wider BB58. Ultimately it will come down to your personal preference but the BB54 is certainly worth a try because it retails for 3,850 USD, that makes it 150 USD cheaper than the BB58. And even though it costs a bit less, you get the modern Tudor T fit clasp which many Tudor owners would say is a must-have feature. 

Not to mention the versatility of the BB54, because of its simple design you can wear it with any outfit you feel comfortable wearing it with. Given that it has a case thickness of only 11.8 mm, for those you like wearing a sports watch with a suit, the BB54 can slide gracefully under any cuff should you wish to dress up with it. Similarly, you can hop straight out from the pool and wear a casual smart outfit and the BB54 will be more than at home on your wrist. The option of a rubber strap option is also nice of Tudor to offer as it gives people the option to make the watch even sportier. 

For those interested in the Tudor rubber strap for the BB54, yes, it still works flawlessly with the Tudor T fit clasp so you can still benefit from the glidelock feature. However, bear in mind that the BB54 with all the links in the bracelet weighs around 139 grams so a rubber strap will make the watch much lighter. This could be a positive if you want to wear the BB54 whilst doing sporty activities as rubber is softer on the skin, far less prone to damage and makes the watch look sportier. But if feeling the weight of a dive watch on your wrist is important to you then you can always enjoy the incredible Tudor bracelet! Just be aware, the BB54 is not like the Tudor Pelagos 39 in that the rubber strap comes with it, you would have to purchase it separately. If you buy the BB54 on the rubber strap instead of the bracelet it will retail for 200 USD less.

To summarise, Tudor’s all new Black Bay 54 is a superb dive watch that has integrated the essence of vintage designs with modern watch specifications. The smaller case at 37mm now makes it wearable to many more watch enthusiasts which is nice to see that Tudor really are looking after everyone's watch needs out there. The use of the T fit clasp was an absolute must and thankfully the BB54 has it. On a side note, if you own both the BB58 and 54, you can swap the bracelet on the BB54 onto the 58 so long as you use the BB58’ endlinks! The rubber strap offering gives customers a little bit of choice and makes for an all-round perfect watch to wear every day and for any occasion. 200 metres of water resistance gives you the confidence to really wear a sports watch and take it with you no matter what you might be doing. It’s a watch you can put on without having to think twice about what you might be doing throughout your day.