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Tudor Black Bay 54 Review

Is the smallest Black Bay the best Black Bay?

Has Tudor finally found the formula that creates the best Black Bay with the Black Bay 54? The downsized (and smallest) version of the Black Bay accomplishes a few things that make it an enticing watch to purchase and open up other brands to downsize their watches. The 37mm dive watch came when some were screaming from the rooftops that big watches are still the trend and smaller watches won’t last. Tudor can be considered a trendsetter in many ways, and the fact that they are dropping a 37mm watch in one of their most popular platforms is telling. That said, how does this watch stack up to its bigger brothers? Has Tudor made sacrifices to get it a few millimeters smaller? Let’s take a closer look.

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On the Wrist

Once I stopped listening to the droves of internet neckbeards telling me smaller watches (36-38mm) were too dainty for my 6.75″ (17cm) wrist, a whole new world of watches opened to me. I discovered some of what are now my favorite watches, like the Christopher Ward C63 36mm and Traska Summiteer 36mm, and I am seriously considering adding the Black Bay 54 to that list. This is a 37mm watch that feels a lot bigger than 37mm. Most smaller watches without a dive bezel feel bigger because the dial has more room to breathe in the case width. I’m unsure how Tudor accomplished this same effect with the Black Bay 54, but the dial doesn’t feel smaller or out of proportion to the rest of the watch. It feels like they slimmed down everything around the dial and left it untouched. 

The biggest problem the Black Bay 41 had (and even the Black Bay 58 to some extent) was its slab-sided case. No bevels or flourishes help bring the perceived case height down. The 54 totally escapes this effect with its 11mm case height. While the 54 wears a little more flat on the wrist than the 58, it still has a wrist-to-crystal of 9mm, which is 1mm less than the 58. By the way, Tudor needs someone else to name their watches. All this 58, 54, and 41 that have no correlation to their case size for the first two is infuriating. I’ll step off my soap box now, back to the review.

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I never felt the Black Bay 58 was big on my wrist, and in all honesty, if Tudor had never released the 54, I would still say that it was the perfect size for a dive watch. Now that we have a 37mm diver from Tudor, I’ve softened my position and have been leaning towards the 54 as the perfect size for my wrist. It stays out of the way while remaining functional. If I could make one wish, I would want the lugs to turn down slightly more. The tips of the lugs seem to hang off the sides of my wrist despite the 45.6mm lug-to-lug, which appears to be because of the lack of a turn-down. 

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Tudor Black Bay 54 Specs

Case Width




Case Thickness




Lug Width




Water Resistance









Tudor MT5400



Dial Details

Those familiar with the gilt dial Black Bay 58 won’t be surprised by the dial layout of the 54. From the circle and triangle applied indices to the snowflake hands, the dial of the 54 embodies the classic Tudor/Rolex dive watch aesthetic we’re used to. The one small yet impactful change to the 54 is the change to the seconds hand. Tudor dropped the snowflake hand for a more traditional lollipop seconds hand. This amalgamates the recent Black Bay models and the Tudor 7922 the 54 is loosely based on. I’ve always been a fan of the snowflake hands, but the change to the seconds hand jives a little better with the indices and gives the hour hand more room to shine.

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Tudor has done an excellent job in the overall execution of the dial. The gilt markers and accents all light up beautifully when hit by light. These accents are carried over onto the text of the dial, all printed in gold. As one would expect from Tudor, the hands and indices have an excellent lume application. I only wish Tudor would take the Pelagos approach with the Black Bay line and also lume the bezel. 

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Speaking of the bezel, this is where the only division on the face of the watch might come up. The bezel insert drops the gilt accents of the original Black Bay 58 for silver printing. While the less abundant gilt accenting looks better overall, the silver printing clashes with the cream-colored lume and gilt on the rest of the dial. If the bezel printing had matched the lume color on the indices, it would have created a more cohesive design.

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Case & Bracelet

The case and bracelet execution are mostly similar to the other Black Bay models. Crisp lines and superb finishing decorate the case, and as with every other Tudor I’ve handled, no imperfections are present. There are a few minor changes to the 54, which help accommodate the smaller case size. 

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The crown is scaled down to around 5.7mm. It isn’t too small to grip and operate, but there is room to make it a little larger. However, Tudor changed the knurling on the crown, which made it easier to grip. Each respective Black Bay model has knurling on the crown, which mirrors its bezel teeth. The 54’s bezel teeth and crown have a rougher look, but this also achieves a more vintage look. If the Black Bay 58 was trying to be a modern dress diver, the 54 is succeeding as a vintage-inspired dress diver. 

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The bezel features the same 60-click operation found in the Pelagos and other Black Bay models with the stop at the 12 o’clock position. The only downside to the bezel is that the polished teeth and thin bezel make it trickier to turn. It’s not impossible by any means, but it will slip in your hands if they are wet or sweaty. 

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Tudor has finally started incorporating the T-fit adjustable clasp into some Black Bay models. The mechanism is flawlessly executed with crisp movements and tight tolerances. Pulling the bracelet down will allow it to slide back and forth about 8mm. Theoretically, the bracelet could be adjusted while on the wrist if there is enough slack to pull the bracelet down. Because of this, it would be easier to tighten the bracelet than to loosen it without taking the watch off. This is all packed into a clasp that is about 37mm in length. This isn’t much larger than your off-the-shelf foldover clasps, usually around 30mm long. 

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Final Thoughts

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There isn’t much the Black Bay 54 gets wrong, and for most of the small qualms I have with the watch, they could all easily be overlooked. I always ask a question with a watch like this: “what if it didn’t say Tudor on the dial?” If the Black Bay 54 were any other brand’s 37mm dive watch, it would still be excellent. It does mostly everything well and, for all intents and purposes, is one of the best go-anywhere-do-anything watches you can buy if you’re looking in the $3000-5000 range. 

Is the Black Bay 54 the best Black Bay? For anyone with a wrist size under 7″, the argument can be made that it is. The smaller size sacrifices nothing from its bigger brothers. Tudor would give me a run for my money if they made a blue version of the 58 in the 54’s case size. After all, we all know how much I love blue watches.

Check out more Tudor reviews at The Watch Clicker here

Check out the Tudor website here

More Images of the Tudor Black Bay 54

Comments 2
    1. That is the watch’s height from the top of the wrist to the top of the crystal. Because most watches “sink” down a little bit into the wrist, it gives a more accurate picture of watch thickness

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