BB58 vs. BB41

It seems that the BB58 has become arguably the most recommended watch on the interwebz right now, far eclipsing it’s big brother, the Black Bay Heritage 41mm.

After living with both for a while, I’m starting to prefer the 41mm. I have a smaller sized wrist, about 6-3/4”, pics attached for reference.  Despite the difference in diameter, lug length, height and weight, the 41 remains a surprisingly comfortable watch to wear in spite of its heft.

When someone is comfortable wearing a Speedy, Planet Ocean, modern Submariner or any of the oversized Grand Seikos, I think the 41 is the more appropriate suggestion (unless someone is specifically asking for a much smaller watch) but nobody ever seems to make that suggestion.

Do you think there is any way to rehabilitate the reputation of the Black Bay Heritage to give it the love it deserves with regard to the BB58?

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I honestly prefer the BB58, coming om somne oning a speedmaste….

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I‘m not sure.  I have 7.25“ wrists.  I have a Submariner and a Speedmaster, and both wear smaller than a BB41, no doubt.   I have a Seamastester Diver 300m too, which definitely wears bigger than my Sub or Speedy, but that also wears smaller than the BB41.  The BB41 is a thick watch with a large lug-to-lug span.   I have tried both sizes, and both are great watches, but I prefer the BB58.

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Unfortunately never had the chance to try on the 58 but the Heritage Blue was great! Actually did not expect to like it so much. Definitely is and looks thick though, which can turn people away.

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It is all subjective but the 39mm x 11.7mm case of the BB58 is a crowd pleaser. Now that we have thankfully left the big watch thing behind us people are beginning to appreciate more wearable watches and the BB58 is the perfect size. Not that 41mm is big by any means but 2mm does make a huge difference. 
 

PS you mentioned the speedy in your post lumped in with a few other  larger watches but did you know the the case of Speedmaster Professional is actually 40mm? It is only when you include the crown guards that it measures 42mm. I don’t know why Omega does that but it is not a 42mm watch. I generally prefer 40mm and under and my speedy is just right.

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Honestly, I think the original Black Bay with the ETA movement is the goldilocks version. Thinner than the current in-house movement version, more interesting dial with the rose logo and smiley face text, and modern 41mm diameter. I passed on one a few years ago and regret it more and more as prices have continued to climb. 

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I love my blue BB58. It fits me perfectly. The proportions of the watch, however, are largely determinative.  My 40.8mm Seiko Presage (SARX055) and 45mm Seiko Turtle PADI edition in some ways fit my 6.75" wrist better than my Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Chronograph which is only 38mm, but very thick.  I recently ordered a Datejust and opted for the 36mm in black over the 41 because I think proportionately, it suits the intended use of the watch and will fit my small/medium sized wrist better. If I had a +7" wrist, I would probably feel differently. Regardless, I love them all big or small!!!

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It’s all relative to what you’re used to wearing. Before getting a speedy I felt the BB58 was at the upper end of what I would comfortably wear and what would work on my wrist. Now switching between the two, the BB58 feels small, yet hefty which I do appreciate, but could see how someone might want larger + hefty out of a dive watch. I also like how the blue bezel BB heritage has the black dial. I was initially drawn to that color configuration over the classic BB58 and the blue bay 58. 

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I own an ETA powered BB Heritage and it's my favourite of all my watches and is the one I stare at most whenever I give it some wrist time!

I bought it knowing it was quite chunky and, if I'm honest, would probably still have bought it even if the BB58 had been around at the time. My Oris dive watch, Seiko Prospex and humble Duros are all bigger than the Tudor so it doesn't feel overly large to me. 

Definitely a keeper! 😍

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Watchme1

It is all subjective but the 39mm x 11.7mm case of the BB58 is a crowd pleaser. Now that we have thankfully left the big watch thing behind us people are beginning to appreciate more wearable watches and the BB58 is the perfect size. Not that 41mm is big by any means but 2mm does make a huge difference. 
 

PS you mentioned the speedy in your post lumped in with a few other  larger watches but did you know the the case of Speedmaster Professional is actually 40mm? It is only when you include the crown guards that it measures 42mm. I don’t know why Omega does that but it is not a 42mm watch. I generally prefer 40mm and under and my speedy is just right.

I had a Speedy Pro but traded it.  It took me a long, long time to pull the trigger on it initially because it always felt huge on me.  After owning it for a while, that feeling remained.  Despite the size difference, I find that the BB Heritage fits my wrist more comfortably.  

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Adan.A

I love my blue BB58. It fits me perfectly. The proportions of the watch, however, are largely determinative.  My 40.8mm Seiko Presage (SARX055) and 45mm Seiko Turtle PADI edition in some ways fit my 6.75" wrist better than my Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Chronograph which is only 38mm, but very thick.  I recently ordered a Datejust and opted for the 36mm in black over the 41 because I think proportionately, it suits the intended use of the watch and will fit my small/medium sized wrist better. If I had a +7" wrist, I would probably feel differently. Regardless, I love them all big or small!!!

I came into the hobby via vintage 33mm watches.  For a long time, I had a hard cap of 40mm for modern watches.  Almost everything felt huge compared to my vintage collection. 

It was actually the Breitling SOH that changed my mind when I found the 46mm looked and fit better than the 42mm on my wrist.  After that, I started looking at the factors that made watches feel or fit better other than simple diameter and trying on a wider variety of models.  Now I’m quite comfortable wearing watches as large as 44mm. 

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I own both the speedy and the 58 in blue.  The 41 is just too thick and slab-sided for me.  I love the proportions of the 58, but I'm glad you're enjoying your 41.

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BNordo

I own both the speedy and the 58 in blue.  The 41 is just too thick and slab-sided for me.  I love the proportions of the 58, but I'm glad you're enjoying your 41.

I have the BB58 and the 41.  I find myself drawn to wear the 41 instead of the BB58 even though I don’t have a very large wrist.

I never see the 41 recommended and I find that puzzling considering it‘s such a great watch that, albeit large and heavy, still offers great comfort on the wrist.

I traded off my Speedy before I got my BB58 but I have to believe there is a night/day difference between those two on the wrist despite the nominal diameter difference. 

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There absolutely is a huge difference.  I have a 7-1/4” wrist. I could easily wear the 41, but the thickness leaves me wanting.  I can’t help thinking that others feel the same way. That being said, Tudor doesn’t seem to be moving away from it, and that is a good indication that they are still selling well.

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I have the BB 41mm GMT and I absolutely love it.  As a corporate pilot, I use the GMT complication and the 'traveler / true GMT' time changing capability several times a day when I am at work.  Typically, I like to wear something smaller when I am not working and there are a several watches that I switch between.  A few weeks ago I was in Vegas looking around at Watches of Switzerland.   I was hoping to find a fixed lug Pelagos to try on.   They had none in stock and I started wandering around looking at Grand Seiko's etc.   Right as I was leaving I decided to try on a Blue BB 58 39mm.  I immediately handed the sales associate my credit card and said "Make it so".  Personally, I can't say enough good things.   It's a watch that has been hyped and talked about to the point that many people are put off.  For me it's a watch that brings great joy every single time I put it on.  It can't replace the GMT but it's the one I prefer when I don't need the GMT (Tudor doesn't make a 39mm GMT).  Prior to owning either Black Bay, I didn't like the snowflake hand-set.  The GMT was purchased more out of necessity than love.  I had been using quartz GMT's forever and I wanted an analogue / automatic with traveler style capability.  There are very few of these and most are twice the price of Tudor.  It was only after wearing and using the BB GMT that I was able to appreciate and eventually like the snowflakes.  They can be read easily and quickly from any angle.  They are always legible, even when the hands are stacked on top of each other.   The snowflake GMT hand extends all the way to the edge of the dial and next to the bezel numbers that correspond. It's all very well thought out and other watch makers should take notice.  To me, they are worthy of the hype. I didn't think anything could come close to Sinn quality and readability.  Even if Sinn decides to make a true GMT,  I'm keeping my BB.  

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I went intending to buy the 58 then had both on to try in the AD and much preferred the 41. It felt like it had the right amount of weight and fitted a lot better.

I think I definitely got caught up in the 58 hype to start with but in hindsight I think that's driven by watch YouTubers who tend to have small wrists and/or more leanings towards the vintage aesthetic, but the BB 41 blue isn't really that vintage because it doesn't have the fo patina or gold hands. It's a more modern feeling watch and suits the modern size better.

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I've owned both the BB Blue 41mm ETA "Smiley" and the BB 58 Blue. The 41mm ETA on a steel bracelet was just too heavy and slab sided for me. But the BB 58 Blue was the most comfortable, most well balanced watch I've ever owned on a steel bracelet. Almost wish I never would have sold the BB 58. Fortunately I was able to buy the only watch that made me forget all about BB58 Blue... a Pelagos FXD 21.