It is Possible
With inspiration from seeing a a Black Bay 58 bracelet with a Rolex Easylink 77200 (from the Explorer I reference 214270) and Evinsky's Sales Post, I was able to fit my BB58 with a Rolex Easylink.
My wife finds it amusing that I claim I"m the 2nd person on the Internet to have done this - May 2020.
The steps are,
- File the BB58 Link Gap - use a fine 2000 grit knife sharpening stone.
- Enlarge the Tudor Hole for EasyLink Spring Bar - with wire gauge drill bits and cutting oil.
Here's the plan,
Taking Apart the EasyLink
I had trouble removing the last screw on the Rolex 77200 link connected to the Easylink. I've read you can apply heat or other methods, but let a professional watch maker take it out and instead polish out the scratches I made,
Enlarge the Tudor Hole for EasyLink Spring Bar
The Easylink pin screw does not fit the BB58 bracelet. We need to use wire gauge drill bits with cutting oil to enlarge.
Evinsky used a Drill Press with Bosch BL0060 60-Piece Metal Index Black Oxide Drill Bit Set along with a gun oil called EWL made by Slip2000.
I used my friend's SEARS Drill Press and oil (brand TBD ) that happened to be sitting in his garage. Start with a drill bit size the that was just one fit bigger than the hole and worked your way up until the Rolex sprint bar fits.
For the actual drilling, we used a drill press and a small vice. My friend is and I built a custom fitting system using scrap wood and a vice. We drilled slowly with med then high speed.
And here is the final result,
After (this is the wrong picture... the hole is much bigger.. will retake on my 2nd attempt),
Filing the Link
You need to file down the Black Bay 58 link. There are two options here. Go with the first option to try it out. Go to the second option if your wrist size happens to need to use the tightest micro hole (circled in red),
|Option||What to Do||Pros||Con|
Connect BB58 Link Directly to EasyLink,
As per the picture below, you remove the Oyster Link. File the BB58 link to fit which I measured to be from to 8.75mm - 8.80mm.
All visible links have the rivets.
Try this first and if your wrist works leave it!
You cannot go to the shortest micro hole on your claps.
The BB58 Link Rivet interferes when you attempt to use the EasyLink fold mechanism to shorten.
Connect BB58 Link to the Oyster Link,
File the BB58 link to fit (note the fit is tighter so you'll need to file down more).
The length combined is 23.75mm
Allows for wrist size that needs the closest micro hole.
Unfortunately, I realized I fall into this category. Removing a full link makes it too small.
Hardly visible, but the connecting link to the clasp will not have rivets and instead be the Rolex 77200 link.
The BB58 Blue uses a slightly different colour of steel.
Evinsky used a fine 2000 grit knife sharpening stone and I used a Stone Grinding machine,
Fitting to the Clasp
Fit to the clasp works out of the box, however, you can't go to the shortest micro hole (1st position circled in red) or the EasyLink will not click. This is due to the rivets of the Black Bay 58 link.
If you really want to use the 1st position, you need to swap in the closest link with a normal Rolex Oyster link. You will also need to file the connecting BB58 link down further to fit against the Rolex Oyster link. I'm going to do this to match my wrist.... more to post once I get it working.
The other end connecting to the clasp works without any modifications,
And here is the final product. Interestingly enough, once installed, you automatically end up with roughly a half-link difference.
Here is the BB58 Bracelet with the EasyLink on the 2nd pin and extended,
And now with the EasyLink folded,
Sourcing an EasyLink
The first one I got from the Rolex Forum just as a part for $400 USD.
This time, I was able to source from an Explorer I 77200 brushed finished bracelet ordered overseas from a friend of a friend.
Using an Explorer Link
The BB58 uses 316L Steel unlike the Explorer's 904L "Oyster Steel" which is a slightly different sheen. And keep in mind, the BB58 Blue steel is a slightly different colour. Not sure of the steel yet, but I assume it's a type of 316L.
If you plan on using the Oyster Link plus, then make sure to be aware... honestly, I can't tell the difference with my eye. Having said that, I happened to find a 316L Rolex Explorer after market link and will report back on once I it arrives.
Source BlackBay 58 Links
Well, I used my extra links. I'm trying to figure out how much it costs to order extra links from Rolex which I'll record here. My friend from China says he can get Tudor Black Bay 58 bracelets on the cheap... again pretty sure not genuine. He says the pricing is similar to the Explorer I 77220 bracelets but I've yet to confirm,
- BB58 bracelet 316L Standard Steel = USD
- BB58 904L Rolex's Steel = USD
Use a low strength thread locking glue to ensure your screws do not come out.
How to apply,
- Best video found so far on how to apply the Loctite.
- When you take out Loctite screws, if stuck, loosen the glue with a blow dryer
- Make sure to clean residue off screw before applying new glue.
- Keep in mind the glue needs 24 hours to cure before using... so to be super safe leave your watch alone for 24 hours.
Franken BB58 Bracelet - First inspiration for customizing the bracelet.