How good is the Tudor Pelagos?
The Tudor brand was founded in 1926 on behalf of the Rolex founder. This is an immediate sign of quality.
Tudor recently released a new version of their famous model, the Pelagos. This used design elements of their Submarina which was designed for the Navy in France, but widely popular in the 70s.
There are some aesthetic changes from the original but they’ve stuck to the design very well. At $4,400 this isn’t a cheap investment, so it really needs looking over in detail.
The Pelagos case has the very same design as the original. It has a 42mm by 50mm by 14.5mm case, which is huge! This case is made of titanium and is bigger than Tudor’s other signature timepiece, the Black Bay. Despite the size, it’s still very comfortable thanks to the lightweight material.
Visually-speaking the design is also similar to the Black Bay, but has a crown guard and escape valve for helium.
The mid-case has thickset lugs running on the side of the case.
The side that has the corn has a bevel that runs smoothly into the guards.
On the reverse you’ll see a number, which is a prime feature for keen collectors.
The titanium on the case is brushed for a sophisticated finish.
The bezel offers impeccable action. It’s wide and flat and easy to grab. It’s unidirectional and offers sixty clicks then locks at the 60 position; a subtle benefit.
The Pelagos has a ceramic bezel insert that’s matte, where it would typically be gloss. This gives exceptional scratch-resistance.
The crown guard and escape value for helium aren’t unique features on a dive watch, they simply offer impact protection. They’re both there as an indication that this watch has expert capabilities. Which it actually does. It offers 500m water-resistance.
The dial has a traditional Pelagos look. The surface is both matt and satin in part. There’s a triangular marker at the 12 position and slimline rectangular ones at 6 and 9. All other hours have a small square.
The markers are beige to match the bezel insert. This small detail gives the whole timepiece a vintage vibe.
At the 3 position there’s a window telling you the date. The cool bit is that it’s on a roulette ring so every day it’ll flick between red and black. This doesn’t give any benefit, per se, it’s just a cool feature of vintage watches.
At 6 you’ll notice five lines of text. This was seen on the older versions and divides opinion on whether or not it clutters the face. Depending on the colour, this can impact how obtrusive it is.
The hands are traditional. They are stocky. The hour is a wide diamond style whereas the minute is more slight, like a sword. They’re luminous, too. The stick-thin second hand offers luminosity, too. In dark lighting it’ll give off a greenish-colour.
Inside the Pelagos is a 26 jewelled automatic with hand-winding movement. You get 70 hours of power reserve with this. You also get a chronometer, which aids the roulette date function.
There’s credibility from this movement being in-house. You get a lot for the actual price of the watch. A lot of technological development from Tudor has been folded into this watch. The only issue here is that you need to take it directly to either Tudor or Rolex to get it serviced.
The Pelagos has a titanium wristband but also comes with a rubber one featuring titanium links on the ends.
The latter is pretty minimal. The links are a bit marmite, but ultimately boil down to personal taste. The rubber makes the watch look more modern, which is why it divides opinion. The Pelagos is a nod to the past, so it’s up to you if you want to adjust the look to suit today or not.
The titanium bracelet has a Tudor-patented clasp that offers expansion of the band. It has ceramic components that make for a smooth and satisfying ‘click’. You can get ½ an in expansion on this band which is just enough allowance to give you the level of comfort you might need in a given situation, without having to take it to a Rolex expert for additional links or a new bracelet altogether.
On the whole, it’s a very comfortable wear. It’s not too large at 42mm (although if you have small wrists, the recommended max case size is 40mm. You can read more about that here.)
The height is a potential barrier. At 14.45mm it’s on the large side and a long cry from svelte, and this is down to the in-house movements on the inside. Saying that it’s a meagre 1mm wider than the Black Bay so if you’re able to notice that, congratulations, you are a genuine watch expert.
The Pelagos is a delicious-looking watch. The classic version in black is considered by many to be dressier than the blue, but again this is a personal choice. The use of beige brings out a retro feel that’s hard not to love. The markers have been added with precision and care has been made to not overly-clutter the face (and again, it depends how you feel about those five lines of text).
It exudes sophistication.
The Tudor Pelagos doesn’t attract the praise it deserves. It’s certainly the best timepiece in the Tudor collection.
The attention to detail and use of only the best materials proves it’s more than style. It offers exceptional accuracy and precision. Titanium and ceramic components mean this is a lightweight but incredibly durable.
It’s got an impressive specification and pays a wonderful homage to the original version.
It’s neither more or less impressive than any of its siblings, a lot of whether you think this is worth the investment is purely down to your own tastes. If you’re curious about Tudor watches, compare this with the Black Bay.
If you’re in the market for luxury watches, our review of the kinds of timepieces worn by stockbrokers and investors will be the perfect eye candy for you; read it here.
The Tudor Pelagos. This is a watch I’ve been dying to get my hands-on for an extended period of time since I first saw it at Basel World in March of last year. And, despite the fact that Tudor isn’t even sold in the country in which I reside, I still felt strongly that we needed to review this watch in detail, for your sake. You see, there seems to be an almost preternatural desire to learn more about Tudor from readers. We’ve received countless emails, tweets, and message about both the Pelagos and the vintage inspired Black Bay, so we did everything we could to get our hands on one. So, without further ado, here is your Week On The Wrist review of the Tudor Pelagos.
And now for the bad news. The Pelagos, and in fact the entire Tudor line is not currently sold in the United States. As I mentioned above, it has been this way since the early 2000s when the brand was not nearly as strong as it is now. I personally believe this is ripe to change, but there is little word on when that might happen. So if you want one of these watches, you’re going to have to work for it (unless you’re based outside of the US, in which case you can just walk down to your local authorized dealer). Should any of that change, you can guarantee we’ll be the first to let you know.
In summary, I loved the Tudor Pelagos. I also love the Black Bay and hope to review it soon. I think these two watches, plus the Heritage Chrono, are exceptionally cool watches for guys that have any appreciation for the great sport watches of the 20th century – especially these prices. I will, after reviewing the Black Bay, probably buy a Tudor dive watch as my summer watch. I will be sure to chime back in when I make that decision to let you know.