Everything you need to know about the Tudor Pelagos
The Tudor Pelagos is a watch that has captured the hearts of watch enthusiasts and diving enthusiasts alike. Its history is not only fascinating but also shows the evolution of Tudor as a brand. More recently it's their new Tudor Pelagos 39mm that’s really taken the watch market by storm and for good reason, with a whole new design, fit and bracelet and clasp, it really is a masterpiece. This piece has really shown how Tudor can produce a phenomenal watch with all the new features watch enthusiasts having been wanting to see. Today we are going over the history of the Tudor Pelagos and focusing more on their brand new exciting Pelagos 39mm.
Tudor was founded in 1926 by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf as a brand to offer high quality Swiss-made tool watches at a lower price point. Tudor watches shared many similarities with Rolex watches in terms of their design and reliability. However, Tudor had a distinct identity, and its watches had a unique character. The Tudor Pelagos was first introduced in 2012 with the watch paying tribute to Tudor's long history of producing high-quality diving watches. The Pelagos was named after the Greek word for "deep sea," which was fitting as the watch was designed to be a diver's watch. It was built to withstand extreme conditions, including deep-sea diving, so much so the French Marines adopted it as their watch.
The design of the Tudor Pelagos was inspired by the brand's vintage diving watches but made with a modern touch. The Pelagos featured a titanium case and bracelet, which made it lightweight, comfortable to wear and very durable. The watch also had a ceramic bezel, which made it very scratch-resistant, you can quickly begin to see why several military groups around the world adopted it onto their wrists! The Pelagos had a water resistance of up to 500 metres, which made it one of the most capable diving watches on the market.
Their bracelet is what really had people talking and more specifically their clasp. It featured a resistant spring which was designed as a level up from a glidelock system. Instead of you taking the watch off your wrist to adjust it, the springs system would naturally adjust to your wrist. As your wrist expanded or contracted, as did your bracelet, pretty unique and practical features for a dive watch!
Source : W.Bruford
Source : Hodinkee
One of the most unique features of the Tudor Pelagos was its helium escape valve. The valve allowed helium to escape from the watch during deep-sea diving, preventing the watch from becoming damaged. This was a feature that was initially developed by Rolex in the 1960s and was later adopted by Tudor for the Pelagos. The Tudor Pelagos has gone through several iterations over the years and in 2015, Tudor introduced a new version of the Pelagos that featured a blue dial. This watch was known as the Tudor Pelagos Blue and in 2017, Tudor introduced a new version of the Pelagos that featured a matte black dial and a new movement. This watch was known as the Tudor Pelagos LHD since it came in a variation that could be worn for left handed wearers which is really good to see Tudor trying to make watches for a wider audience.
However, despite having an impressive list of features and being an all-round excellent dive watch for the money, it was a watch that required a distinctive taste in dive watches.
Whilst the clasp was ingenious, it didn’t necessarily look as clean as other dive watch clasps and the matte bezel, matte dial and big square lume-filled hour markers made it a watch that people either loved or hated. Being a Tudor, it wasn’t designed to be a ‘look at my watch and show off’ kind of watch, it was built with purport and performance as its philosophy.
But, Tudor being Tudor quickly recognised this and wanted to offer a highly capable dive watch but with more traditional dive watch looks. So last year in 2022 Tudor answered many enthusiast prayers and gave us the new Tudor Pelagos 39mm.
Source : Monochrome Watches
Source : Wrist Advisor
The Pelagos 39mm features a titanium case and bracelet, which makes it lightweight and comfortable to wear much like the previous Pelagos. The watch also features a ceramic bezel, which makes it scratch-resistant and durable, however this one features a brushed sunburst finishing on it. This gives it a whole new look and feel to the watch making it more wearable in casual scenarios. With the new upgrades and looks, their water resistance has been lowered to 200m, which whilst is much less compared to the previous 500m, is still plenty. For most dive watch wearers, it is nice to know your watch can function half a kilometre under water but most will never really go below the 10-50m diving range.
The watch is powered by Tudor's in-house movement, the MT5612, which has a power reserve of 70 hours and with a COSC-certification, it has undergone rigorous testing to ensure its accuracy and precision. One of the most notable features of the Tudor Pelagos 39mm is its new black gloss dial. The new dial paired with sunburst ceramic bezel really makes the watch pop and come to life on wrist playing with the light an awful lot more than its older models. The dial has been redesigned to be more legible and features a bold hour marker at 12 o'clock. The hands and hour markers are coated with luminescent material, which makes them easy to read in low light conditions. However, one key feature was one seen on the Black Bay 58 bronze, Tudor T Fit clasp which was essentially their own take on the Rolex submariner glidelock clasp.
Source : ZEALANDE
The bracelet has been redesigned to be more comfortable and to provide a better fit featuring a three-link design that is both stylish and functional. One of the most notable features of the new Pelagos 39mm bracelet is its new clasp design. The clasp has been redesigned to be more intuitive, easier to use and have a more sleek and elegant overall appearance. It features a folding mechanism that is operated by a single button. This makes it easy to put on and take off the watch, even with one hand. The clasp also features a micro-adjustment system that allows for fine-tuning of the bracelet length which. Not to mention it’s also very useful that you can do this very quickly as it shares a very similar design to the already loved and well-known Rolex Submariner Glidelock system. A tried and tested clasp that has become one of the most famous within the watch world so it’s no surprise Rolex’ sister company Tudor would make their own version at some point.
Source : ZEALANDE
The links on the bracelet have also been redesigned to provide a better fit and have a slightly curved shape, which conforms to the shape of the wrist. This provides a more comfortable fit and prevents the watch from moving around on the wrist whilst also looking very elegant. This seems to be the overall appearance Tudor was going for when designing the Pelagos 39, for a Pelagos watch in Tudor’s line up it has less performance compared to its other siblings. However, despite having less water resistance, maybe not quite the same level of legibility nor an automatically adjusting bracelet, does that really matter?
Source : ZEALANDE
Everyone will have their own opinion and view but one way to look at it is, if they’ve already got two colour options for the classic Pelagos, why not make a Pelagos that can be worn as more of a daily watch compared to a serious tool watch? Look no further than Tudor’s own online shop, look at the advertisement and the pictures taken of the Pelagos 39 over its 42 mm brother. The Pelagos still offers strong and impressive performance but equally good looks making it so much more wearable to more people. Whilst on the topic of wearerability, Tudor also includes their own rubber strap with the Pelagos 39 which features solid end links. This goes to show the level of attention to detail Tudor go to and they think of it all, the rubber strap uses a classic tang and buckle system with plenty of holes on offer to get the perfect fit. With the Tudor logo on the buckle and metal end links to connect the rubber strap to the case, you can’t say they didn’t think of everything!
Tudor made one extra change to the Pelagos 39 as well, and that’s the date, or rather the lack of a date. This gives the watch a perfect symmetrical dial with no fuss about it, often a very attractive feature to watch enthusiasts. Additionally, you could even argue the Pelagos therefore has a more durable movement inside of it as it is a time-only movement, there are less parts to go wrong.
There’s a reason the Rolex Explorer and the Tudor Marine Nationale don’t feature dates…Of course, this does not mean that if you own any watch with a date that it is going to break! The clean, elegant and classic looks of the Tudor Pelagos 39 really do offer the whole package in terms of a perfect dive watch to people.
The saying used to be ‘you buy a Tudor because you can’t afford the Rolex’, however with Tudor new watches, you would buy the Tudor because you want it. We are not going to debate whi9ch is better, the Pelagos 39 or the Rolex submariner no-date, but they are both in a very similar category and have great offerings. For around 4,600 USD, and being a solid and incredible well-made watch from a prestigious brand, you will struggle to beat the Pelagos 39 in the dive watch segment and certainly for the money!
Source : ZEALANDE
Another reason why this Pelagos 39 has been so popular is the fact that it is now sized to most people's wrist. The older model was 42mm in diameter and nearly 15mm thick which unless you’ve got a wrist size over 18 inches, it’s going to look quite big. Even with wrists big enough, 15mm is quite high and it certainly wouldn’t fit under a dress shirt and would always be protruding out on the wrists with a jumper. For some that might be a desirable feature but most people prefer case sizes from 39-41mm with a case thickness less than 11mm. This range of specifications suits most people's wrist a lot better than larger watches so the Pelagos 39 really hit the nail on the head in terms of increasing the amount of people that could wear the watch should they want to. As previously mentioned, combined with its new more traditional colours and finishings and its size, the Pelagos 39 can be worn in more scenarios as well. Overall, Tudor has made this Pelagos incredibly versatile which has appealed to many more people which is a great move for Tudor.
Source : Le petit poussoir
The screw down crown and 100m water resistance gives you confidence when wearing your DateJust, despite being a luxury watch, it was designed to be worn a lot and in multiple different environments. The 5mm easy link adjustment is perfect for quick adjustment of the length of the bracelet on-the-go. With both the time and date displayed, it provides an elegant source for quickly seeing the two most useful day-to-day features of a watch in an elegant form.
Despite the Tudor Pelagos 39 coming with a rubber strap, sometimes people prefer to have a seamless transition between the rubber strap and the case. This means having no metal end link and having a perfectly fitted rubber strap that hugs the case and your wrist. ZEALANDE have not only developed a new rubber strap to fit the Pelagos 39 like a glove, it has also added some new features which make it even comfier! Once you’ve put the strap on, oftentimes you're left with excess fabric to tuck in under a keeper that floats around, becomes loose and then the excess strap sticks out. This can sometimes be uncomfortable and annoying as it can catch on things. Thankfully, here at ZEALANDE that is no longer a problem, with an extra hole at the end of the strap the keeper can grip it and always stay perfectly in place.