Since a while, I’ve been thinking about buying a Black Bay Fifty Eight and two weeks ago, when I was in the store trying out the two BB58 variants on my wrist, figuring out which would be the best for me, I looked at the window next door and saw Pelagos, of course, I couldn’t resist experimenting the LHD variant, which is the one that attracts me the most and that immediately put a big smile on my face and made me realize that we hadn’t yet had the opportunity to talk about this incredible watch here, so I thought “Damn it, let’s do it!”
Pelagos despite being a relatively recent watch that first appeared in 2012, has its ancestors in the historic model of Tudor Submariner that was launched in the first half of the 1950s, but among the various models, what resembles today the Tudor Pelagos is the Tudor Submariner ref. 7021 that emerged in the 1960s and here we note several similarities at the aesthetic level, namely the squares marks on the dial, the snowflake hands, a date window and the crown-guards. Although the Tudor Submariner 7021 is countless times associated with the Black Bay line because of the snowflake hands, the truth is that it has much more similarities with Pelagos. And regarding the LHD variant, I recall that isn’t exactly a novelty, since the crown on the left was introduced in Tudor Submariner watches in 1981 with the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner Left-Hand ref. 9401 as required by the Marine Nationale officers.
But Pelagos is much more than just a watch from the Tudor collection and from Rolex World, it is the first watch produced in titanium and also the first watch with a ceramic bezel with lume injection. The Pelagos LHD variant adds another unique feature, it is the first numbered Tudor watch, as happened in the past with the Rolex Submariner given to soldiers who served in the Vietnam war.
Regarding the Pelagos model, we can find a 42mm satin titanium case, with helium escape valve positioned at 9 o’clock or at 3 o’clock in the LHD version, crown signed at 3 o’clock or at 9 o’clock in the LHD version with crown guards, a ceramic bezel in matte blue or in matte black with luminescence, sapphire glass and numbered stainless-steel case back. A water-resistance of 500 meters that makes it a true tool watch. The bezel has a unidirectional movement, 60 clicks with a “lock” at 12 o’clock in which it is necessary to apply a little extra pressure to turn again, it presents an inverted triangle at 12 o’clock with a circle in the middle that allows it to differentiate itself from the other 12 o’clock inverted triangle on the dial.
On the dial, we can find a raised chapter ring, a blue or black matte dial, square hour markers, a date window at 3 o’clock, snowflake hands, 5 lines of text at 6 o’clock and the inscription “Tudor” followed by the inscription “Geneve” at 12 o’clock.
The watch is powered by the In-house movement Caliber MT5612, with a silicon balance spring held by a traversing bridge that provides anti-magnetism and protection against shock and vibration, offers 70 hours of power reserve and has a chronometer certification by COSC.
The watch comes with a three-link titanium bracelet, with a spring-loaded clasp that allows it to extend and retract, adjusting to the wrist, and is probably the most innovative, functional and comfortable clasp ever produced by Tudor and Rolex. Pelagos also comes with an extra rubber strap in the same colour of the dial.
What the LHD version brings different and captivated me, first the vintage aspect of the watch reinforced by the beige tone of the dial markers and hands accompanied by the same tone of the bezel markers, the tone used is not as pronounced as those that we find in the gilt dials of Black Bay line and to me, it seems to be much more suitable and refined. On the dial I found two more details that delighted me, the first and most evident is the inscription of Pelagos in red, which in the midst of so much monochromatic seems to fit like a glove and helps to break those 5 lines of text that in the eyes of many is exaggerated. On the other hand, it resembles the old Rolex Red Submariner 1680 or the Rolex Double Red Sea-Dweller 1665 with red inscriptions on the dial. Another unique and interesting detail is the roulette date window, which alternates between even days in red and odd days in black, is not new in the Rolex world and can be found in some old models, namely Datejust, but it is undoubtedly one more precious detail.
At the level of the case, there are three other details that captivated me, the first concerns the height of the case, which despite not being low thanks to the brushed effect makes it look much lower when compared, for example, with the Black Bay 41mm whose case is the same height but which instead of a brushed finish has a polished finish that makes them look much taller, the second detail concerns crown guards that have round shape guards that are not very common to see, but that gives them a touch of refinement. Finally, the fact that it is a numbered edition that I mentioned above, engraved on the case back, makes each unit of the watch a unique piece and even though it is not a limited edition, it is a numbered edition and therefore it is a limited production in time, which makes this model become a desirable item for collectors over time.
In conclusion, the Tudor Pelagos is a true tool watch, which is far from having the versatility of the Black Bay line and whose price is significantly higher (almost over € 1,000 in some models), however, it is a watch with a contemporary design and sporty, which is the best approach in terms of correspondence with his older brother, Rolex Submariner. The Pelagos LHD edition introduced in 2017 came to fill the gap of those who would like to have a Pelagos with a more conservative aspect similar to what happens with the Black Bay line and the result would say that it is very interesting, although many dispute the fact that the crown is positioned at 9 o’clock instead of the traditional 3 o’clock position, giving it the connotation of a watch for lefties, for me, it is not a problem, as I often wear my watches on both wrists and see in this particularity another unique detail. Final note, although it is not a cheap watch, for what it offers and considering that it is a titanium case and bracelet, I do not believe that there are many alternatives on the market that offer a better price-value ratio.
Let me know what you think about Pelagos and what your choice is between it and the Tudor Black Bay line.
Model: Pelagos LHD, Pelagos
Reference: M25610TNL-0001 (Pelagos LHD), M25600TB-0001 (Pelagos blue dial), M25600TN-0001 (Pelagos black dial)
Dial: Matte Black (Pelagos LHD and Pelagos), Matt Blue (Pelagos)
Case Material: Titanium
Case Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
Crystal: Sapphire Glass
Case Back: Stainless steel
Water Resistance: 500 Meters
Strap: Titanium bracelet with a spring-loaded clasp
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, dive bezel
Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Power Reserve: 70 Hours
Chronometer Certified: COSC certified
Price: € 4,390
Numbered Edition: Yes (Pelagos LHD), no (Pelagos)