IN-DEPTH: The Tudor PelagosFelix Scholz
The story in a second
In true David and Goliath fashion, at this year’s GPHG the Tudor Pelagos saw off some of the best offerings from the biggest brands to take home the prestigious Best Sports Watch award.
Having debuted back in 2012 alongside the original Black Bay, Tudor’s mighty Pelagos isn’t a new model, but 2015 saw the sophisticated diver receive a major cosmetic and technical upgrade. The result? One of the best watches currently on the market. Period.
Let’s talk about looks first. The most obvious – and most anticipated – change to the Pelagos was the blue makeover, although what did surprise was the particular shade. Most blue divers veer, appropriately enough, towards fairly serious navy tones. The Pelagos went a different path, plunging right into the bright blue of the Aegean and emerging with new life. The summery energy of this new, blue Pelagos is infectious, making it the fun brother to the almost military black version.
Colour aside, things are mostly the same. The dial has been re-jigged a little – the date window has moved, and the luminous pip at three has gone – but the snowflake hands are as they always were and the dial has that same wonderful deep-dish feel. The other noticeable change is that the dial will be strangely familiar if you’ve ever examined a Rolex Submariner, thanks to the four lines of dial text. The depth rating is still there, as is the “rotor self-winding” text, but added to that is the model name, and the two lines indicating COSC certification – which, of course, signals the other big change.
The hottest news is that the Pelagos is now running off the MT5612, Tudor’s first ever in-house movement (which is also inside the North Flag, though the Pelagos lacks power reserve). They’re rightly proud of the new movement, with its silicone hairspring, 70 hours of power reserve and Chronometre certification and while it might sound like hyperbole, it truly is a game changer for the brand. Even when powered by ETA movements they offer a great cost to quality ratio, but add this new movement to the mix and Tudor becomes very hard to beat.
The case and bracelet
The thing that first drew me to the Tudor when it was announced was the quality of the case. Take a second to think about what the Pelagos offers. Titanium sports case, well sized at 42mm. Ceramic bezel, amazing auto-adjusting clasp, 500 metres of water resistance. All that built to the legendarily high quality of Tudor/Rolex. And all for just over $5k. I said it before, and I’ll say it again (and again) – this is amazing value.
Somewhat perversely, it’s the perfection of the case that’s possibly its only flaw. The machining is so precise and the edges so clean that you could say it has more in common with a surgical instrument than a watch, especially thanks to the titanium. Some may find this ultra-precise finish leaves them cold.
On the wrist
The Pelagos is lighter than air to wear – almost disconcertingly so if you’re not used to titanium. Again, the crisp, angular finishing can take some getting used to, but the precision of this watch is what defines it. It’s a far different beast to the Black Bay, which fills you with a warm vintage glow. In contrast the Pelagos – even though it has some vintage elements and now comes in a warm blue – is a resolutely modern feeling watch. More than that, it’s a feat of micro-engineering for your wrist.
Want to see the best sports watch of the year?
For the watch forums
Pelagos v Submariner. GO.
Who’s it for?
The Pelagos is perfectly suited to people who appreciate quality, value and the knowledge their watch can handle anything life might throw at it, and come out unscathed.
What would we change
It’s a large part of the watch’s appeal, but how about softening those edges a little, Tudor? Especially on the bracelet.
Tudor Pelagos Australian pricing and availability
The Tudor Pelagos in blue (ref. 25600TB) and black (ref. 25600TN) both come on bracelet with an additional rubber strap and have an RRP of $5250
Images by Jason Reekie.
25600TB (blue) 25600TN (black)