The Tudor Pelagos is a professional titanium diving watch. Its helium escape valve means it is even suited for saturation diving. The in-house chronometer-certified movement MT5612 with a 70-hour power reserve has been powering this watch since 2015.
The Tudor Pelagos is a function-oriented diving watch with a linear design and robust technology. The Genevan manufacturer and Rolex daughter company Tudor brought this watch to the market in 2012. It has a water resistance of 500 m (50 bar) and was outfitted with the ETA caliber 2824 until 2015. This widely used movement is considered a reliable workhorse in the industry. Since 2015, however, the in-house caliber MT5612 has been powering the Pelagos. Its name comes from the Greek word pélagos, which means "sea" or "ocean". Thanks to its helium escape valve , this titanium diving watch is also suitable for saturation diving, where a mixture of helium and oxygen is used. The helium escape valve allows any helium that has made its way into the case to be released without damaging the watch.
A highlight of the Tudor Pelagos is the patented fold-over clasp on its three-piece link titanium bracelet. It has a special diving extension for finer adjustments. This allows you to quickly size the band on your wrist. Moreover, the clasp can lengthen or shorten itself depending on the environmental pressure. When the pressure increases underwater, a diving wetsuit gets compressed and the band shortens. As the pressure decreases while resurfacing, the suit expands and the band lengthens itself. Every complete set comes with a rubber strap that is easy to attach.
|Model||Reference number||Price (approx.)||In-house movement|
|Pelagos LHD||25610TNL||3,700 euros||✓|
|Pelagos Black||25600TN||3,100 euros||✓|
|Pelagos Blue||25600TB||3,100 euros||✓|
|Pelagos Black||25500TN||3,000 euros||–|
You can purchase a pre-owned Tudor Pelagos in very good condition for less than 3,000 euros. Mint-condition Pelagos Black watches produced before in-house movements were added in 2015 cost around 3,000 euros. If you prefer a model with an in-house movement, be sure to set aside around 3,100 euros. You can get the Pelagos LHD (Left Hand Drive) model for lefties and anyone else who prefers to wear their watch on their right wrist for about 3,700 euros.
The Tudor Pelagos LHD is unique among diving watches due to the crown's location at 9 o'clock. Very few manufacturers include such special watches in their catalogs. Aside from Tudor, the German company Sinn also offers a functional timepiece with a crown on the left side. Their pilot's watch EZM 3F costs around 1,500 euros in mint condition. Thanks to the crown's unusual positioning, the time is easy to set with your left hand when the watch is worn on the right wrist.
A special edition of the Tudor Submariner made in 1981 for the French navy with the reference number 94010 served as the design inspiration for the Tudor Pelagos LHD. This is what gives the new watch a retro touch, setting it apart from the other Pelagos models. The beige hands, indices, and markers on the bezel underscore this vintage look and guarantee excellent readability in darkness thanks to the generous amount of luminous material. If you look closely, you will see a so-called roulette pattern on the date display at 3 o'clock. Every even-numbered day is red, and every odd-numbered day is black. The red Pelagos inscription on the dial also pays homage to historic Tudor watches.
In line with modern trends, the case and bracelet are both made out of satin-brushed titanium. The inlay on the unidirectional titanium bezel is made from matte black ceramic, which matches perfectly with the matte black dial. Similar to an earlier model, the Tudor Pelagos Black and Blue, the inscriptions "Pelagos", "Chronometer", "Officially Certified", "Rotor Self-Winding", and "500m-1640ft" are all located above 6 o'clock. Older models with ETA calibers only feature "Rotor Self-Winding" and "500m:1640ft" in the same position.
The caliber MT5612-LHD is very similar to the basic caliber MT5612 found in the newer Tudor Pelagos models with right-side crowns. The only differences arise in the position of the crown and the date display, which only features black numerals in watches with the reference numbers 25600TN and 25600TB. This caliber has a respectable 70-hour power reserve, exceeding the ETA 2428 by a whole 32 hours. Thanks to its silicon balance spring, the movement is anti-magnetic and very accurate; so much so that Tudor had it certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The caliber guarantees a high level of precision and an average deviation of just -4 to +6 seconds per day.
The Rolex Submariner is one of the most famous and coveted watches in the world. Almost everyone knows this icon of watch history. It was first introduced in 1953 and was one of the first diving watches ever. The so-called "cyclops lens" on versions with a date display characterizes this timepiece. Early Tudor diving watches were largely based on this Rolex watch, but they used more affordable third-party movements.
If you look closely at the Tudor Pelagos, a few similarities with the Rolex watch will become apparent. The bracelets, the flanks of the case, and the crown protector look especially similar. All in all, however, the Pelagos feels like a modern interpretation of the Rolex Submariner as a professional diving watch of the 21st century. This comes down to its 42-mm titanium case, which is both 2 mm larger and also lighter than the Oyster case of its stainless steel competitor. The flat sapphire glass of the Tudor watch guarantees readability even when viewed from sharp angles, while the date is almost impossible to read on the Rolex when viewed from the side. With a water resistance of 500 m (50 bar), the Pelagos surpasses the Submariner by a total of 200 m (20 bar), making it more comparable to the Rolex Sea-Dweller. The Sea-Dweller is water resistant to 1220 m (122 bar) and also has a helium escape valve for saturation diving.
Both the Tudor Pelagos and the Rolex Submariner come with in-house movements. The Tudor movement has a 70-hour power reserve, a full 22 hours more than the caliber 3135 found in the Rolex. That being said, after passing the official chronometer test at COSC, Rolex tests all of their watches again in house and certifies a maximum deviation of only -2 to +2 seconds per day. This makes the Submariner Date more accurate than its competitor from Tudor. Consequently, the price for a Submariner Date is around 7,500 euros – a good 4,400 euros more than the Tudor diving watch. At the end of the day, you have to decide for yourself which features are most important to you and which watch you prefer.