In this new (hopefully ongoing) series we will be doing quick profiles on some fun and horologically interesting watches that, in a perfect world, we could spend a weekend on the beach enjoying with some sun and some sort of rum-based beverage. To be clear these are not watches I actually own, simply nice and interesting casual watches worth talking about.
Welcome to the weekend watch. This week’s weekend watch is the Tudor Pelagos. The Pelagos has lived its life being known as the Sub’s little brother, but today it is better than ever and, to me at least, a more casual, more unusual, and in many ways a more interesting timepiece.
The Pelagos is styled as a traditional dive watch. Tudor has a great history of military dive watches and this Pelagos continues the history with a traditional snowflake hour handle, large superluminova hour markers and a rotating bezel. The case comes in at a fairly dive-standard 42mm and is a bit on the thick side, but offers an impressive 500M of water resistance. Ultimately the style doesn’t do much to deter the average onlooker from thinking this is a slightly less nice Sub, but to me it has more character in its less refined style. It feels more casual, more like a fun watch than a serious watch. This is further enforced by the bright blue dial/bezel option for the watch, which definitely gives the watch a more casual feel..
Up until 2015 the Pelagos used a modified ETA 2824 movement. As ever the 2824 is a real workhorse movement that is reliable and tough, but not very exciting. That all changed when Tudor developed their first in-house movement and put it into the Pelagos. The new movement offers a longer power reserve (70 hours) than its predecessor and each and ever movement is COSC certified. Somehow Tudor managed to put this great new in-house movement into the Pelagos for only $270 more than the old ETA model. Suddenly the Pelagos became more interesting and a better value proposition then just about any dive-style watch on the market.
For better or worse the Tudor Pelagos is always going to be compared to the Rolex Submariner. Rolex owns Tudor after all, and they will never want the baby brother brand to start competing directly with the Sub, its just not smart business. However, with the introduction of a manufacture movement at Tudor the Pelagos is now, in my mind, right up there next to the Sub in terms of classically styled dive watches with high quality COSC in-house manufactured movements. That said, they still have very different characters as watches. Rolex has a more polished feel that illustrates the 3-4K premium you will pay for it. If you want a watch for the boardroom and the opera the Rolex may be the better option. The Tudor on the other hand brings some fun to your wrist. It feels less serious, more sporty, and more appropriate for a fun weekend on the beach. In this respect I think it captures the essence of a dive watch better than the Rolex does these days, and it is a watch that ought to be on a watch lovers radar when considering a great weekend watch.