Over the years, one of my biggest criticisms of Tudor has been that the brand pays too much attention to the Black Bay collection (along with the usually vintage-inspired models). As someone who thoroughly enjoys vintage watches, I love most of the Black Bay lineup. However, I also appreciate the unique modern design language that Tudor developed for itself with models like the discontinued North Flag and Pelagos, and I often lament that the company leans so heavily on its various vintage-inspired designs. , rather than using them as a starting point to create a whole new generation of decidedly modern timepieces.
I often point to the Tudor Pelagos as a prime example of a unique modern watch that still feels incredibly true to Tudor’s own history and heritage, although I’ve always felt that the collection itself is a bit neglected and underdeveloped. Originally launched in 2012 as a Tudor no-compromise modern professional dive watch, the lineup received a notable update in 2015 when the Tudor watch was revised to feature an in-house movement and a version with a blue dial and bezel insert was added. The following year, in 2016, Tudor added a left-hand, vintage-inspired option to the range with the Pelagos LHD; And from there, the collection remained unchanged until the 2021 release of the Tudor Pelagos FXD, a purpose-built model developed with the French Marine Nationale. At the time, Tudor Pelagos offered options for professional saturation divers, vintage-loving collectors, and underwater combat swimmers, but what most buyers still wanted was a simple titanium dive watch built for the common man. That finally changed, and while there are always those with a small nag about what could have been done differently, Tudor finally gave the public (mostly) what they wanted with the release of the brand-new Tudor Pelagos 39.
With a Grade 2 titanium case 39mm in diameter and 11.8mm thick with an overall lug-to-lug distance of 47mm, the Tudor Pelagos 39’s on-wrist experience differs significantly from its full-size sibling. I’ve always been a big fan of the original Pelagos, and to be fair, I still prefer the full-size model. However, the 42mm case diameter paired with a chunky design that measures over 14mm thick (for both the ETA and in-house movement versions) means I can’t comfortably wear a standard full-size Tudor Pelagos. -day, daily watch. While the case diameter certainly pushes the upper limits of what it can fit on my 6.75” wrist, it’s really the thickness of the original model that tips it out of the possible range for me. My wrists are naturally flat-shaped, and when the watch is almost as thick as my wrist, it feels a bit heavy in my hand, regardless of whether the case is made of lightweight titanium or not.
The significant reduction in case size of the Tudor Pelagos 39 comes with a drop in water resistance from 500 meters to 200 meters and also means that the smaller model lacks the helium escape valve of the full-sized original version. However, regardless of whether one actually scuba dives with the watch, neither of these things is noticeable. A depth rating of 200 meters (660 feet) is more than capable of withstanding any scuba diving you’ll ever encounter, and unless you’re one of the very few commercial divers working in saturated diving environments, the helium gas escape valve won’t miss a beat. The French Navy also thought 200 meters was sufficient when it signed off on the Pelagos FXD design, so despite being a step down in terms of capabilities compared to the original model, the Tudor Pelagos 39 is far more capable. Stand up to any activity you encounter.
On paper, the new watch may seem like a smaller no-date version of the standard black Pelagos, but that’s not the whole story. As with the Pelagos FXD, the angled reheat housing the minute track lacks cutouts for the individual hour markers and instead terminates on the outer perimeter of the raised luminous ceramic composite hour markers. However, arguably the more important detail is the different finish applied to both the dial and bezel insert fitted to the Pelagos 39. Although still black, the dial of the Pelagos 39 now bears the name “Pelagos” in red letters and has It’s given a subtle sunray finish that’s noticeably more refined compared to the full matte-black and white looks of its full-size sibling. Despite its more elaborate radial sunray pattern, the dial surface also has a satin finish, slightly toning down the dressy and elegant look that often comes with sunray dials. As with all Pelagos watches, the hands fitted to the new Pelagos 39 feature the brand’s signature “snowflake” design and are finished with black centers that give them a somewhat buoyant effect and help increase legibility. To match the dial, the black centers of the hands have a glossy look, compared to the flat black finish seen on the original full-size Pelagos model handset.
The sunray finish is reflected on the bezel insert of the Tudor Pelagos 39, which is still made of black ceramic and features white luminous markers with individual borders for the first fifteen minutes. However, the subtle radial sunray pattern now applied to it gives it a slightly more glossy overall look compared to the decidedly matte black version found on the full-size Pelagos model. In addition, the bezel ring now has a slightly more serrated edge than the coin-edged shape of the full-size Pelagos model found on the Pelagos FXD. With this in mind, the bezel on the Pelagos 39 still offers a uni-directional 60-click motion with the same incredibly smooth and satisfying action that defined the original model’s bezel. Personally, I would have liked Tudor to use the same matte black dial and bezel for the Pelagos 39, but we all know that will never happen. If you look at all the different Black Bay divers, not one is an exact carbon copy of the other but overall in miniature form. Two bronze models with brown dials are the closest you can see, but still, the 43mm version was discontinued long before Tudor came out with a bronze version of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. It’s clear that Tudor listens to the collector community, but the brand won’t be releasing a smaller Pelagos that’s completely identical to the existing model, and the subtle sunray finish is appropriate for the brand’s more rugged and less professionally oriented version. A capable sports watch.
Internally, the in-house caliber MT5400 automatic movement powering the new Tudor Pelagos 39 is likely to offer the same solid and reliable performance as other Kenissy-manufactured in-house calibers currently used by the brand. COSC-certified chronometer, cal. The MT5400 already promises perfect performance, although the Tudor casing later promises even tighter timing tolerances of between -2 and +4 seconds per day. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph and offering users a power reserve of around 70 hours, Tudor’s Caliber MT5400 movement also features a non-magnetic silicon hairspring in the variable inertia balance, held in place by a full transverse bridge for added stability. Tudor’s internal movements are becoming a bit of a known quantity, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. While they may not be ornately decorated or put on unusual numbers when it comes to ultra-thin designs or mega-long power reserves, Tudor’s various in-house calibers offer a significant step up from the standard ETA movements used in many others. If the watches and call at similar prices. Given that the MT5400 movement offers comparable performance to what we’ve come to expect from the rest of Tudor’s in-house range, then most collectors should be happy with the Pelagos 39’s reliability and timeliness.
Beyond that, there will certainly be some people out there who will bemoan the loss of the date display, while there will be others who will be glad to see the new Pelagos 39 ditch it to have a perfectly symmetrical dial layout. In this case, there really isn’t a way to please everyone, but it’s usually members of the enthusiast crowd who talk a lot about their distaste for date windows (and also the case sizes of watches) but are well aware that there will be more collectors and enthusiasts interested in purchasing a Tudor Pelagos 39. Additionally, from a strictly practical and functional point of view, having a date display on a saturated diving watch makes a lot of sense, but a date window is completely useless when it comes to the actual work of scuba diving. Without a helium escape valve in its case, the Tudor Pelagos 39 is intended more for scuba diving than saturation diving, and it could be argued that there was a functional reason behind the decision to leave the date display at 39mm. Version of Pelagos.
I expect people to nitpick about Tudor’s decision to feature a T-fit clasp on the Pelagos 39’s bracelet instead of a full-on visible spring-loaded extension system, other than the sunray finish on the dial and bezel. -size pattern. The overall design and outline of the two titanium bracelets are almost identical, and both extension systems ultimately offer the same practical benefits to users when it comes to incremental adjustment in their daily lives. However, the spring-loaded clasp on the standard full-size Pelagos is just flat-out cool and one of the most unique and innovative bracelet extension systems in use today. Granted, the T-fit clasp allows for a smaller overall clasp structure, but once people get used to the original Pelagos clasp, the T-fit will always seem like the “lesser” option, Tudor or not. There are practical and justifiable reasons for not offering it in the 39mm model. Either way, Tudor still includes a complimentary gasket with the Pelagos 39, so anyone who really has a problem with the excellently constructed T-Fit extension system already has an alternative option inside the box.
All things considered, the Tudor Pelagos 39 is what (almost) everyone has been asking Tudor to release for years. Small Pelagos consistency was one of the first requests from the brand, and now, a full 10 years after the first Pelagos appeared, we finally have a small one. At official retail price $4,400 USD, the Tudor Pelagos 39 costs just $325 less than the standard full-size model, but only $500 more than the Pelagos FXD, which similarly lacks a date display and helium escape valve, but also lacks a titanium bracelet. Like many out there, I’m eagerly awaiting when Tudor will release a blue version of the Pelagos 39; However, given how long it took for the brand to release a smaller version of its fan-favorite titanium dive watch, it may take surprisingly longer for the inevitable blue follow-up model to appear. And another thing to consider is that if Tudor were to release a Blue Pelagos 39, it wouldn’t just be a smaller version of the nearly full-size Blue model, and if Tudor chose to give it a Blue Sunray dial, it would be the ultimate. leading to a significantly different overall aesthetic. After getting a chance to try the watch on in metal, the new Pelagos 39 immediately became one of my favorite current-production Tudor watches, and as someone who often complains to me about the size and thickness of a Tudor case, I could definitely see myself wearing it on a daily basis. The 39mm version of the Pelagos FXD makes the words “take my money” truly inevitable, but the new Tudor Pelagos 39 comes as close as possible to being the perfect watch that everyone wishes Tudor’s big brother made. Deep down it knew it would never appear with a small coronet on its dial. For more information, please visit Brand’s website.