Tudor just announced a new version of the Pelagos Dive watch, and it looks a little old… in the best way possible.
First of all, the Tudor Pelagos as it existed before today was the modern dive watch to Tudor’s Heritage Black Bay. The Black Bay line recalled the best of the past, recycling old model numbers, and draped in the clothing of Tudors past: the rose on the crown, the rose signing on the dial, the ‘smile’ rotor self-winding’ text on the bottom half of the dial. Pelagos was the no-nonsense modern diver, with 42mm brushed titanium case, pointed crown guards, a spring-loaded expanding bracelet clasp, helium escape valve, water resistant to 500M depth, and a snowflake hands-with-square-plots ensconced in a sloped chapter ring. This, ladies and gentlemen divers, was a thoroughly modern diver with the smallest of nods to heritage via the hands and indices.
And that’s what makes today’s Tudor Pelagos LHD such an interesting choice. What we have here is a watch meant to be worn on the right wrist, with the crown on the left side. The Helium Escape Valve is now on the right side of the watch. Usually when a watchmaker does this, they’re essentially rotating the dial 180 degrees and showing the date on the opposite side of the stem, rather than the portion of the date wheel directly above the stem. To do that required Tudor to make a dial specifically for this watch, because dial feet aren’t symmetric.
While they were doing this, the designers took the opportunity to recall vintage watches directly. The indices that were formerly bright, stark white on the previous Pelagos are now lightly yellowed to look aged. The interesting thing about the plots is that instead of being plain squares, the perimeter of them isn’t lumed, so that it frames them the same way the hands are framed by their perimeter. It’s a very nice effect. The dial is matte black with a light texture treatment to simulate the rough surfaces a vintage dial can take on. The “Pelagos” print on the dial is a single line printed in red, which recalls some of the old single red Rolex Submariners. The first ref.1680 Rolex Subs in the early 70s were printed with “Submariner” in red ink on the dial. In a call back to the original Rolex DateJust model, the datewheel is a roulette affair, with even numerals in red, odd dates in black. The bezel remains similar with its faux pearl at 12, although it too is aged to match the dial and hands.
This isn’t just a quick respin of an existing watch. New dials, hands, bezel inserts and individually numbered casebacks all had to be created as separate parts from the existing Pelagos line. Who wears a watch on their right hand? Left handers, for one, which is why the LHD in the Tudor Pelagos LHD is shorthand for ‘left hand drive.’ Divers, for another, wear their watches on their right. And historically, cool people like Steve McQueen, James Corden, Carrol Shelby, James Cameron, Eddy Cue, and yours truly. Like them, the crown is pointing up my wrist for most daily wear. With the Tudor Pelagos LHD, the crown would be pointing at my fingertips, easily adjustable by my left hand while wearing it.
The Tudor Pelagos LHD uses Tudor’s in-house movement, the MT5612, equipped with silicon balance spring and 70 hours of power reserve. This, my friends, is a technical diver’s watch. It comes with both the bracelet and the silicone rubber strap, so you can wear it comfortably on land and underwater. Tudor have tested the watch to 125% of its rated depth, so you’re sure to be good to 500M, and probably can make it down to 625M without issue. Price for the new Tudor Pelagos LHD “Left Hand Drive” reference 25610TNL will be CHF4,200 or about 4,170 USD, the same as it is for other Pelagos models. tudorwatch.com