Tudor Making A Name For Itself
Many of us know somebody who grew up in the shadows of somebody else – like an outstanding parent, or perhaps a highly favored older sibling. Some of us may even have been that somebody at some point, always being compared to someone else and feeling the need to vie for our own seat at the table. In the world of luxury watches, we imagine Tudor might’ve felt something like this over the years whenever compared to its parent company, Rolex. Well, if watches had feelings anyway… Sure enough, Tudor still isn’t too well-known of a name, particularly in the United States, as all of its watches are Swiss made and aren’t “officially” sold in the US. And those who are familiar with Tudor, generally aren’t aware that they are owned and manufactured by Rolex. On top of that, Tudor watches carried Rolex-branded cases, crowns, and bracelets – among several other shared similarities with Rolex – up until the 90’s, making it that much harder for Tudor to make a name for itself. This is a lot like getting all of your older sibling’s hand-me-downs and constantly being told that “you look just like them!” Until semi recently, it was hard for Tudor watches to be recognized as anything other than a less expensive, more attainable, and down-to-earth alternative for Rolex watches.
The Release Of The Tudor Pelagos
Because of its historically close ties with Rolex, it’s no wonder that Tudor would want to pave its own way in the world of luxury watches. A few years ago, it began to switch it up in an effort to separate itself from Rolex designs and do its own thing. The year 2012 marked a significant turning point for Tudor, as it launched a completely revamped line-up of diving watches. One of these new models was the Tudor Pelagos. Appropriately named Pelagos, the Greek word for “sea”, this watch has several impressive features that not only make it a suitable tool for professional diving, it helped Tudor finally gain some distinction and identity of its own. Together with the vintage-inspired Heritage Black Bay watch, the Pelagos – with its much more modern design – marked 2012 as “the year of the diver” for Tudor, an exciting new direction for the emerging brand.
Tudor Pelagos Movement
The launching of the Tudor Pelagos introduced several unique functions that make it a truly first-rate tool watch for divers and water enthusiasts alike. For instance, the Pelagos can reach diving depths of up to 500 meters (roughly 1640 feet) – the first of Tudor watches to ever dive so deep. Notably, the Pelagos features a helium escape valve, which allows any helium that may get inside the case during a dive to be released without damaging the watch. This function, along with its impressive waterproof capabilities, make the watch suitable for professional saturation diving in addition to recreational diving. Another feature of the Pelagos worth highlighting is its power. Prior to 2015, one of the biggest differences between Tudor and Rolex was that Tudor watches used base Swiss ETA movements (specifically, the ETA caliber 2824), while Rolex watches used in-house movements made by Rolex itself. Today, the Pelagos is powered by Tudor’s very own chronometer-certified movement (specifically, the in-house caliber MT5612) with a 70-hour power reserve that has been powering the watch since 2015.
Tudor Of Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow
Aesthetically, the Pelagos has a truly distinctive look of its own that helps set Tudor apart. Compared to the Rolex watch collection, Tudor watches are arguably more youth-driven, with a less classic and more sporty appeal. The Pelagos has an ultra modern look with an eye-catching 42mm size case, a dial decked out with geometric shaped hour markers and a date window, and a luminous ceramic bezel. Adding innovation to the Pelagos design is its self-adjusting “floating” fold-over clasp. This noteworthy feature comes in especially handy for divers, whose wrists expand and contract with changes in water pressure, allowing the bracelet to adjust itself – lengthening or shortening according to the wearer’s motions and environmental changes. Even more catered to the avid diver’s needs is the option of different bracelets to choose from. Each Pelagos watch comes with a complete set of 3 different bracelet options: the standard 3-piece link titanium bracelet, as well as 2 easily attachable rubber straps – 1 standard length for everyday wear, and 1 extended length that fits comfortably outside of a dive suit. This was a nice touch by Tudor, as divers tend to prefer wearing their watches with rubber straps while diving. Though the titanium bracelet is still a good option for diving, as it is extremely durable yet comfortably lightweight. In fact, the Tudor Pelagos is the first watch of the Rolex family to be made with titanium, an incredibly light yet robust material that also gives both the watch’s case and bracelet a nice matte, satin finish. Definitely a very distinguishable “first” for Tudor, helping set it apart from the rest of its watch family.
The Tudor Pelagos with a blue dial, blue bezel, and stainless steel bracelet.
A Diver Watch Of Its Own
As Tudor starts to make their way into more conversation among watch enthusiasts, it is safe to say it is slowly but surely gaining presence in the U.S. The hope is that, with more time and increased relevance, Tudor will be able to make a name and image for themselves as much more than just “baby Rolex”. And with the exciting launch of the Pelagos, it is surely headed in the right direction. A truly superb tool watch tailored to the needs and wants of divers, the Pelagos definitely put Tudor on the map within the world of both professional and recreational diving. With its groundbreaking functionality, an incredibly well-crafted frame, and a youthful ultra-modern design that looks just as good out of the water as in it, the Pelagos is an absolute contender alongside its Rolex counterpart – the Submariner. Especially at a fraction of the cost, checking out just under $5,000, it is undoubtedly one of the best within its price bracket. While the Tudor Pelagos lacks the same rich history and elegance that the Submariner is known for, it is arguably more fitting of a watch for this day and age – using newer material and a more contemporary design that is likely to appeal to much more than just the diving community.
(Left) Rolex Submariner “Hulk” Ref. 116610LV (Right) Tudor Pelagos Ref. 25600TB-0001