Editor’s note: This Hands-on Review of the Tudor Pelagos 39 has been photographed with the assistance of the Tudor Boutique by The Hour Glass in Sydney. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is not a sponsored post.
What Is The Tudor Pelagos 39
It’s no secret that Tudor has found unprecedented success with the Black Bay 58s. Styling can be subjective and personal, but the smaller 39mm and the relatively thin cases along with Manufacture movements offering almost 3-day power reserve mean that Tudor has opened up a whole new realm for watch enthusiasts to dive in. So it’s no surprise that the brand would take this tried-and-tested formula and release more watches. Exactly like the recent Tudor Ranger, the new Tudor Pelagos 39 released in the second half of 2022 features a 39mm diameter and 11.8mm thick case that houses a Manufacture Calibre.
But look carefully, and the Tudor Pelagos 39 is a remix, with Tudor’s greatest hits tastefully remastered by expert deliberation, to a point of creating a perfect diving tool watch that sits pretty much without any competition from its own catalogue (or from the industry). For a dive watch to exist in its own stratosphere in a world where there is no dearth of dive watches is a remarkable feat. And the brand with the Tudor Pelagos 39 has managed to create just that.
The Tudor Pelagos 39 continues the brand’s move to smaller tool watches and marks the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the Tudor Pelagos collection from 2012. As is also the case with Rolex, it is evolution over revolution as the Tudor Pelagos 39 follows a timeline that over the years has been refined to include different colours with blue from 2015, in-house movements, a LHD version from 2016, and last year’s Pelagos FXD.
Tudor Boutique by The Hour Glass, 147 King St, Sydney, (02) 8608 2288
Tudor Pelagos 39 – Movement Specs
The Tudor Pelagos 39 features the Manufacture Calibre MT5400. This is based on the calibre MT5402 of the existing Tudor BB58 39mm watches which measure 26 x 4.99mm. The Manufacture Calibre MT5400 made by Kenissi is larger at 30.3mm in diameter and 5mm in thickness. It features a variable inertia balance, a non-magnetic silicon balance spring, and the same materials and decoration on the rotor. It beats at the same frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), comprises the same 27 jewels, and offers the same impressive 70-hour power reserve.
Who Is The Tudor Pelagos 39 For
I reckon this forms the crux of our review (and the debate surrounding the watch release). Who is the Tudor Pelagos 39 really for? As stated earlier, there are numerous watches within the Tudor family that already tick the boxes presented in the Tudor Pelagos 39: more wearable 39mm diameter, slim case, nice execution of a black dial, diver specs, Manufacture movement, value for money, and stellar aesthetics. If you think about it, the Tudor Pelagos 39 doesn’t really offer anything new.
But then again, it really does: there is no other tool watch in Tudor’s catalogue that is 39mm and in titanium. It takes the water-resistance of both other 39mm tool watches, BB58 and Ranger, and raises the mark to 200m. And the twist only continues deeper; the brilliance here is that rather than have three watches — BB58, Ranger & Pelagos 39 — that are the same, the brand presents the Tudor Pelagos 39 as a whole other beast: grade 2 titanium case instead of steel, a wider 21mm lug interhorn spacing that makes the watch sit way wider homaging its diver roots perfectly, different execution of hour markers and lume plots, slightly different Manufacture Calibre MT5400, and completely different execution of the bezel. They also went ahead and separated it visually from the existing Pelagos 42 by removing the Helium value and changed the clasp, water-resistance and the rehaut designs.
The Tudor Ranger features the measurements of 39 x 11.8 x 47 x 20mm. Exact same measurements as the Tudor Pelagos 39 barring the slimmer lug interhorn spacing that makes it wear smaller. Housed inside the steel case is the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 (COSC). It retails for 3’730 to 4’150 AUD.
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight is housed in steel, features the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 (COSC) and retails from 4’730 AUD to 5’150 AUD. It measures 39 x 12.5 x 47.2 x 20mm. It’s slight increase in both thickness and lug-to-lug makes it wear a bit different. But the main difference here is that the main dial opening of the BB58 is around 31.5mm while that of the Tudor Pelagos 39 is 30mm. To makes things more interesting, the bezel of the Tudor Pelagos 39 extends out minutely, making the reading or ‘true’ diameter to be 40mm. So the the Tudor Pelagos 39 essentially wears different to the BB58, with a smaller dial real-estate but with bigger wrist presence courtesy the bezel and the lug interhorn. This ties it in to the large-ness of the original Pelagos 42, and the legacy of being a pure tool diver rather than a more fashion forward timepiece. Personally, the BB58 is a great daily wearer in my opinion that can do it all whereas the Tudor Pelagos 39 is a dedicated tool diver — with dive extension in-built into the clasp — for those with slimmer wrists who can’t manage to do justice to the original Pelagos’ large dimensions.
The original Tudor Black Bay divers feature measurements of 41mm x 15.6mm x 49.6mm x 22mm. These are again housed in steel and retail for 4’870 to 5’290 AUD. The specs make differentiate them too much to even carry on the comparison here.
The Tudor Pelagos FXD from last year measures 42mm x 12.75mm (sans the NATO strap or 14mm with the strap) x 52mm lug-to-lug spacing x 22mm. These are powered by the Manufacture Calibre MT5602 and retail for 5’300 AUD. These do have a titanium case, and are not only bigger but also have fixed lugs and the steel bracelet option is non-existent. These also feature a bidirectional rotating bezel instead of the generic-tool-purpose-built unidirectional bezel as found on the Tudor Pelagos 39.
Last but not the least is the Pelagos ref. 25600TB that measures 42mm x 14.2mm x ~50mm lug-to-lug x 22mm. Same titanium body but different Manufacture Calibre MT5612 (COSC) movement that makes room for a gasp, date window. Retailing for 6’450 AUD, not only are these costlier, but also way bigger.
And now for the new Tudor Pelagos 39 ref. M25407N-0001. It features a mixture of elements from all the above watches, and presents a concise version: measurements of 39 x 11.8 x 47 x 21mm, a grade 2 titanium case with satin finish and a grade 2 titanium unidirectional rotating bezel with insert in sunray satin finish ceramic and luminous material, Manufacture Calibre MT5400 (COSC) — same as the BB58 925 — no date, and a price tag of 6’010 AUD. On a steel bracelet, that is a difference of 710 AUD when compared to the Pelagos FXD and 860 AUD in comparison to the Tudor BB58.
So who is the Tudor Pelagos 39 for? For starters, if you are looking at buying it but already own another Tudor dive watch — barring the Pelagos 42 as that is a more wholistic bad-ass diver and for someone who can wear it with ease is pretty much better in every way thanks to the more three-dimensional internal rehaut, the increased 500m water-resistance, the inclusion of the spring-loaded tension adjustment system in the clasp, the helium-escape valve, and the option of going let hand drive — it should not ‘eat into’ the wrist time of any of those watches.
Personally, if you are someone who is starting out collecting watches, especially sports watches, I would recommend starting with the new Tudor Pelagos 39. It absolutely does it all. The Tudor Pelagos 39 is THE definition of a perfect ‘one-watch-collection’ at entry level Swiss luxury prices. But even if you are a seasoned collector or serious enthusiast, it’s for anyone who wants to add a thorough-bred tool-dive specie that looks and acts the part.
Aggressively priced, the Tudor Pelagos 39 fills in a niche we didn’t know existed until the watch got released. Performing the subtle art of smoking the competition softly, the new Tudor Pelagos 39 is a masterclass in creating diversity within similarity.
How Does The Tudor Pelagos 39 Do On The Wrist
If you have had the Pelagos 42 before, you would know that it wears completely different to any other Tudor diver off the bat. This is not the case with the Tudor Pelagos 39. Once you strap it on, at first, it feels exactly like the Tudor BB58. But the more you wear it, the more the subtle differences being to speak louder.
On my 16.25cm wrist, it sits nicely, and for those who don’t prefer the hour markers style of the BB series, the Pelgaos FXD style square markers make for a welcome change. It does wear larger than the BB58, but smaller than the FXD. The absence of date adds a lot to the symmetry to the dial, and the nod to the ref 1680 Red Rolex Subs is subtle and welcome too.
But the biggest charm of wearing this is under natural lighting, when the sun hits it. The black dial indoor looks quite flat, but under sunlight is reveals a gentle sunray pattern. The bezel itself is highly brushed, and adds a new dimension to the personality. Under sunlight, the bezel also morphs a bit, and changes its colour to a brooding grey, nicely consorting with the black sun-ray dial. The pure white non-fauxtina markers shimmer beautifully against a black canvas, and the flat crystal allows for everything on the dial to speak freely.
Personally, I feel it has the most relaxed look out of all the Tudor tool watches we have listed here; it’s not full of vintage cues like the BB58 series, is not too different like the FXD, and is not big like the Pelagos 42.
If all the dive watches in the world were to ironically sink, and the Tudor Pelagos 39 was the only one to remain afloat (in its price segment), I would say that the best had survived. It may or may not be your taste, but there is absolutely nothing that I can fault with it. The Tudor Pelagos 39 is by far the most rounded modern-Tudor offering to date; and from the looks of it, the brand is just warming up.
To find out more about the Tudor Pelagos 39 and other Tudor timepieces, please head to their website here, or visit the Tudor Boutique by The Hour Glass in Sydney. All images unless otherwise stated are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.