Some people might object to pitting the Tudor Pelagos against the Breitling Superocean. After all, Breitling is known for its aviator watches, and was later to the dive watch scene. (“Late” here is a relative term, as the Superocean has been around since 1957.) The Tudor Pelagos, on the other hand, is an amalgam of several Hans Wildorf dive watches created by Rolex. The Tudor Pelagos’ design DNA can be traced back to Submariners made in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Both were designed to be a rugged tool watch with striking looks. Let’s see how they stack up.
In One Corner: The Tudor Pelagos
There’s a lot to love about the Pelagos, so let’s review the top components that make it a contender for the title of best dive watch. First, there’s the integrated 42mm case, made of grade 2 titanium. We like the use of lightweight, super-strong titanium with a sleek brushed finish that transitions effortlessly from work to play. The matte black dial with square indices perfectly complements the signature snowflake hands. Some collectors love the powerful Chromalight lume on the Tudor Pelagos, including the rare lumed bezel. The ceramic bezel has gained a vocal fan club for its super smooth action.
Underneath the dial there’s a lot of power. In fact, one of the things we love most about the Pelagos is hidden from view. The proprietary, in-house MT5612 movement uses a silicon balance spring, a material we love for its accuracy and its durability. The MT5612 movement is also fully COSC-certified with an impressive power reserve of 70 hours. The Tudor Pelagos is depth-rated to 500 meters, and includes a helium escape valve so that it can be used for saturation diving.It’s placed on a titanium bracelet with an auto-adjustable spring mechanism that reacts intuitively to changes in depth and pressure.
In Another Corner: The Breitling Superocean
The Superocean floated onto our radar again with the 2019 redesign which reimagined the dial, making it more legible and sleek. These changes made it a serious contender for a highly collectable modern dive watch. It’s available in a wide variety of case sizes, from 36 mm to 48 mm. This makes it a versatile option for differing wrist sizes, which the Pelagos can’t offer. The 44 mm case boasts 1,000 meter water resistance, double that of the Pelagos, but it doesn’t include a helium escape valve to protect the sapphire crystal. Inside the case, the Superocean features the Breitling 17 movement, a slightly altered ETA 2825, with a much lower 38 hour power reserve. Both watches are available at a sub-5k price point, but it’s worth noting that the Breitling Superocean is $450 cheaper, a significant percentage when nearly all of your disposable income goes towards your watch collection.
The Winner: The Tudor Pelagos
In the end, you can’t beat the high-end materials, design, and movement specs on the Tudor Pelagos, which is ultimately what pushes the Pelagos over the finish line. It utilizes the very best modern materials to innovate and improve a classic dive watch, bringing it up to the next level. We’ve shared our love of the underrated Pelagos before… and we’re just going to keep promoting it until it sells as well as the beloved Black Bay 58. Ok, we’re realistic: sales of the Pelagos are never going to match the BB58, but we’ll continue to sing its praises as an underappreciated dive watch for the discerning collector.
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