We recently published an article called The One-Rolex Watch Collection: Our Picks. Essentially, if you could only wear one watch for the rest of your life, and it has to be a Rolex, what would you choose? This got me thinking — what would my One-Tudor watch collection look like? After immediately choosing the Pelagos 39, I realized that choosing one Tudor is far easier than choosing one Rolex. Many Tudor watches are positioned as do-it-all offerings: Black Bay 54/58, Black Bay 31/36/39/41, to a lesser extent the Pelagos 39, etc. Because of this, I thought it would be much more interesting to choose a Two-Tudor watch collection.
With the exception of the Clair de Rose, Glamour, Royal, and maybe the 1926 (spoiler alert: I didn’t choose any of these), Tudor’s catalog is made up entirely of sports watches. This makes it tough to find true variety in a two-Tudor collection. Sacrifices will have to be made, but there are plenty of great choices in Tudor’s modern catalog. With that, let’s get into my picks.
Tudor Black Bay 58 (Ref. M79030N-0001)
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The Tudor Black Bay is a modern icon. It’s arguably one of the most important watches of all time. In the brand’s nearly 100 years of existence, this diver and the collection it spawned truly distinguished Tudor as a standalone entity from Rolex. The Black Bay 58 — the pared down, refined younger sibling, is the perfect Black Bay for me. The 54 feels too small on my wrist, and the 41mm Black Bay — even with its recent slim-down — is a bit chunky for everyday wear (and yes, I’ve tried it on). Creating a Two-Tudor collection without a Black Bay 58 is like vacationing in Italy without ordering pizza. Always order to the strength of the house.
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Despite its rugged specs as an ISO-compliant diver, the Black Bay 58 presents as very elegant and refined. With its gilt dial, applied indices, and slender profile, it can easily be worn with a suit, especially on a leather strap. In my Two-Tudor alternate universe, the Black Bay 58 would probably see the most wrist time; its versatility is pretty hard to beat. As well as it dresses up on leather, this watch dresses down on an integrated rubber strap. But, if I’m really dressing down, I’ll reach for my second Tudor.
Tudor Pelagos (Ref. M25600TB-0001)
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Two dive watches? Well, like I said in the intro, sacrifices have to be made here. Still, with its full titanium construction, matte blue dial and bezel, and complimentary rubber strap to boot, I feel that the Pelagos is different enough from the Black Bay 58 to provide me with some variety. The Pelagos is yet another smash hit from Tudor: their contemporary take on the ultimate mechanical dive watch. Utilizing modern materials (titanium, rubber) and the latest technology (MT Caliber, spring-loaded self-adjusting bracelet clasp), the Pelagos is a marvel of modern tool watch design. In my Italian vacation simile where the Black Bay 58 is pizza, the Pelagos is pasta.
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Of course, this is a much chunkier watch than the Black Bay 58, and as a result, does not have the same versatility. While I won’t be wearing the Pelagos with a suit, I will be wearing it while hiking, swimming, or doing anything where I don’t want to worry about my watch. Tudor’s addition of a rubber strap makes this watch even more versatile. I just wish the rubber strap fit the deployant clasp.
Creating a Two-Tudor collection feels daunting upon opening the brand’s sprawling, ever-confusing website. However, when you boil down Tudor’s catalog to its two greatest strengths — the Black Bay and Pelagos collections — the decision becomes easier: just choose your favorite from each. While I would certainly miss having a chronograph, GMT, and/or true dress watch in this strange alternate universe, I’d rest easy knowing that I chose two of Tudor’s finest offerings. Let us know what your Two-Tudor collection would be in the comments below.
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