Ever since the Tudor Pelagos first appeared in 2012, collectors and enthusiasts have been begging the brand to release a smaller version of its fan-favorite titanium dive watch. In the years since its initial launch, Tudor has updated the model to feature an in-house movement, added the option of a blue dial, released a vintage-inspired version with a left-handed winding crown, and even collaborated with the French Marine Nationale to create a mil-spec version specifically designed for underwater navigation. With that in mind, despite their aesthetic and functional differences, all of these various iterations featured 42mm cases. However, that has finally changed with the introduction of the Tudor Pelagos 39 and its significantly more compact 39mm case.
Tudor Pelagos 39: A 39mm Titanium Dive Watch
By this point in time, you have probably already seen the new watch in person (or at the very least, heard about it and seen some photos on Instagram). However, before we get into the importance of the new model itself and what it might mean for the future of the greater Pelagos collection as a whole, here is a brief overview of the new Tudor Pelagos 39.
Tudor Pelagos 39 Specs:
- Case Diameter: 39mm
- Case Thickness: 11.8mm
- Materials: Grade 2 Titanium
- Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Rotating Elapsed Time Bezel
- Dial: Black w/ Satin Sunray Finish and Luminescent Ceramic Composite Hour Markers
- Bezel: Unidirectional (60-Click), Ceramic 60-Minute Elapsed Time Insert w/ Radial Sunray Finish and Luminous Markings
- Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)
- Crown: Screw-Down
- Caseback: Solid, Screw-Down
- Movement: Tudor Cal. MT5400 (In-House, Chronometer Certified)
- Water Resistance: 200 Meters (660 Feet)
- Strap/Bracelet: Titanium Bracelet w/ T-Fit Clasp Extension; Black Rubber Strap Also Included
- Retail Price: $4,400 USD
The TLDR version is that the new Pelagos 39 is a no-date 39mm titanium dive watch that eliminates the helium escape value of the original model and accepts a decreased depth rating of 200 meters in exchange for a significantly thinner case that measures just 11.8mm thick. Additionally, unlike the full-size 42mm Pelagos that features a matte black dial and matching ceramic bezel insert, the new Pelagos 39 has a black dial with a satin sunray finish that extends to its ceramic bezel insert to create a slightly more refined overall aesthetic.
(Almost) The Watch That Everyone Wanted
On paper, the new Tudor Pelagos 39 is almost the exact watch that everyone has been asking Tudor to make for years. A case diameter of 39mm is right in the sweet-spot for modern collector preferences, and a no-date format perfectly caters to the ever-vocal enthusiast community who so passionately critiques the addition of date windows on dive watches. Furthermore, the omission of the helium escape valve means that there is no longer a feature on the watch that is virtually useless in most people’s lives, and leaving it out also allows the Pelagos 39 to be significantly thinner for all of those who are concerned about their dive watches being able to fit under the cuff of their button-up shirt. All things considered, the new Pelagos 39 should be a home run for Tudor, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it immediately became one of the brand’s most popular models.
That being said, the Tudor Pelagos 39 isn’t quite the exact same watch that people wanted from Tudor. If you listen to the general buzz among the collector and enthusiast community, most people have the same small quibble with the new model: they wish it had a standard matte black dial and bezel insert (just like the full-size edition), rather than equivalent components that feature a subtle sunray finish. While the “Pelagos” name in red letters and a reduction in the amount of dial text have generally been seen as welcome updates, the sunray finish has been a sticking point for a decent number of people. With that in mind, if you look at the Black Bay Fifty-Eight lineup compared to the full-size 41mm range, it becomes clear that Tudor was never going to make a watch that was just smaller version of the regular Pelagos, so there was always going to be at least some twist or a handful of small details to collectively help set it apart and make the new model unique.
The Future of the Tudor Pelagos Collection
Compared to the original model, the new Tudor Pelagos is an all-around less professionally-oriented version of the brand’s titanium diver. Water resistance has been decreased from 500 meters to 200 meters, the date display has been eliminated, the helium escape valve has been removed so that it is no longer built for saturation divers, and the spring-loaded clasp extension system has been swapped out for the smaller and less intricate T-Fit clasp. While it is still more than capable of standing up to whatever type of professional scuba diving activities you might encounter, the new 39mm model could almost be considered to be the “Pelagos Lite'' or the consumer-oriented version of Tudor’s modern titanium dive watch. The more refined appearance of the sunray finish on the dial and bezel is perfectly fitting for a model designed for the everyday person instead of the commercial saturation diver, and what the new Pelagos 39 really represents is an evolution of the collection and an expansion of it in a direction that is more refined and consumer-friendly.
Looking forward, a blue version of the Tudor Pelagos 39 seems inevitable, although given the differences that exist between the black version of the 42mm model and the new 39mm edition, there is a very good chance that we won’t be getting the same bright matte blue dial, but just in a smaller no-date format. For me personally, that is the watch I want Tudor to make next, but it would simply be too similar to the existing 42mm Pelagos, and I think a much more likely possibility would be to release the blue version with some form of sunray dial to match the recently released black edition. Additionally, if the launch of the new 39mm model marks a shift in the Pelagos collection towards a more consumer-oriented direction, there is always the possibility that we might see other colors or additional materials join the collection at some point down the line. I could easily see Tudor allowing the 42mm range to be the full-spec professional edition of the Pelagos, while the 39mm model becomes the consumer-oriented range that offers a wider selection of options to appeal to a larger assortment of everyday buyers who are interested in owning a Tudor dive watch with a distinctly modern overall aesthetic.
All images courtesy of Tudor.