The Tudor Pelagos LHD 500-meter diver's chronometer
Since the Pelagos first appeared in 2013 it has steadily gained a growing number of fans, and for good reason. It’s a watch of superior quality and workmanship with a reasonable price tag.
Tudor, of course, is Rolex’s sub brand, but it has come a long way on its own merits. It doesn’t need any help from ‘big brother’, and the new ‘Left Hand Drive’ Chronometer just goes to prove it.
The inspiration for their latest addition to the Tudor family came from bespoke divers watches made for the French Navy in the 1970s and 1980s - specifically, the Reference 9401 left-handed dive watch.
The crown, of course, is placed on the ‘wrong’ side – so it’s ideal for left-handed people who like to wear the watch on the right wrist, or for those who just like something a bit more unconventional.
I know some people who enjoy a so-called "destro" version because it keeps the crown from digging into the back of their wrist.
Where Tudor’s Black Bay models are distinctively vintage-looking, the Pelagos aims more for practical functionality. It’s more of an out-and-out tool watch.
Besides the placement of the crown, there are only a few minor differences to the current Pelagos. The name appears in red at 6-o-clock on the dial, and the "roulette" date wheel has alternating black and red numbers.
The creamy beige markings, ‘snowflake hands’ and the luminescence, along with the titanium crown still capture the vintage essence, but also give the watch a modern flavour.
And it’s updated with everything you’d expect from a state-of-the art diver’s chronometer.
Like the original “RHD” version, the new one is depth-rated to 500m, and a helium escape valve protects the watch’s inner workings from undue pressure build up – if you’re going to be diving to serious depths, or attempt a “saturation dive.”In case you didn’t know, an escape valve prevents the watch’s crystal from blowing off during decompression!
Naturally there’s the titanium unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel – a must-have for any diver’s watch. Then there’s also strap with a pin buckle, and of course, that patented Tudor clasp.
It’s an ingenious mechanism that lets the bracelet adjust automatically during the dive. A micro-adjustment system allows for three positions, and the clasp is also mounted on a floating spring carriage. As if that wasn’t enough, you also get a rubber strap thrown into the deal.
Although it’s not strictly a limited range, like Tudor’s other tool watches, each piece is engraved with a unique number on the case back, and I can well imagine that not too many will be made.
The price tag is set at $4,400, which in my opinion is probably good value for money, considering the fact that you’re buying basically Rolex quality technology and workmanship, and a name that is coming into its own among watch fans.