December 21, 2015
by James Stacey
What do you do when Tudor updates their most hardcore dive watch? You go diving. Following the Baselworld 2015 announcement of the refreshed Tudor Pelagos 25600, the only way I could expand upon Ariel’s review of the original Pelagos was to try the new model in its element. With a brilliant blue Pelagos 25600 TB on wrist, I escaped Vancouver’s tiresome mix of cold and rainy for the warm embrace of Pacific Mexico’s Bahía de Banderas.
Bobbing up and down in the warm pacific surf, our tiny dive boat looked even smaller as it maneuvered towards our ragtag band of vacationing divers. Due to the lack of a functioning dock, we had been ferried to the rental skiff via jet ski, meaning we were limited to essential gear only for two leisurely dives at Malinal, a large rock passage in a wide bay near Punta Mita, Mexico.
While tropical diving doesn’t require a vast amount of gear, the necessary fittings are designed exclusively for use underwater. Wearing dive gear on the surface is cumbersome, heavy and far from sartorial. The one exception, as you might have predicted, is the dive watch. Designed to seamlessly transition from the office to the pool to the sunken hull of a long forgotten ship, a good dive watch is a cut above standard dive gear.
As I hung on the surface, held aloft by my BCD, my hands preoccupied fiddling with my camera, the bright sunlight reflected off the calm surf, casting wild crystalline rays of light across the rich blue dial of the Tudor Pelagos on my wrist. While it would be easy to say that few watches looked more at home half submerged in the Pacific, that doesn’t capture the true nature of the Tudor Pelagos. This watch always feels at home; its capable and focused design lends an air of unflappability; the Tudor Pelagos never seems out of its depth.
Tudor originally launched the Tudor Pelagos in 2012 with a black dial and an ETA 2824. At Baselworld 2015, they announced the updated Tudor Pelagos, available in black (25600TN) and blue (25600TB). Along with the new color option, Tudor also fitted their popular tool watch with a new manufacture movement – the MT5612. We covered all of the details at launch, but in brief, the MT5612 is an in-house automatic movement providing time and date at 4Hz, with 26 jewels, and a 70 hour power reserve. Differentiating a 2012 black Tudor Pelagos vs the 2015 is easy: the 2012 has two lines of text above six o’clock, while the 2015 has a a much more noticeable five lines. While it’s definitely a lot of text, and I prefer the look of the “two liners,” I quickly got used to the additional prose, and after a short time, I barely noticed it.
Apart from the blue option and the MT5612, the Tudor Pelagos sticks with the winning design of the original, using a 42mm titanium case that is 14.3mm thick and 50mm lug to lug. The Tudor Pelagos includes two mounting options, an excellent titanium bracelet, and a supremely easy-wearing rubber strap. I wore both extensively, and I’m sure that if I had a Tudor Pelagos to call my own, I’d alternate between the two with frequency: both are great.
The bracelet looks perfect and is nicely integrated with the case via solid end links that are also used to mount the rubber strap. Thankfully, the bracelet uses single-sided, screwed end links, so removing links requires just a single fine screw driver. Once you have the bracelet close to size, the Tudor Pelagos’ remarkable clasp comes into play.
The Tudor Pelagos (both 2012 and 2015) features a trick clasp that allows you to select one of three micro positions without the use of a tool. There is also a spring-loaded setting that allows for automatic adjustment while wearing the Tudor Pelagos on a wetsuit sleeve which will compress at depth. Finally, there is a discreet folding dive extension that will allow use with thicker wetsuits. If you want to see the a more visual explanation, check out the included video.
For traveling to Mexico, I opted to mount the included blue rubber strap. After removing the bracelet, you simply mount the strap into the bracelet’s end links for a simple and very comfortable connection with the Tudor Pelagos’ case. The water was warm enough that I didn’t require a wetsuit with sleeves, so the Tudor Pelagos required no adjustment for diving. Were I diving back home in the colder waters around Vancouver, I would use the included extension strap, which would allow me to wear the Tudor Pelagos over my bulky drysuit.
The two mounting options may provide a different look and feel, but both offer a comfortable and effective way of wearing the Tudor Pelagos, even when diving. One word of caution: if you plan to get a Tudor Pelagos, I’d recommend buying spring bar pliers rather than relying on the normal one-sided spring bar tool or screwdriver to remove/mount straps. The tolerances and tool accesses are quite tight, and a proper tool will prevent scratches and difficulty when changing straps.