Regular readers of our magazine will by now clear that here at Bulang & Sons we have a real love for vintage watches from a plethora of manufacturers, but we reserve a special place in our hearts for vintage Rolex and Tudor watches. It is the attention to their heritage at Tudor that make their modern watches so appealing to us. Even when not strictly part of the Heritage line, Tudor still defers back it’s rich history when executing watches that are both unmistakably modern and yet sympathetic to its past. A couple of years ago we saw this with the launch of the Pelagos. Made from titanium and featuring, for the first time in Tudor’s line, a helium escape valve (HEV) the Pelagos was a true professional divers watch that was guaranteed to a depth of 500 metres! We reviewed the watch here on the magazine (read it here) and totally fell in love with it due to its tool watch coolness and the way it spoke to us.
We love blue
This year we were invited to the launch of the new Tudor lines at Baselworld. It was a year without a Heritage release, but in no way were we disappointed. Tudor took its lead from the vintage Ranger 2 in the styling of the North Face, a watch with some of the best case finishing we’ve seen on a modern watch. It was also the year that people had been waiting for…the release of the Pelages in blue! But there was an extra surprise in store – a new, five year in the making ‘in-house’ movement. Since its inception, Tudor has always relied on third-party movements as the base for their watches which they modified to meet the Wilsdorf standard. The new Tudor MT5612 movement is rated to COSC standards and boasts a 70 hour power reserve and is a true manufacture movement.
In updating the watch with a new improved movement, Tudor also took the opportunity to make some small tweaks to the dial layout. The first and most obvious is the addition of the upgraded CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED above the ROTOR SELF-WINDING text. In vintage Rolex collectors’ parlance, this makes it a five-line dial and to us, it’s well balanced. Tudor have also removed the partial hour marker next to the date window at the 3 o’clock position on the dial. This gives the dial a cleaner look and allows the date to ‘pop’ out of the dial.
The obvious vintage inspiration behind the Pelagos is the snowflake dial and hands from the now truly iconic snowflake watches from the 1970’s. The Mk1 (original version with ETA movement) featured a very cool black dial and insert. Our original review commented on the incredible finish of the dial; a perfect combination of matte and satin, with the 3-D effect of the hour markers that ‘sink’ into the dial perimeter. The new blue version (let’s call it the Mk 2!) is one of the most phenomenal shades of blue that we have seen on a watch – It works particularly well against the matte finish of the case and the overall effect is stunning.
As always Tudor shows some amazing designed details in their collection.
The blue Mk 2 is the perfect modern MN watch
The Pelages quite simply oozes tool-watch cool. We imagined the black Mk1 as the perfect successor to the MilSub; its no nonsense and stealthy appearance being perfect for the SAS in combat situations. The blue Mk 2 is the perfect modern MN watch and would make a fantastic successor to the blue snowflakes used by the French Navy in the 1970s and 80s. We tried the watch on a black NATO for the ultimate military look and it looks amazing – especially against the backdrop of our MN props.
The original 1977 Tudor MN Snowflake
The blue Mk 2 is the perfect modern lifestyle watch
The new Pelages also works brilliantly when on a leather NATO. We put the watch on one of our new Camel Vintage leather NATOs and the resulting look was stunning. This watch really rocks when worn like this and it would be the perfect partner with jeans and t-shirt for the ultimate weekend feel. Mixed with the patina of rugged denim and a vintage Filson bag, the watch truly embodied the modern adventurer aesthetic – this is how we will be wearing it at the marina in the evenings!
Just style up this watch and make it your own. The cool blue dial always fits and adds up to your fashion style.
We believe that this is one of the most exciting watch releases of 2015. It was a landmark moment for Tudor to release the in-house movement and it is doubly exciting that it should co-debut in a watch that is arguably Tudor’s most advanced tool watch ever. We will be taking this watch on our holidays and will report back on we got on with it whilst lounging on the beach, diving and sipping mojitos!
Soon part 2 of this review will follow… putting the watch in use in sunny Ibiza.