Following the Black Bay Fifty-Eight and Ranger, another Tudor sport watch is getting downsized — and the people are excited. Shaving off three millimeters in diameter brings Tudor's serious, titanium-cased Pelagos dive watch down to 39mm, a size increasingly considered a sweet spot. The move is sure to be welcomed by many, but can it replicate the success of the massively popular Black Bay Fifty-Eight?
The headline is the Pelagos 39's smaller case compared to the existing 42mm Pelagos, but there are more notable differences, both cosmetic and functional. In addition to what the reduction of three millimeters in diameter will do for wearability, Tudor also slimmed the case by a not insignificant 2.5mm to 11.8mm. Just like the Pelagos, it's made of lightweight titanium, and thanks to all these factors, there's every reason to think that it'll be just about as comfortable as a dive watch can be.
With a smaller size and more wearability also comes a character that leans slightly more toward the everyday urban watch than that meant strictly for serious sporting activities. Gone is the helium escape valve which, it's well documented, is only relevant for extremely specific professions, and water resistance is decreased from 500m to 200m — which, again, is probably all you'll ever need.
Aesthetically, too, the Pelagos 39 is aiming for versatility. Instead of the Pelagos's purely functional matte finishes, the Pelagos 39's brushed case and bezel are going to offer a bit more shine to this dive watch, and a sunburst dial will give it a bit of luxury luster. The result is a more classic look, and that's further reflected in the omission of a date display. It's powered by the same in-house, automatic, chronometer-certified MT5400 movement as is found in the Black Bay Fifty-Eight.
The Black Bay is still Tudor's flagship collection, and the smaller Fifty-Eight is easily a favorite. But the Pelagos 39 offers an alternative to that watch's popularity and ubiquity that's visually distinct and sportier (with crown guards and squarish indices). With its use of titanium, however, including a full titanium bracelet with a rapid "T-fit" adjustment system and diver's extension (plus an extra rubber strap) it also comes with a relatively premium price — but not excessively so, at $4,400, still reflecting the impressive value Tudor's known for.