The Tudor Pelagos 39, Tudor Ranger, and Tudor Black Bay Pro – unfamiliar with these models? Well, maybe that’s because the Rolex sibling brand has recently released several new models out of the blue, and without the usual pomp and circumstance that accompanies major trade fairs. Tudor has largely relied on the power of social media and influencers with their latest releases. This unconventional approach is giving Tudor a decidedly modern and almost rebellious image compared to Rolex. If you missed some of the finer details of these releases, not to worry, we’ll be breaking down all the most important facts and figures in this article.
The Tudor Pelagos 39
Let’s start with the newest member of the Tudor family: the Pelagos 39. Fans of the brand have long sought an update to this professional diving model. Up until now, the diver has set itself apart from the Black Bay mostly due to its size (42 vs. 39 mm), case material (titanium vs. stainless steel), and water resistance (500 vs. 200 m). Oh, and of course the presence of a helium escape valve and crown guard. Many considered the Pelagos to be one of the top professional diving watches on the market, but how many of us actually require all the capabilities of a professional diver on our wrist?
What many Tudor fans were looking for was a more compact 39-mm case and less bulky design, and that’s exactly what they got. The new Tudor Pelagos 39 is certainly more suitable for everyday wear and more fashionable than its larger counterpart. Here, Tudor stepped away from the niche and into the masses, and possibly introduced a serious competitor to its own Black Bay in the process. The Pelagos 39 measures just 11.8 mm thick and 47 mm lug to lug. The overall watch weighs just 107 g, the helium escape valve is nowhere to be found, and the water resistance has dropped to 200 m (656 ft). The ceramic bezel no longer has a matte finish, but still contrasts nicely with the deep black yet somewhat glossy dial. Of course, the bezel and dial are equipped with luminous material for adequate legibility. The red Pelagos inscription is also worth mentioning; it’s reminiscent of vintage models and gives the watch a nice historical touch. The band’s quick adjustment system allows the wearer to quickly jump from 16 to 21 mm, and is a feature that divers and laypeople alike will appreciate. When it comes to the movement, Tudor has turned to the COSC-certified MT5400 without a date display. The movement has a 70-hour power reserve and is the same one that powers Black Bay models.
With the Pelagos 39, Tudor has fulfilled the dreams of many of its fans. Here, they have given us a diving watch that is more suitable to everyday use and yet remains state-of-the-art both technically and visually. Is it a win-win? Or have they given themselves too much in-house competition? Only time will tell…
The Tudor Heritage Ranger 79950
The new Tudor Ranger can be found in Tudor’s Heritage line. You’ll also find the Heritage Chronograph and Heritage Black Bay in this same series. This placement is actually a bit confusing: Where does the Heritage Ranger belong? Is the Ranger a chronograph or a military diving watch? And how does the Ranger differ from the other Heritage models?
With its simple 3-6-9-12 layout, the Ranger is a classic, military-inspired timepiece. It does without a date, displaying nothing but the time. In contrast to the Tudor 36, which has a similar configuration, the Ranger clearly has vintage roots. Stepping away from the Black Bay line, the model borrows some of its distinctive features from the original Ranger and Ranger II from the 1960s and 70s, and successfully integrates them into a modern timepiece. The brushed stainless steel case now measures 39 mm across and retains its 100 m (328 ft) depth rating. Again, the matte black dial is sans date display and the crown does without a crown guard. However, the watch does boast a second hand with a red tip and cream-colored indices that are not applied, but painted on. Is this a charming vintage touch or a relic from the past? You decide!
The Ranger is powered by the MT5402 with a 70-hour power reserve, and the model is priced well below the watches in the Black Bay line. Overall, Tudor has gone its own way with this watch, taking the no-frills vintage timepiece out of its niche existence and making it more suitable for everyday use without compromising on its core DNA. That being said, they’ve also opened the model up to more competition, both from within their own portfolio and beyond.
Many consider the Ranger to be the indirect successor of the now-discontinued Tudor North Flag. This watch had clear links to adventurers and explorers through the British North Greenland Expedition, but was overall much less conventional.
The Tudor Black Bay Pro
Last but not least, let’s take a look at the Tudor Black Bay Pro. As its name gives away, this watch is a member of the Black Bay family. But what does the “Pro” in its name suggest? And how does it differ from other Black Bay models?
If you think the Black Bay Pro looks vaguely familiar, you may be thinking of the Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655. Spot on! So, what does this tell us? Well, the Black Bay Pro is a GMT watch; a 39-mm GMT watch, to be exact. This, in contrast to the Tudor Black Bay GMT, which measures 41 mm across. The Pro features a fixed GMT bezel and Tudor’s MT5652 caliber. The “Pro” in its name indicates that this watch is very different from other Black Bay (GMT) models, at least in terms of aesthetics.
The vintage look and size will certainly appeal to a slightly different audience than the Black Bay GMT, but, of course, the Black Bay Pro is completely up to date when it comes to specs. The watch is water-resistant to 200 m (656 ft), has a 70-hour power reserve, and offers the choice of a typical Tudor NATO strap, hybrid rubber strap, or a stainless steel bracelet. Speaking of hybrids, the Black Bay Pro is the perfect example of that thing Tudor fans love above all else: a Rolex (just kidding). Yes, the resemblance to the Explorer II is unmistakable, but the Explorer look is blended with influences from the North Flag and a touch of the Black Bay series too, not to mention a heavy dose of its own unique character. The final watch is a bit thinner and more compact from lug to lug than many of its inspiration models, however, making it more wearable and more attractive to potential buyers. After all, the size of the Black Bay GMT has been one of the main criticisms of the watch in forums and community groups. The Pro’s legibility, especially in the dark, has also been improved with stronger lume and off-white indices, both of which are in keeping with the model’s vintage look. The new Tudor also features a T-Fit clasp with a quick adjustment, underscoring this watch’s perfect blend of modern technology and vintage charm. With this timepiece, Tudor has once again proven that they know what fans want and are listening closely.