08/30/2022
 4 minutes

Tudor Pelagos – A better, more affordable Rolex alternative?

By Donato Andrioli
Tudor-Pelagos-Rolex-Sea-Dweller–2-1

Bigger, better, and more advanced: you could say that the Rolex Sea-Dweller is the professional dive version of the Rolex Submariner. It’s got the same iconic design while delivering more specs than the famous Rolex classic. And even though prices for it on the secondary market start at around $15,000 (surprisingly close to its official Rolex list price), that’s still a sizable chunk of change for many enthusiasts. That’s why today I’m showing you an alternative to the Sea-Dweller that more than holds its own, the Tudor Pelagos. It’s not only much more affordable, but in some ways even has more to offer than Rolex’s professional diving watch.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller delivers to those divers looking for the real deal. Just be ready to dive deep into your pockets to get one.
The Rolex Sea-Dweller delivers to those divers looking for the real deal. Just be ready to dive deep into your pockets to get one.

Tudor Pelagos: More Color Variety Than Rolex 

Let’s state the obvious: The Rolex icon offers you nothing in terms of dial color. Sure, the red SEA-DWELLER lettering is a nice touch. Beyond that, the standard Sea-Dweller is available in black. Period. So if you’re looking for a little more variety in your collection other than just another black-dial timepiece, the Tudor Pelagos, with its three color variations, could be the way to go. This watch comes in a black-dial version or a black-dial version with a left-handed case, beige indices, and PELAGOS in red on the dial (and on the date wheel; even numbered days are displayed in red, odd days in black). There’s also a sporty blue-dial version that exudes a very fresh vibe. This color selection with the Tudor Pelagos is a great advantage: As a watch collector, you can choose exactly what you want as the next watch in your collection, whether it’s a standard, great-looking black-dial timepiece or something with a little more color, for added variety. My personal favorite, hands down, is the blue Pelagos. The color looks amazing, and is refreshingly different. 

The Tudor Pelagos offers more color options
The Tudor Pelagos offers more color options

Tudor Pelagos: Fantastic Technology  

There’s no question that the Rolex Sea-Dweller delivers the best of the best in terms of technology. Its impressive water resistance of 1,220 meters (4,000 feet) makes clear how robust this Rolex diving watch is. But at that price, should we really be expecting something less? Even though it only costs a fraction of the Rolex icon, the Tudor Pelagos still delivers phenomenal technology, and unbeatable value for money. You’ll get an in-house caliber with a date complication, and 70 hours of power reserve. The Pelagos doesn’t have 1,220 meters of water resistance, but 500 meters (50 bar, 1,640 feet) are nothing to sneeze at and, by the way, leave diving watch favorites like the Rolex Submariner or the Omega Seamaster 300M playing catch-up. The Pelagos also features a ceramic bezel. As opposed to the Rolex, the numbers and indices glow in the dark. That’s a clear plus, especially for those who are going to be doing some actual diving with this timepiece. The Tudor Pelagos is also a bit more wearable than the Rolex. After all, with its 43-mm case width and 15.1-mm case thickness, the Sea-Dweller is a very large watch. Similar in size, the Pelagos’ case width of 42 mm, and 14.3-mm case thickness nevertheless wears better. Being on the larger end of things is the general nature of diving watches; Tudor, however, does a better job here with its dimensions, and its titanium case and bracelet give it a more tool-y feel than the more luxurious Rolex. 

The Tudor Pelagos delivers outstanding technology that is on an equal level with more expensive watches
The Tudor Pelagos delivers outstanding technology that is on an equal level with more expensive watches

Tudor Pelagos: The Best Clasp On the Market? 

The Rolex Sea-Dweller has an Oysterlock clasp with the Glidelock feature, allowing the bracelet to be extended up to an additional 20 mm. Its Fliplock diving extension furthermore allows the bracelet to be extended by another 26 mm, letting it fit over even the thickest wetsuit. The Tudor Pelagos also has a top-notch, professional diving clasp that may very well be the watch’s most impressive feature. The patented clasp has a diving extension, allowing you to extend it in seconds and thus making it perfect for the outside of your wetsuit. Furthermore, the clasp automatically adjusts to the circumference of your wrist as it swells or shrinks with the temperature throughout the day. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a clasp with such uncompromising functionality. There is however one slight catch: while the Rolex clasp looks great for everyday wear, the Tudor clasp has a more functional, tool-y look that might not match every outfit. That doesn’t mean that the patented Tudor clasp isn’t an absolutely innovative stunner. You might even say it makes the Rolex clasp a little envious. In any case, the Tudor Pelagos’ functional appearance is probably most at home on the outside of a wetsuit, or as a complement to a bathing suit for a day at the beach. 

The patented Tudor clasp automatically adjusts to your wrist size
The patented Tudor clasp automatically adjusts to your wrist size

Tudor Pelagos: Better than the Sea-Dweller? 

Tudor’s diving watch delivers outstanding quality and haptics. Its technology leaves nothing to be desired, and its patented clasp is currently second to none in the world of watches. At a list price of $4,725, it’s got great value for money as well, and its complementary rubber strap (in matching dial color) gives the watch an extra sporty look. It’s a nice touch from Tudor, and one you don’t see from every watchmaker. The Tudor Pelagos is probably the best diving watch on the market under $5,000, and leaves some of the more expensive dive watches looking a little long in the tooth. Even though the professional Rolex diving watch is overall the better timepiece, the Tudor delivers better value. I’m sure that those longing to own a Rolex Sea-Dweller will in fact make their way towards purchasing one. But that doesn’t mean the Tudor Pelagos won’t grab their attention from time to time along the way.  


About the Author

Donato Andrioli

With the purchase of my Tudor Black Bay 41, I discovered a passion for mechanical watches. I am particularly drawn to iconic watches with long and exciting histories.

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