Basel 2012 officially opens today but we are already getting some exciting announcements from the show floor. Yesterday, Tudor (sibling brand of Rolex) announced the new Pelagos and Heritage Black Bay divers. The titanium-cased Pelagos looks amazing as it features a snow-flake hour hand (a nod to Tudor’s past), is completely satin finished (Rolex got all the bling in this family) and the Pelagos shows its Submariner roots without simply being an ETA powered Rolex clone. The Heritage Black Bay is a continuation of the successful Heritage line which Tudor launched in 2010. This new 41 mm diver is a modern look at a nearly fifty year old design from Rolex and Tudor. Both of these divers offer a glimpse into two different sides of Tudor, a company that has the unfavorable position of having to continually prove its relevance and find its groove while often seeing much of the spotlight go to Rolex.
All references to Rolex aside, you can see from the specifications listed in the above photo that Tudor is not messing and around with the Pelagos. This modern diver has a lumed ceramic bezel insert, an automatic helium escape valve and is powered by the bland yet reliable ETA 2824 automatic movement. The titanium bracelet has a stainless steel clasp that features a unique extension system which incorporates a spring-loaded mechanism with three fine adjustment points and an active setting that can tighten the clasp on its own as a wrist and wetsuit compresses at greater depths. We love the ability to adjust a bracelet in warmer weather so this system looks to be very practical for either diving or daily use scenarios. Hodinkee.com has reported the price to be 3950 CHF (~$4300 USD) which is a competitive price given the Tudor name and technology incorporated in the Pelagos.
In contrast to the Pelagos, the lovely-looking Tudor Heritage Black Bay incorporates a gilt dial and handset while offering a 41 mm stainless steel case, domed sapphire crystal and 200m water resistance. Just like the Pelagos, the Black Bay is powered by an ETA 2824 but can be had with either a bracelet or an aged leather strap. Pricing is rumored to be in the range of 5000 CHF (~$5450 USD) which is rather expensive for an ETA 2824 based dive watch.
The Pelagos looks like an instant winner in terms of design and the Black Bay looks lovely and should play well given the increased interest in vintage inspired models. The $4000-$6000 price range will see heated competition from Omega, Bremont, IWC and Breiting but US buyers will have to travel north to Canada to see these models as Tudor does not retail in the US. We think the Pelagos is the more attrative of the two and looks to be a no-nonsense translation of the modern Submariner styling that Tudor should be very proud of. Seeing as WatchReport.com has Canadian representation, we will do what we can to get some hands-on time with the Pelagos and Black Bay divers in the coming months. Until then, be sure to check out Tudor’s Basel 2012 page for more information on these new models.
UPDATE: Hodinkee.com has reported that the official pricing for the Heritage Black Bay diver will be 2950 CHF (~$3200 USD) on leather and 3250 CHF (~$3500) on the steel bracelet. You can read their entire post here.