Tudor, the sister subsidiary of Rolex, once again surprises us this year with a brand new release before Christmas – the Tudor Pelagos LHD. For the unaware, LHD is the acronym for Left Hand Drive. Unlike a normal watch, the crown is in the 9 o’clock position to accommodate the smaller demographics of left-handed watch wearers. Very few manufactures offer a ‘left handed version’ of their watches. Unlike Rolex, Tudor often tries new technology and design experiments as a key differentiator from the parent company. Tudor often incorporates changes and design based on input of their customers. This is one of them. However, this isn’t the first time Tudor offered a left handed version watch.
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For example, in 1981, Tudor supplied the French Navy a few LHD Tudor Submariners ref. 94010. Thus, this isn’t a gimmick to ensnare customers. Immediately after it’s introduction, the Pelagos LHD was available to the public for purchase. Again, this may be a sign of a new, more agile and responsive Tudor in this downturned Swiss watch market.
(Nod to the past. Tudor reference 94010 Submariner circa 1981)
The Pelagos was introduced in 2012 with an emphasis on tool watch functionality whereas the Black Bay was tailored for those who wanted a retro vibe divers watch. The Pelagos differed from the standard Black Bay in various areas. It had a more robust hyper resistant case and bracelet built out of titanium. The diver’s clasp is an entirely new, novel design with a unique spring-loaded self adjustment system. The clasp works surprisingly well by providing perfect fitting through granular tension.
The Pelagos visually differs from the Black Bay by offering a pointy crown guard and 42mm case size. The Pelagos also has serious specifications such as 500m depth rating versus 200m on the Black Bay. It also supports the Rolex designed helium/ gas release valve. If one had to compare, the Pelagos is the equivalent of the Rolex Sea Dweller while the BB would be the Submariner equivalent for Tudor. With the introduction of the LHD Pelagos, those lines have blurred a bit. Back in 2012, the newly introduced Pelagos was a very tool-like monochromatic watch with a pure white luminous application in either blue or black dial. Today, the LHD variant borders on the Black Bay’s territory with a very retro vibe. Yet, it still maintains everything that is good about the standard Pelagos.
The obvious visual difference between the standard Pelagos and Pelagos LHD is the left orientation of the crown for left handed users. The Pelagos LHD is meant to be worn on the right wrist. But the differentiation doesn’t end there. The dial is designed with a “new vintage” faux patina look; meaning it has the retro styled cream colored markers and matte dial. Even the bezel indices are creamed colored.
The vintage, aged demeanor is complemented with a red Pelagos text similar to vintage and legendary Rolex Submariners/Sea Dwellers that are highly collectible these days.
As noted earlier, the Tudor Pelagos differs from the Tudor Black Bay as it is normally positioned as the halo diver’s watch whereas the BB is the heritage piece. The Pelagos LHD seems to offer a little of both in a unique package. It definitely does have a very retro look but it still retains the modern Pelagos accoutrements. Overall, the design clearly makes it more special than a standard right handed Pelagos.
The case back of the LHD also has a major difference with the over-size arabic number inscription; indicating that the Pelagos LHD is a numbered edition watch. Numbered releases normally suggest a limited release but Tudor assures this is not the case.
Like the standard Pelagos, the LHD has all the great attributes that make the original watch so good. I particularly like the ceramic matte bezel with luminous application. There are other nice touches as the red date-wheel. If you like the standard Pelagos, you will definitely like this left handed variation.
Tudor In-House Movement
Just like the regular Pelagos, the Tudor LHD comes with the in-house movement caliber MT5612 with a slight deviation. Due to the different placement of the crown stem, this movement is titled MT5612-LHD. For chronometer certification by COSC, the tested position is worn with the winding stem on the left instead of the usual right. In the past, Tudor relied on ETA based debauches but since 2015, Tudor has been supplying this new in-house calibers for their divers watches.
The MT5612 is a robust movement with 70 hour power reserve and a silicon balance spring and a variable inertia balance with micro-adjustment by screw. At 4Hz (28,800 bph) frequency operating speed, the MT5612 does not disappoint. Far exceeding the COSC chronometer specs of -4 to +6 seconds per day, the Tudor caliber averages -2 to +4 seconds per day in deviation.
Cost and Availability
The immediate availability the watch’s introduction was a pleasant surprise. The Tudor Pelagos LHD reference 25610TNL is available for purchase now. More brands should do this instead of having 6-8 month lead time. Often when a brand introduces a new product, it risks alienating customer enthusiasm with long lead times.
This was not the case here. Like a new savvy modern tech start-ups, the instant availability during Christmas holidays is a welcome change for a Swiss company trying to stand out in this downturn market. Lastly, for a new variant, the LHD is price like the standard Pelagos without any up-sell markup. Price for the Tudor Pelagos LHD: 4,200 Swiss Francs / 4,140 Euros / 4,400 USD.
Specifications: TUDOR PELAGOS LHD
- In-House Caliber: MT5612-LHD
- 42 mm titanium and steel case, satin finish
- Helium escape valve
- Power reserve of approximately 70 hours
- Screw-down steel winding crown with the TUDOR logo
- Sapphire crystal Unidirectional rotatable bezel in titanium with black ceramic disc
- Titanium bracelet with folding clasp, safety catch and bracelet extension system
- Additional rubber strap with buckle and extra extension piece
- Waterproof to 500 m (1640 ft)