Coffee Corner Watch Talk With A Tudor Pelagos 39 On An NDC Marine Nationale Strap
It’s always a good thing to plan. I have nothing against spontaneous actions, but for stuff like watch shows held abroad, it’s better to be prepared. So, please take note that Watches and Wonders 2023 will take place from March 27th through April 2nd in Geneva. Furthermore, on Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd, the show will be open to the public. There will be 49 (!) brands present, including the most famous brands in watchmaking. Among the presenters are Tudor and Vacheron Constantin, and that’s why this edition of Coffee Corner Watch Talk features a Tudor Pelagos 39 and a new Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph, watches we probably will see new versions of come Watches and Wonders 2023.
Tudor is a watch brand that never ceases to surprise me. The Black Bay Pro had me contemplating the history of the brand and its relation to its mother company, Rolex. On the other hand, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 in its soft-shining silver case and taupe attire got me all lyrical, and then the Tudor Pelagos 39 came out. I’d never seen it in the metal until last week when it arrived at the office. I judged the watch by the numbers and the description before. Once I felt it, wore it, and experienced it, though, I could properly put together an informed first judgment. Furthermore, I was skeptical about the black dial’s satin sunray finish on paper, but in real life, it proved to be no problem. That’s especially because the applied blocks of luminescent ceramic are both gorgeous to look at and very functional in the dark.
The Tudor Pelagos 39
I won’t go into all the details of the Tudor Pelagos 39 (€4,170) since Nacho already did a thorough hands-on. But I will say this. The Pelagos 39 with its 47mm lug-to-lug is “easy like Sunday morning” on the wrist – exactly what you wish for on a Monday morning, right? Some Fratelli might have a problem with titanium for weight reasons, but I’m not one of them. And apart from that, the Grade 2 titanium of the Pelagos 39 case and bracelet just looks the instumental part.
Customizing the Pelagos 39 with a “Nageur de Combat” strap
As I experience it, the Pelagos 39 is a bit of a mix between the retro Black Bay Fifty-Eight and the Pelagos. But that doesn’t mean that the “Pela Bay” lacks character. It has the charm of the BB58 and the ruggedness of the (slightly too big) 42mm Marine Nationale Pelagos FXD. The Pelagos comes on a titanium three-link bracelet alongside a complimentary black rubber strap with a pin buckle and diver’s extension. But I do like a bit of history and the idea of having a watch delivered without a strap — the way Tudor provided just watch heads to the divers of the French navy back in the day. And when you combine a Pelagos 39 with a real “Nageur de Combat” (NDC) strap — the limited edition Royal Marines Commando version, for instance — with a dagger-emblazoned PVD hook made from genuine Marine Nationale parachute elastic, everything falls into place.
Who gives a flying fish?
The strap takes a bit of practice to put on smoothly and quickly, but once on the wrist, it feels and looks fantastic. And as you might have noticed, the strap is a bit too wide for the 21mm lug spacing. That’s because the strap was around before the watch was, so it wasn’t an “arranged marriage”. And it’s this nonchalant pairing that uplifts the Pelagos 39 to the higher echelons of coolness. Do you think a military diver gives a flying fish about an extra millimeter on his watch strap? Exactly! So, be nonchalant, overcome your watch OCD, and get yourself a military-style strap that’s not quite the right size. It will help you relax, feel content, and open your mind. And in the end, that’s what I got out of wearing the Pelagos 39.
You can find information on the different Tudor dive watches on the brand’s official website.
Watches and Wonders 2023: March 27th – April 2nd in Geneva
Tudor will be one of 49 participants in the next Watches and Wonders show that will be held from March 27th through April 2nd, 2023 in Geneva. The first five days of the watch show are reserved for the press, retailers, and guests of the 49 exhibiting brands. But the Salon will, for the first time, also be open to the public over the weekend. So, if your favorite brand won’t invite you — such an outrage! — you could travel to Geneva and go to the show on Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd. A ticket will set you back CHF 70 — that’s just about CHF 1.43 per brand — and will be available on the Watches and Wonders 2023 website. Have a look at the full list of exhibitors taking part in Watches and Wonders 2023 and pick the reason(s) for traveling to Geneva:
A. Lange & Söhne | Alpina | Angelus | Arnold & Son | Baume & Mercier | Beauregard | Bell & Ross | Cartier | Chanel | Charles Zuber | Charriol | Chopard | Chronoswiss | Cyrus Genève | Czapek & Cie | Ferdinand Berthoud | Frederique Constant | Grand Seiko | Grönefeld | Hautlence | Hermès | Hublot | Hysek | IWC Schaffhausen | Jaeger-LeCoultre | Kerbedanz | Laurent Ferrier | Louis Moinet | Montblanc | Oris | Panerai | Parmigiani Fleurier | Patek Philippe | Pequignet | Piaget | Rebellion Timepieces | Ressence | Roger Dubuis | Rolex | Rudis Sylva | Speake-Marin | TAG Heuer | Trilobe | Tudor | U-Boat | Ulysse Nardin | Vacheron Constantin | Van Cleef & Arpels | Zenith
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph — How blue can you be this Monday?
In the 19th-century USA, “Blue Monday” referred to laborers suffering from a hangover after a weekend of boozing and the connection of the color blue with a very somber state of mind. You could cure a 21st-century blue state of mind by playing New Order’s 1983 song “Blue Monday” at considerable volume. You could also dish out €83,500 and buy the new Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V/110R-B952 in pink gold with its translucent-blue lacquered sunburst satin-finished dial and velvet-finished and snailed sub-dials. The 42.5 × 13.7mm 18K 5N pink gold case and matching bracelet are not to be missed either.
Inside the 150m-water-resistant case of the Overseas Chronograph beats the in-house, self-winding caliber 5200, made with 263 components. You can have a look at many of its 263 components through the see-through case back. Try to spot the column wheel adorned with a Maltese-cross-shaped screw. If you can look past the 22K gold rotor, that is.
The watch comes on a heavyweight pink gold bracelet with half-Maltese-cross-shaped polished and satin-brushed links. You also get a blue calfskin strap with light gray stitching and a blue rubber strap included. Both straps come with a pink gold pin buckle, and all options feature a quick-release mechanism for easy changeability.
Find out more about the newest Overseas creation in Ben’s introductory article or on the official Vacheron Constantin website.
That’s all for this (blue) Monday. Have yourself a great watch week, Fratelli!
Find and follow me at Lex Stolk • Instagram