Summer Splash — The Final Showdown: Jorg’s Tudor Pelagos FXD Vs. Nacho’s Serica 5303-3 Vs. The Fratelli’s Wild-Card Pick
Ladies and gentlemen, my dear Fratelli! The time has come for the Summer Splash 2022 final! Over the past four weeks, you have followed along, made your suggestions, and cast your votes for your favorite watches. Now, it’s time to see which one will be your true summer champion. However, this won’t just be any old final. Not at all. In fact, this showdown finale will see three watches go head to head — the Tudor Pelagos FXD, the Serica 5303-3, and your wild-card pick. That’s right, it’s a three-way battle for the Summer Splash 2022 title. And after compiling all of your picks for the wild-card contestant, there was only one watch that was agreed upon the most. But which of the many brilliant suggestions became the Fratelli’s ultimate wild-card pick?
Before we jump into it, let’s do a quick recap of last week’s results, introduce our two main finalists, and address the big, blue elephant in the room. In the blue corner, we have Jorg and his Tudor Pelagos FXD. And in the other blue corner, we have Nacho and his Serica 5303-3. That’s right, both corners are blue in this fight! Despite us trying to find a colorful summer watch, it seems that dive watches reign supreme in the hotter months. Should we have also banned dark blue watches from competing? Perhaps. But blue is still a color, and while it may be somewhat toned down, it might just be the Fratelli’s favorite. Oh, but wait a minute… Something bright orange this way comes!
The Fratelli’s Wild-Card Pick: The Seiko 5 GMT SSK005
Now that’s more like it! It looks like one of the most popular picks in the wild-card suggestions (both on the site and on Instagram) was the orange version of the new Seiko 5 GMT! An undeniably summery watch, the SSK005 certainly brings the bright orange heat of summer back into the competition. But which watch will take the win? Well, as much as the water resistance of the Seiko 5 GMT left most people wanting more, the added GMT function (albeit a caller GMT) might make this one all that much more interesting, especially to those of you who will be traversing several time zones during your summertime travels. I have to give kudos to you guys and gals. While counting submissions, seeing this one climb up the list to ultimately take the wild-card win was a pleasant surprise!
Its bright orange sunburst dial, golden hands, and matching gold numerals on the bezel do give the SSK005 an edge in terms of color. In a face-off against two blue dive watches, it’s easy to see it going either way. However, it’s not a two-way battle. Only one watch can take the crown, and it all comes down to your choice. So, without further ado, we’ll hand it over to our contestants, who will — one last time — step up to the mic and do their best to sway you to vote for their pick. That said, though it perhaps wasn’t your personal wild-card pick, there’s a chance that the Seiko 5 GMT’s orange charm can also win you over. So let’s hear it from Jorg and Nacho, and then it’s up to you to vote for your Summer Splash 2022 winner!
Jorg: Tudor Pelagos FXD
Ha! I said it when I first went up against Lex’s colorful Hublot Big Bang: my Tudor Pelagos FXD has the chops to go all the way. And here we are! Obviously, it’s not what I said that brought the Pelagos this far. It’s the votes of you, the Fratelli, that made sure that the Marine Nationale blue Pelagos FXD won the two previous battles fairly comfortable in the end. I have to be honest with you, though: I didn’t think the Tudor would crush Thor’s Doxa SUB 300 as easily as it did. When it comes to a summery dive watch, the colorful SUB 300 is one of the watches that immediately comes to mind. Add the great story of the Doxa, and I thought the fight was going to be a lot tougher.
But, in the end, the Pelagos won it, taking 67% of the votes versus 33% for the SUB 300. Can the Pelagos go all the way? Of course, it can! It is the perfect all-around summer watch that will bring a satisfied smile to your face every time. Let me remind you why. First off, it features a 42mm titanium case with characteristic fixed lugs. The case is light, something that I would always be looking for when it comes to a summer watch. And that’s something that both Nacho’s Serica and the Seiko 5 GMT cannot claim. Summer is all about convenience, and that’s where the lightweight Pelagos takes the lead instantly. The watch is present when you need it to be, but it doesn’t remind you unnecessarily that you are wearing a heavy watch. It’s perfect for your relaxing summer days.
Fixed lugs — a thing of the future?
But there is more to the case of the Pelagos FXD. Seeing the sculpture of it with its fixed lugs makes me appreciate the watch even more. Like Robert-Jan said in his review of the Pelagos FXD, the Omega Planet Ocean Ultradeep also features characteristic fixed lugs. While fixed lugs might bring impracticality in terms of wearing a two-piece strap, they do add a lot of character. I remember vividly that Rob and I were exploring case shapes at the office last summer. When we started looking at classic cases with fixed lugs, we found some exceptional designs that I would love to see make a comeback. The boost in character makes up for the limitations easily. As I said in the battle against Lex, I prefer to wear my summer watch on a NATO or Zulu strap anyway, and that’s when the Pelagos FXD is at its best.
Granted, the Pelagox FXD wears pretty big. Its case is 42mm in diameter and 12.75mm thick with a lug-to-lug of 52mm. Nevertheless, it is very easy to wear. By keeping the watch water-resistant to 200 meters, Tudor managed to maintain a very slim overall profile that makes the Pelagos FXD a joy on the wrist. As soon as you strap it on, you are greeted by the color, followed by the great story of the French divers of the Marine Nationale. The blue color is slightly darker than the blue of the regular Pelagos, and this gives it a more serious look. However, it is still vibrant enough to pop off your wrist in the summer sun.
The Pelagos FXD is the full package
The blue dial is contrasted perfectly by the crisp white hour markers executed in true Tudor style. The square and rectangular markers in combination with the snowflake hour hand give it a lot of character. Together with the regular Pelagos, this FXD represents what many fans consider true Tudor design. The absence of a date window is a blessing as it doesn’t disturb the symmetry of the dial. The ceramic bezel features a full scale of hash marks, adding both character and practicality. These are two things that will be very welcome during your summer adventures.
Inside the case, you will find Tudor’s caliber MT5602. This in-house-developed movement comes with chronometer certification. It’s the perfect reliable movement that will serve both the Marine Nationale divers and the watch enthusiasts like myself who love a great aspirational story. At €3,680, the Tudor Pelagos FXD is the perfect summer watch that would be the well-deserved winner of our Summer Splash contest. While I love the Serica 5303-3 a lot, the Tudor is a definite step up in terms of overall quality, use of lightweight materials, and overall reliability. While you probably will criticize the fixed lugs and lack of strap options, the mesh bracelet is the true Achilles heel of the Serica. I’d gladly be using NATO and Zulu straps for a carefree summer with my perfect summer watch — the Tudor Pelagos FXD!
Nacho: Serica 5303-3
All right, all right. I think you’ve said enough about that Tudor for a whole lifetime! And I’ll hand it to you, Jorg, the FXD (alongside the LHD) is probably one of the coolest Tudor watches in the catalog. It’s also one of the only models that weren’t designed with tracing paper and an old Rolex catalog. All jokes aside, the FXD is a seriously cool watch. That said, you sacrifice quite a lot of versatility for the sake of those fixed lugs. And though its dimensions are a bit more user-friendly, you’re still stuck with NATO straps. Sure, you are taking a small step up in terms of quality, finishing, and brand reputation. However, you can’t forget that it comes with a giant leap in price.
In fact, you could comfortably buy two 5303 divers for the price of the FXD. And let’s face it, it’s definitely not twice the watch that the Serica is!
With the Serica 5303-3, you at least get a bit of an original spin on the colorway. Midnight blue meets crystal blue, and the brand’s signature dial-marker layout and lack of explicit branding give this watch a rather unique look. The multi-scale bezel also has an ace up its sleeve in the form of a 12-hour ring. This means that the 5303 can be used to track two time zones — certainly a useful feature when on holiday a couple of time zones away from home. Sure, I’ll admit defeat when it comes to the Tudor’s purist, functional aesthetic. The Pelagos FXD is a perfect dive watch. But let’s face it, other than Gerard and I, nobody else on the Fratello team does any actual diving. And whereas a diver might find the FXD appealing, most of us would rather take something a little more versatile for the summer.
The perfect pick for a carefree summer
Another reason to vote for the Serica comes down to what makes a watch ideal for the warmer summer months. Now, I don’t know about you, but when the summer rolls around, I tend to swap most of my watches over to NATOs, rubber straps, or the original metal bracelet. It’s a matter of comfort and perspiration. Nobody wants a sweaty leather strap. That said, the feeling of a wet NATO against your skin is also not a pleasant one. This is why, more often than not, I tend to go for metal or rubber. If you’re out and about on a warm day and come back home, nothing beats the feeling of taking your watch off your wrist, cooling off a little bit, running the watch under cold water, drying it off, and placing the cool, dry metal bracelet back on. It’s like a miniature AC unit on your wrist!
Now, this is something you’re only likely going to do with dive watches, and more specifically, dive watches on a bracelet. Tudor Pelagos FXD owners, however, will have to stick to a sweaty NATO strap — yuck! Not the best way of rocking an almost-€4K watch. And speaking of price, there’s something to be said for the reasonable €1,290 price tag of the Serica 5303-3. I’m not saying it’s a cheap watch — not at all. But if I’m going on holiday and want to enjoy some truly carefree moments, having a €4,000 titanium scratch magnet on my wrist would certainly not be the way to go. Not only is the price of the 5303-3 lower than that of the Pelagos, but there’s also no thief-attracting Rolex family history influencing the Serica’s looks. Talk about a carefree summer!
Serica for the Summer Splash win
I think I’ve said enough about the Serica, and I hope you will agree with me that it’s the clear winner in this contest. And if the picture above doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, then I don’t think I could do a better job. Would I keep it on the bracelet for summer? Probably not, and that’s the beauty of spring bars and standard lugs. Whether dressing it up or down, the options you could go with to match the Serica are limitless. Personally, I’d probably go for a Joseph Bonnie Tropic-style rubber strap. Then it’s off to the beach for the day and only back in time for sunset cocktails.
Speaking of sunset,do you want to go with something completely different from those two blue divers? Remember that voting for the Fratelli-nominated wild card is always an option! So, without rambling on any further, the time has come to cast your vote.
The final vote!
There you have it, my dear Fratelli, the finalists have gone at it, and now it’s your turn to choose! Will you go for Jorg’s dive-ready Tudor Pelagos FXD? Or will it be Nacho’s carefree and summery Serica? No? Then how about the community’s choice, the Seiko 5 GMT? Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong. Cast your vote below for your favorite colorful summer watch. Stay tuned for Friday when we’ll announce the Summer Splash 2022 champion as well as the winners of our prizes!
Yes, don’t forget, there are prizes at stake! We have gotten our hands on three Casio G-Shock DW-5610DN-9ER watches, and the first person to have recommended the wild-card pick will receive one of them. The second one will go to one of our most engaged commenters on the site, and the final one will be given to one lucky Instagram follower (check out the stories for more details). So, you have multiple chances and ways of winning! Good luck to you all, and see you in the wrap-up this Friday.
And before you go, make sure to vote below!