Hands-On: The Tudor Pelagos LHD ‘Left Hand Drive,’ A 500-Meter, Crown-Left Diver’s Chronometer

By Jack Forster

The Tudor Pelagos LHD is a very specific kind of watch: LHD stands for “Left Hand Drive,” which refers to the placement of the crown on the left side of the case. This sort of thing really sings to some people and leaves others cold, depending on what your tastes and preferences are. Ultimately, everything depends on how well the details of the watch evoke nostalgia and work from a practical standpoint in the here and now. Thus far, Tudor’s enjoyed a lot of success with its vintage-inspired tool and sports watch models since re-launching in the U.S. in 2013 – let’s look at the LHD and see if it measures up to its predecessors.

The Pelagos is Tudor’s most modern, technical dive watch. It houses Tudor’s own in-house caliber MT5612, with silicon balance spring, the case and bracelet are in titanium, and it has a matte ceramic bezel. There’s also a helium escape valve on the off chance you plan on doing any saturation diving; water resistance is overkill for anything you’re apt to do as a recreational scuba diver, at 500m. The bracelet, lest we forget, is something unique to Tudor: Hidden inside the folding clasp is a micro-adjustment system with three positions, but the clasp is also mounted on a “floating” spring carriage that lets it adjust automatically to your wrist (and you get a rubber strap in the box as well).

The Left Hand Drive model is identical to the current Pelagos in most respects. Other than the placement of the crown, the differences are fairly minor and largely cosmetic. “Pelagos” is in red, and the “roulette” date wheel has alternating black and red numbers.

Ref. 7021 with "roulette" date wheel, 1969.

The lume is described as “cream colored” by Tudor, and there have been some objections to this on the grounds that it’s a sort of ersatz vintage look. In theory I agree with this, as I think pre-aged lume in a technical dive watch goes against the premise that you’re getting something whose design should be grounded in practical considerations, but, in practice, the off-white coloration is so subtle that you almost have to be told it’s there to pick up on it. It certainly doesn’t come across as the sort of obvious faux-tina a lot of folks don’t care …read more      

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