You are currently viewing Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos: The Ultimate Comparison

Tudor watches are great if you want Rolex quality without the huge brand markup. The Tudor collection is filled with cool timepieces ranging from diving to dressier styling. 

Some Tudor watches may look very similar in surface; a great example is the Black Bay and the Pelagos. These two dive watches are so similar in fact, that a lot of buyers are torn between the two.

There's only one way to choose the right watch between the Black Bay or Pelagos: getting all the information you need.

In this article, we'll make an in-depth comparison and try to explain every difference between these two iconic Tudor watches.


Black BAy



Case Diameter



Lug Width



Case Thickness





To make a fair comparison, I chose to compare the 41mm Black Bay with the Pelagos. While the Pelagos is only offered with a 42mm case, the Black Bay can also be bought in 32,36,42,43mm variants.

Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos on wrist

source 1,2

It's interesting to note that these two Tudors share the same lug-to-lug length, so they both look good on the same wrist range (≈6.25'' to 7.5''+). The lug width is also the same, but the Black Bay's bracelet tapers down a bit more towards the clasp.

Finally, the case thickness only differs by 0.5mm, which doesn't look much on paper, but it does a tangible difference in real life. Not only will the Pelagos's case look bigger, but it will also be harder to wear with long sleeve shirts.


Black bay


Domed Sapphire


Flat Sapphire

200m/20 bar

Water Resistance

500m/ 50 Bar

Signed Screw-Down


Triplock Screw-Down

Unidirectional 120-clicks


Unidirectional 120-clicks





As is expected from watches in this price range, both the Pelagos and the Black Bay get a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

The divergence between the two lies in the shape: the BB gets a slightly domed crystal, while the Pelagos's glass is completely flat.

Water Resistance/Crown

Even though both watches are part of the diver category, one clearly outclasses the other in this field.

Although the two Tudors have a screw-down crown, the Pelagos has a few extra features that allow it to reach an impressive 500m resistance, compared to the Black Bay's 200m.

Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos Sideview

For instance, the Pelagos gets Rolex's proprietary Triplock system, which uses a beefy gasket around the crown to improve WR. Also, you get an helium escape valve at the 9 o'clock position.

When it comes to styling, the two Tudors get a signed crown with a notched pattern. The Black Bay displays the rose logo, whereas the Pelagos sports the shield logo.


The bezel is another great differenciating feature between the two watches. While the styling is practically the same, the Black Bay's steel bezel is covered with an aluminum insert.

Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos side-by-side 2

On the other hand, the Pelagos has a titanium bezel covered with a ceramic insert. This one will be much more scratch-resistant, whereas the BB's bezel will be easier to scratch, but much less prone to shattering.

When it comes to the 120-clicks unidirectional mechanism, both bezels are far above the competition in terms of crispness and general quality. For instance, every single example gets perfect alignment with the chapter ring.

Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos Crown

The shape and styling of the two bezels are a bit different. For example, the Black Bay gets a perfectly flat bezel, whereas the Pelagos gets a slightly protruding and beveled bezel.

This inclination as well as the thicker configuration makes the Pelagos's bezel really easy to use.

Finally, the Black Bay's bezel might be a bit more desirable, considering it is available with the iconic red triangle, which is not the case for the Pelagos.


Usually, watchmakers will use the same luminous phosphorescent for their whole lineup. This is not the case for the Black Bay & Pelagos.

The BB's hands & indices are painted with a nice layer of Superluminova, which is renowned for its brightness and durability across the industry.

Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos lume

On the other hand, the Pelagos gets a thick layer of Rolex's own Chromalight application, which I must say one-ups the Superluminova. 

Not only does it glow with more intensity, you also get lumed numerals & indices on the bezel, which is a nice addition.


black bay





Automatic w/ Hand-Winding


Automatic w/ Hand-Winding

28,800 bph


28,800 bph

70 Hours

Power Reserve

70 Hours




-4 to +6 secs/day


-4 to +6 secs/day




The movements used in the Black Bay and Pelagos are extremely similar. They are both Tudor in-house automatic calibers, with a large 70 hours power reserve and a high frequency of 28,800 bph. 

Both movements have the ability to hand-wind, and hack the seconds hand. Also, the accuracy of -4 to + 6 seconds per day makes the Black bay and Pelagos COSC-certified watches. 

Tudor MT5602-MT5612 Caliber

The biggest difference between the two movements is the date complication, which is only found on the MT5612 (Pelagos). Also, the MT5612 sports an extra jewel, which brings up the total amount to 26. This added jewel only serves aesthetical purposes, as the accuracy and reliability of both movements are the same.

These in-house movements are prized for the technologically-advanced non-magnetic silicone balance spring, which contributes to the huge power reserve. Also, this spring is balanced using variable inertia, which is also a technological prowess.


black bay







Matte Black

Applied Circles

Hour marks

Applied Squares




Stainless Steel



Stainless Steel




Even if the Black Bay and Pelagos look similar at first sight, you can notice a few differences when digging into it. As you'll see throughout the following sections, there are a few key differences that contribute to the different styling of the two watches.

In short, the Black bay gives off a vintage vibe, with a lot of classic-looking features. Conversely, the Pelagos has a much more modern and sober look, which gives off a tool-watch vibe. 


As the name implies, the Tudor Black Bay is only offered with a black dial. In contrast, the Pelagos is offered with either a blue or black dial.

The differences don't end there, the shape is also distinct. The BB gets a slightly curved dial, which adds to its vintage design. The Pelagos instead gets a normal flat dial.

Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos dial

The other biggest variant between the two dials is the presence of the day display at the 3 o'clock position on the Pelagos, which is absent on the Black Bay.

This can be a determining factor in you decision since purists usually prefer a clean undated dial. To me, the Pelagos's small date window adds functionality without taking too much real estate.


It wouldn't be a true Tudor diver without the iconic snowflake hands. This is why the two watches sport the same snowflake design, albeit with a few key differences.

For example, the Black Bay's minutes and seconds hands are elongated to the point of reaching the chapter ring.

Conversely, the Pelagos's minutes hand is much shorter and barely reaches the hour marks.


The shape of the indices is one of the easiest discrepancy to spot between the two Tudors. The BB gets the classic circle indices, which is a nod to the early-50s Rolex/Tudor Submariner.

Instead, the Pelagos gets modern square hour indices. Also, the triangle/rectangles found at the 6/9/12 o'clock positions are much thicker than on the Black Bay. 

Black Bay vs Pelagos #2

This contributes to the crowded dial of the Pelagos. Also, it has larger fonts and logos, which makes the BB's dial uncluttered in comparison.

Finally, it's important to note that only the Black Bay is offered with the quintessential gilt dial (gold trims/fonts), which once again contributes to its vintage vibe.


Even though both watches share a similar case size, there are still a few physical distictions between them.

For instance, one common complaint about the Black Bay is that it lacks a crown guard, whereas the Pelagos's crown is protected.

Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos case

source 1,2

If you take good care of your timepiece, this shouldn't be a problem at all. The problem is if you're clumsy like me: you might hit the BB's crown with enough force to cause very expensive damages.

The other most noticeable difference is the finish of the case. The Tudor Black Bay's components feature a mix of satin and polished finish. Instead, the Pelagos is fully covered in a satin finish, which gives it a rugged look.


Considering the huge markup between the leather version and the bracelet version of the Black Bay, the expectations are high.

I must say that the bracelet of the two watches is high-quality, but they each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Tudor Black Bay vs Pelagos Clasp

source  1,2

For example, the Pelagos's bracelet is rich in features (diver extension, spring action clasp, etc.) but it is very bulky. 

If you actually use the watch for diving purposes, you will be pleased, but desk-divers might feel like the bulkiness is a pain in the neck.

On the other hand, the Black Bay's bracelet is gracefully thinner, which makes for a more comfortable experience, but it lacks a few diving features.


black bay


$3,970 to $4,330



5 years


5 years


Historical Significance



As you can see in the table above, the Pelagos is the priciest watch of the two, but the difference is negligible (if you have that kind of money).

While the Pelagos is only offered for one price, the Black Bay's cost will vary depending on which strap you choose. The stainless steel version is the most expensive at $4,330, and the leather or fabric versions are offered for $3,970.


Tudor offers the same warranty for every watch in its collection. This is a 5 years warranty that covers any malfunction that isn't part of normal wear & tear. 

It's also interesting to note that they offer a new 2 years "service warranty" if you get your watch serviced by Tudor or by an Authorized Dealer. This means it might be worth it to pay extra instead of going to your local watch guy.

It's good to know that Tudor just upgraded their warranty from 2 to 5 years in January 2020. This is a much-appreciated  change that places Tudor's protection length on par with Rolex and Omega.

Historical Significance

As you've probably noticed, the Pelagos outweighs the BB in a lot of categories (water-resistance, case material, etc..), which is normal considering the price difference.

The Pelagos might be more advanced, but the Black Bay has something money can't buy: a deep history. Even though the Black Bay collection has only been around since 2012, it is a descendant of the Tudor Submariner, which goes back to 1954.

On the other hand, the Pelagos isn't based on any previous Tudor model, so it is a newcomer. It's also been around since 2012.


Even if they share a few resemblances, I think that both the Tudor Black Bay and Pelagos have a place in your watch collection. If you're on a tight budget and you absolutely need to choose one, I recommend looking at the pros/cons list below.

Black Bay


  • Domed Crystal & Dial
  • Cheaper
  • Iconic Styling


  • 200m Water Resistance
  • More common



  • 500m Water Resistance
  • Light & Sturdy
  • Better Lume


  • Higher Price
  • Bulky Clasp

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Paul Robert Walker

    Dear All.

    It’s been a very pleasant change and a surprise, especially in the world of high quality watches, to find such a useful and in-depth review. Both Tudors happen to be two of the watches which, purely out of coincidence, are both on my current bucket-list of what I’m looking to purchase in the very near future as a long term “investment.”

    In saying that, I don’t think of this purchase as being an investment in the usually accepted connotation of “investment,” which in every day life is given to meaning something which is safe, financially secure, and may well increase in value – although on that last point, there are very specific watches within the ranges of certain prestige brands, which have been known to increase substantially in value over the years.

    In this particular (and purely personal) instance, “investment” means it’s something which will give me great pleasure both to own and to wear on a daily, regular, and long-term basis. Every watch, irrespective of price, IS subject to the normal wear-and-tear of life and living, and will be in contact with the many surfaces which are encountered every day of our lives. Over time, we’ve all caught our wrists on a variety door handles, closing drawers in the kitchen, bedroom, office, and even on car door and tailgate (boot) handles, along with many other similar devices.

    I see absolutely no point in spending upwards of three, four, or even five figures on a timepiece IF it’s not going to be worn. On that basis alone (and in general terms) there are many more secure and sensible ways of investing your (often) hard earned cash.

    Looking realistically at the concerns of people who HAVE purchased expensive watches, but who can’t or won’t bring themselves to actually wear the watch, what – apart from theft or mugging – is the worst that can happen to the watch in terms of damage ?

    Starting with the easiest to deal with – the strap or bracelet. Marks on metal bracelets can usually be completely polished out. Those made of the considerably lighter titanium are popular, but when first introduced were almost impossible to have marks or scratches removed. However, newer techniques with various types of ‘cutting’ compounds (used with care) followed by polishing, can and will restore the bracelet to its factory finish. But at the end of the day, if costs start to soar due the the period of time it’s taking with labour charges, it’s probably cheaper just to replace the strap/bracelet with a new one.

    Although many manufacturers nowadays offer a rubber, silicone, or fabric strap as factory alternatives to metal, if that’s not the case then there are scores of after-market bracelets made of virtually every material available (including bamboo !), and some will even offer a factory type “fit” in the area where the bracelet itself attaches to the watch body.

    The next problem can arise with the watch face/glass itself. Most quality watches in this day and age will use some form of scratch resistant crystal. Glass itself might be used with a protective coating, but there are now many synthetic options which will resist most types of damage. Some manufacturers fit watch ‘fronts’ which also have anti-reflective coatings both on the inside and the outside of the material in use, the only problem being that although the inner coating is obviously secure, the coating on the outer face can be marked or scratched, simply because it’s an after-market coating which isn’t a part of the main material itself. Polishing a coating will often remove the mark(s), but then you’re down to the ‘base’ of whatever material was used to make the front ‘glass’ in the first place, and as a result, further damage might not be able to be removed.

    In the very worst case scenario, it may well be better just to replace the front cover (glass) with a new one. When replacing the front cover, it is important to consider the degree of water resistance the watch originally had. Replacing the seals should always be done as a matter of course, but problems in the past have been known to arise with diver-type watches which usually have specific water resistance limits. My own personal view and experience with diver watches is that I always send them back to the manufacturer/importer if a new face is required, simply because few jeweller/watch repairers have the pressure testing equipment needed to ensure the watch will suffer no water ingress within the recommended limits. It really IS vital if you have an expensive watch which needs a replacement front glass (especially with a diver watch) NOT to try to economise on a repair, simply because IF water gets in, you may as well junk it.

    I do sincerely hope that the above has been of use to the reader, and would also comment that as a direct result of what was an extremely informative and comprehensive article, I will be purchasing a new Tudor Pelagos with a blue dial and blue strap as soon as my local main A.D. has resumed trading.

    Best wishes and kind regards,


  2. Robert

    Rolex’s Chromalight is rubbish, the Pelagos uses BGW9. Not sure how you missed that

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