A tool watch doesn’t just tell the time, it’s not just there to be used as a timing instrument to figure out how rare you want your steak, it’s more than that – it’s a relic. Like a ticking historical archive, it is someone else’s watch to be worn at a dinner party in 100 years time – battered and bruised because of all the adventures that the previous owner had with it.
You see, a tool watch is not something you send to a watch repairer and ask them to kindly buff out the tiny scratch you notched up while placing it on the bedside table, before cosying on up under the duvet. There’s a code amongst us tool watch enthusiasts, it’s a kind of undercover nod that you instinctively know the significance of wearing one – it’s the preparation for the unknown.
The sad truth is that these watches were once specialised tools to help get the job done. Now, however, they adorn the many at dinner parties, where, once before, they were adorned by true heroes of the past (a la Moki Martin in the must watch HODINKEE special).
A tool watch says something about who you are, about your character, it has an allure of espionage every time you put it on your wrist. Some watch brands have tried to make all the above ingredients into that one piece of mechanical perfection. In fact, a lot have tried, and few have succeeded, but the ones that have made it are perhaps what you will say the usual suspects, or better yet, the usual suspect. Yes, we’re talking about Rolex!
The ultimate in everything to do with exploration, but Rolex as a tool watch has lost its way. Yes, it was once the tool watch adorned by those heroes in question but now its the dinner party piece, the watch for those to wear in a three-piece tweed suit and walk around Florence during the Pitti Uomo fashion parade. Gone are the days that ‘real’ men used their watches for true exploration. Perhaps Rolex has become something other than what we truly love.
Enter Tudor, the beloved baby cousin, the British-inspired brand that has seen a loving resurgence for tool watches. Take the Tudor LHD Pelagos for example – modelled after the Tudor snowflake, this is a beautifully executed vintage-inspired modern day timepiece. It was a professional tool watch built specifically for the French Navy’s Marine Nationale, they used these watches as an important part of their daily equipment.
This Tudor diver is now the perfect companion for any adventure. The Pelagos boasts a 42mm titanium case with ceramic black bezel, complete with luminous markers and a matt finish. Beneath the sapphire crystal glass, the batons and markers are also luminous, providing optimal readability for the wearer. The onyx dial contrasts beautifully with these lighter elements, while the hint of red in the date position adds a unique touch of colour.
Driven by Tudor’s innovative self-winding MT5612 movement, it is engineered to hold a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. A titanium bracelet adds another luxurious dimension to this timepiece. It’s a wonderful robust piece executed completely in-house.
A symbol of exploration, this essential diver’s tool watch boasts high performance technical features built for extreme underwater conditions, including the fact that this watch is water resistant to an incredible 500 metres. Not that we are likely to go down to extreme depths – the worst case will probably be a splash of Negroni accidentally spilt at the bar!