The Tudor Pelagos FXD is the latest dive watch from the Geneva brand, and it delivers something of a twist in this rarefied segment of professional tool watches. As we have written about extensively, the dive watch is a very specific type of watch that must fulfil specific criteria.
Tudor upends this with the introduction of a bidirectional bezel, thus reminding us all that there are functional reasons for something other than the unidirectional bezel. This bezel is one of the characteristics that will no doubt make the Tudor Pelagos FXD an incredible collectible model.
The watch was not only inspired by Tudor’s established historical relationship with the French navy or Marine Nationale but also represents a new working relationship with them. Yes the Tudor Pelagos FXD is a true professional tool watch, and the Marine Nationale helped make it so.
To begin with though, some explanations are required about the Tudor Pelagos FXD Ref. 25707B. You need not concern yourself too much about the reference number but hardcore collectors will want to take note of it. Something else to consider seriously is the 42mm titanium case, with its signature fixed lugs; we presume the FXD in the name refers to this fact. Not for nothing, this is salient because most third-party straps will not work here.
The bar between the lugs is as much a part of the case as, well the case middle. Tudor explained this decision as something its partner for the Pelagos FXD, the Marine Nationale’s combat swimmers the Commando Hubert, required. While our own common use experience tells us that spring bars rarely fail, rarely does not mean never. The integrated bars in the Pelagos FXD will not break by accident.
Returning to the bezel of the Pelagos FXD, here Tudor has opted for something unique in dive watches. It is bidirectional, retrograde graduated, with a 120 clicks and a 60-minute countdown scale that has nothing to do with dive times. Tudor itself noted that the Pelagos FXD does not conform to ISO 6425 standards. This is because Marine Nationale wanted something that can be used for underwater navigation.
This is a very specific function that we are not qualified to assess so here is how Tudor explains it, directly as reported in its press materials:
“Underwater navigation consists of reaching a precise location by sea, without surfacing, by following a meticulously planned route. Divers carry out this underwater navigation in pairs, connected to one another by a strap known as a “life line”, and complete a series of straight swims guided by a magnetic compass. They swim at a constant speed for a set time in each section, completing as many sections as necessary whilst timing each one exactly.”
“This navigation entails restarting a countdown at each change of course. The anticlockwise graduation and luminescence of the bezel of this model make it easy to set up and monitor each countdown, by aligning the time set for the section to be covered on the bezel with the minute hand. When the minute hand arrives opposite the triangle, the team changes course and the diver in charge of timing begins the next countdown.”
Now Tudor is no stranger to singularly distinctive dive watches (looking at you P01) but this one is probably less divisive. The specialised function aside, the Pelagos FXD seems like it will appeal to a broad segment of the watch-loving public. Well we hope so at least because the watch seems perfectly wearable, especially in this slimmed down style at just 12.75mm thick. While we have not tried on the watch ourselves, we imagine that the self-gripping fabric strap (by Julien Faure as usual) will have the case sit well on the wrist.
That aforementioned thinner case indicates other differences with dive watches. These include changes to the water-resistance rating, down to 200m, which also means the helium release valve is unnecessary. On the other hand, the closed caseback now sports a historically inspired engraving, M.N.21, which stands for Marine Nationale and also the year 2021. Tudor tells us that the year part will change every year, which is a feature that will greatly enhance the collectability of the Pelagos FXD.
Finally, the movement hiding behind that caseback is the automatic MT5602. We asked Tudor why it did not consider the new MT5602-1U with the METAS certification, and the answer basically was about production capacity. MT5602 can simply be built and assembled faster to meet expected demand. This is probably a smart decision.
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