Review: the new Tudor Pelagos FXD

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Tudor gives the Pelagos collection a new blue model with a Marine Nationale (French Navy) collaboration. The brand has been the official supplier for the Marine Nationale from during the 1950s to 1980s, and have now released a version to the public. Developed to a set of unique specifications created in collaboration with a specialist unit of the French Navy, the Pelagos FXD model is ‘designed for underwater navigation and optimized for professional use.’

Tudor Pelagos FXD

Retail price for the Tudor Pelagos FXD is SGD 5,370 inclusive of GST. And comes with two straps, and protected by an international, transferable warranty.

The new fixed lug

FXD is derived from the root word FiXeD – which describes the new fixed lug on the watch. This is one of the major changes from the earlier Pelagos models. The fixed lug is machined together with the titanium case, from a single block of titanium. This of course means a vastly improved lug attachment strength as compared to a detachable lug bar or soldered lugs.

The Pelagos FXD is not certified for diving, though it is rated to 200m water resistance. The the bezel is bidirectional, with 120 clicks. This is optimised to the style of underwater navigation undertaken by the Marine Nationale, where the action is typically at depths of 7 to 8 meters.

A full minutes track bezel

Another noticeable difference is a new full minutes track bezel. This is pretty unusual compared to the previous versions that we are used to seeing. Not only is it a full minutes track, it is also a countdown timer, which goes from 60 to 0 rather than from 0 to 60. From what we understand, the countdown timer is used to mark when to change a course underwater. 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. Also, the bezel has a small overhang over the case, to provide a better grip for gloved fingers.

A thinner case

Measuring just 12.75 mm in thickness, the new Pelagos FXD is 1.55 mm thinner than the earlier Pelagos models which measure 14.3 mm. This comes at the expense of the helium escape valve and the typical depth rating of 500m on the Pelagos line. Then again, a thinner case translates to a better more comfortable product for end users.

No more date

Saving space means something was sacrificed. While some loved the date, many don’t use it anymore – especially when you have several watches in rotation. But more than just a design or functionality change, this iteration also reminds us of the 9401/0 Tudor blue with no date model from the 1970s. Even more so than the Tudor 58 Black Bay blue. Primarily because of the square hour markers. While writing this, I feel somewhat excited by the thought that this new Tudor Pelagos FXD might really be more a stealth homage than a collaboration iteration. If anything is to be learned, Tudor has invented a stealthy new way of releasing a homage but really for those who know to know.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is tudor-pelagos-rubberstrap.jpg

No more 3D rehaut minute track

Apart from killing off the date, the additional 3D rehaut on the previous Pelagos model was also canned. As mentioned previously, this makes the reference even more reminiscent of the vintage Tudor Submariner.

The regular edition Tudor Pelagos with an additional inner rehaut minute track. photo: Tudor. Note the hue of the blue is also different, being closer to the Black Bay 58 than this regular Pelagos.

A shorter 4 liner – omitting ‘ROTOR SELF-WINDING’

Reduction is probably the key design ‘motif’ of the FXD, and part of that includes removing a line from the lengthy cover letter dial of the previous model. The 4 liner looks neater than before, and makes sense, since everyone already knows that the watch uses a self-winding movement. The 200m – 660ft rating is also once again reminiscent of the 9401/0.

The movement is the Tudor in-house COSC certified MT5602. This is a workhorse movement which has proven its worth in many other Tudor watches.

Concluding thoughts

We covered most of the case side changes but may have left out more minute details. Of course, the obvious ones like only velcro/nato straps, no bracelet, are also material and debatable. While those who must have a bracelet will likely skip this model, the new Tudor Pelagos FXD in my opinion, is a very exciting piece for Tudor enthusiasts. There are many homage cues that are rightly not marketed by the brand but are screaming out for attention.

Tudor has created something special with these subtle but important modifications. The Pelagos FXD is thankfully not just another dial color change collaboration that we see so often in the market. While its marketing of a military tool watch is straight out of the playbook from Oris/Luminox/IWC, its product designers saw fit to tap into the brand’s tasteful heritage for a meaningful iteration of the Pelagos. The watch is priced at US$3,900 before tax.


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1 Comment

  1. ARB Cuentatiempos on

    Un sobrio reloj muy interesante y desmarcado del Pelagos 500. Apetecible por su singularidad.