Tudor has launched their latest incarnation of the FXD – a black version with uni-direction bezel in a tribute to US Navy divers of the 50’s and 60’s, and the MilSub’s of the late 60’s through to the 80’s.
Early Friday morning Australian time, Tudor announced their new watch to much anticipation and speculation. Whilst the internet was rife with predictions as to what this new piece could be, many thought possibly the brand would be bringing back the classic Snowflake Submariner.
However, we were introduced to the latest Pelagos FXD in tribute to the US Navy divers that wore Submariners in the late 50’s, and design cues from the “MilSubs” of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Was this a little bit of an anti-climax? Potentially judging from the comments the next day across various forums and pages. However, a black variant to go alongside of the existing blue seems like a common sense move from Tudor to us.
As early as the mid ‘50s, TUDOR diving watches were being tested and evaluated by a number of outfits inside the US Navy, and by 1958 they were officially adopted by the Navy and purchased for the purpose of issuing them to divers operating in various units. This Pelagos FXD model is the spiritual successor of those watches.
In short, the new Tudor Pelagos FXD is the same as the existing blue version released at the end of 2021, with a couple of minor changes. It is still a 42mm sized watch, 12.7 mm thick and 52mm from lug to lug in a Titanium satin brushed case and steel caseback. So the way it wears will be exactly the same.
The dial has the large applied hour markers and “Snowflake” hands which are a tribute to the watches introduced in 1969, and all highly lumed with grade X1 Swiss Super-LumiNova®. The bezel is also filled with grade X1 Swiss Super-LumiNova® so you still have that highly visible dial and bezel in the dark. For anyone that’s owned a Pelagos or Pelagos FXD, you know what we are talking about here!
The most notable difference on the new FXD is the matt black dial and the unidirectional rotating bezel. The existing Pelagos FXD has a bidirectional retrograde bezel, which is unusual for a dive watch. When you’re timing a dive and set the bezel, you don’t want to unknowingly knock the bezel backwards, resulting in you thinking you have more time and air reserves than you do. This is one reason dive watches have unidirectional bezels. If you knock it, it can only go forward, meaning if you’re 15 mins into a 30 minute dive, and it moves 5 mins forward, you still have 15 minutes of air left, but 10 minutes on the timer.
However, this was a function specific to the needs of the Marine Nationale, who needed a bidirectional bezel with retrograde markers to help navigate underwater easily, so this is a great instance of a tool watch built for purpose. However, this meant that the blue FXD was not ISO ISO 6425:2018 compliant. The new Pelagos FXD addresses this, with a standard unidirectional bezel with graduated hour markers, making this variant, dive watch compliant.
Tudor have given the new Pelagos FXD two strap variations – a one-piece fabric strap with self-gripping fastening system in forest green with red central thread and additional one-piece rubber strap with embossed fabric motif. Historically, the US Navy oftentimes had their divers fit their TUDOR watches with fabric straps, typically one-piece ones in black or green made out of nylon, of which this FXD pays tribute to through the strap’s colour scheme.
Inside the new Pelagos FXD is the current calibre MT5602. Now tried and tested, its rotor is made from tungsten monobloc and is openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, while its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations. However, like most Tudors, this is safely hidden away behind the closed caseback. As with all Tudor movements, the MT5602 is chronometer certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), but Tudor goes a step further, insisting on between -2 and +4 seconds’ variation in its running when it is completely assembled as opposed to -4 and +6 seconds as COSC standard.
Whilst not a ground-breaking release, the new Tudor Pelagos FXD will be a welcome addition to the collection, giving people an alternative colour option that is more subtle and classic compared to the existing blue FXD variant. The re-introduction of unidirectional bezel is also a good move, especially for those that actually use this to dive, and whilst most people don’t use their watches these days for this, we actually do know several people that use analogue dive watches for what they’re designed for!
Tudor have recently increased their pricing across a range of models and as such, the new Pelagos FXD is just shy of $6k, coming in at AUD $5,970, as is the existing blue variant as of today’s date. This still represents great value for money like most Tudors do. A good looking dive watch in Titanium with 2 straps and greater than COSC accuracy for under $6,000. If you’re after a comfortable wearing diver, with some nods to US Naval and classic dive watch heritage, then this may be just up your alley!
- Case: 42mm, 12.75mm thick and 52mm Lug-Lug
- Case material: Titanium, satin brushed
- Bezel: Unidirectional rotating bezel in titanium with ceramic disc, 60-minute dive scale graduation with grade X1Swiss Super-LumiNova®
- Dial: Matt black
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Water resistance: 200 meters / 20ATM
- Movement: Manufacture Calibre MT5602
- Power reserve: 70 hours