As with many of the modern TUDOR watches, this new one has both history and technology going for it. First of all though, let’s explain the name.
The TUDOR Pelagos FXD. FXD stands for fixed. What would normally be the removable spring bar system that allows you to swap straps and bracelets is now not there. It is replaced by a solid form that is part of the case itself. In other words, one solid and actually well-sculpted piece of titanium, a fixed strap bar. It is actually quite fun to play with when you take off the straps that come with it.
Why is it that way? The new Pelagos FXD is a nod to a very specific past. TUDOR and the French Navy (Marine Nationale) collaborated in the past when divers needed watches that could withstand the rigors of the actually-not-that-deep. Not that deep? Let’s explain that as well.
The original version of this watch was for French combat swimmers, dive teams actually, that wouldn’t be doing particularly deep dives. They were instead the teams that would go not for shipwrecks or salvage but to place something on an enemy ship hull perhaps. To do this they needed to navigate underwater. One member of the two-man dive team would use a compass, the other would use a watch with a moving bezel and do calculations in his head. That explains why this new watch is rated down to 200 meters and not deeper (Like the Pelagos and the Pelagos LHD, rated to 500 meters).
TUDOR has been working on this new watch since 2019, they just didn’t tell anyone. The new Pelagos FXD needed to meet modern demands of modern combat divers just as the first ones did in 1956 when Tudor delivered their Oyster Prince Submariners. Back then, the watches were delivered with the initials MN engraved on the back, for Marine Nationale. They also had a year number on the back, beginning with 1956 and continuing for every year TUDOR delivered on their Marine Nationale contract. Take note of this, because the new Pelagos FXD will also have MN initials and anchor and the year on the caseback. Now think about this. The new watch was released to the public in November of 2021. The 2021 release will only have a month and a half, 2022 will have a full 12 and succeeding years the same fun year. What do you think will become the rarer model?
So what didn’t those TUDOR dive watches from 1956 have? Straps. Or bracelets. They were delivered with only the watch head. It was up to the Navy, or the quartermaster or the individual to sort out the strap for themselves. Much like many military watches by the way.
Another surprising detail of the Pelagos FXD is the bidirectional bezel. Most dive watches have unidirectional bezels, so that in case the bezel gets hit it doesn’t show you that you have more time left in your dive (calculated based on the air capacity of the tank) than you really do. Because it only moves one way, it will only err on the side of caution. The Pelagos FXD though uses a titanium Bidirectional bezel (with a ceramic disc that has clear 60-minute retrograde graduation) because the combat swimmers need to move it both ways to use their particular underwater navigation techniques. Yet another thing to note, the bezel clicks more accurately than usual. Most dive watch bezels will have 60 notches, the Pelagos FXD has 120.
On the mechanical side, or inside, the Pelagos FXD the TUDOR MT5602 COSC certified movement, it is resistant to shock and has the “weekend-proofing” 70 hours of power reserve. All things considered though, this would probably be your weekend watch more than your weekday watch. Unless you were an actual combat swimmer.
The 42mm all-titanium case has 22mm lugs, so pay attention when you order straps to play with. It comes with a one-piece velcro-type strap with a titanium buckle, and a complimentary rubber strap that is thin enough to go through the fixed strap bars but still sturdy enough to take the strain. While you are there changing straps, note that even though this is one big chunk of titanium, it is nicely shaped and finished. The lugs are smooth, for example, so they won’t cut the rubber strap. The watch comes with a 5 year transferrable guarantee. Very simple really, you don’t need to register or bring in the watch for regular service or give your data or anything if that concerns you. Just a straight simple 5 year guarantee.
The Pelagos FXD comes with one dial choice, blue. It comes in with a very different look from the other Pelagos pieces, and the blue fabric strap is a great look for this attractively priced new diver.