Tudor has been around since the 1920s, but over the last decade or so the brand has experienced a renaissance, distinguishing itself with a lengthy string of solidly-built sports watches from professional-grade divers like the Pelagos, to solid and stylish all-rounders like the Black Bay. Buoyed by historical connections to explorers, navy divers, and others whose jobs put their timepieces to the ultimate test, these releases have established Tudor as one of the world’s best brands for high-grade dive watches. Tudor’s newest release, the Pelagos FXD, upholds that reputation with a contemporary look, vintage details, and a historical connection to the US Navy SEALs.
If the new Tudor Pelagos FXD looks familiar, that’s because it’s the follow-up to one of the brand’s most popular releases in recent years, the award-winning Tudor Pelagos FXD from 2021. Created in collaboration with France’s Marine Nationale, an elite military diving unit that began using Tudor watches in the 1950s, the 2021 model featured a unique titanium case with fixed strap bars, making it that much more reliable in the field and lending it its name.
Tudor diving watches, however, were also being tested and evaluated by the US Navy in the 1950s, and by 1958 they were officially adopted for divers in various units. As the spiritual successor to those watches, the new Pelagos FXD takes design cues from ‘60s-era TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner watches and incorporates elements from the US military specifications for diving watches, including pointed crown-guards and those unique fixed spring bars. While many Tudor watches were issued by the US Navy, they were perhaps most famously used by SEAL teams from 1962 through the late ‘80s.
Every bit as much of a professional diver’s tool as its predecessors, the new Pelagos FXD features a 42mm satin-brushed titanium case that’s machined from a single block of titanium, including its fixed spring bars. The unidirectional rotatable bezel is also titanium, with a ceramic insert and a 60-minute countdown scale. The bezel, the applied hour markers, and the “Snowflake” hands that have been a hallmark of Tudor dive watches since 1969 are all treated with grade X1 Swiss Super-LumiNova, ensuring excellent visibility in low light conditions. The watch is delivered with a forest green and red self-gripping fabric strap (a nod to the military custom of wearing watches on straps instead of bracelets) and an additional one-piece black rubber strap with an embossed fabric motif. Like all of Tudor’s fabric straps, this one is woven in France on 19th-century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company, assuring quality, robustness, and comfort.
Another crucial element to Tudor’s recent hot streak is its introduction of more in-house movements, and the new Pelagos FXD is no exception. It uses the Tudor Manufacture Calibre MT5602, which includes a silicon hairspring and exceeds the standards set by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). In layman’s terms, while COSC demands an accuracy of between -4 and +6 seconds per day, this movement is accurate to between -2 and +4 seconds. It’s also “weekend-proof,” with a power reserve of 70 hours that will keep the watch running for almost three full days between wears. It’s a level of reliability and precision that navy divers (and anyone else who relies on their gear in the field) will appreciate. For the rest of us, it’s just another example of how Tudor continues to make some of the most stylish and solid dive watches on the market.