The Pelagos FXD is the latest TUDOR watch designed exclusively for Marine Nationale.
Just like Rolex, Tudor watches have been a favorite of military personnel around the world for the past few decades. The brand’s reputation for reliability has led many soldiers to choose Tudor, and the brand also supplies watches directly to military organizations.
Without a doubt, the most famous example of this is the Tudor dynasty’s long-standing relationship with the French Navy – the National Marine Corps. This relationship dates back to 1956, when Tudor sent their first diver’s watch (7922) to the Groupement d’Étude et de Recherches Sous-Marines (GERS) for evaluation.
This led to the Tudors becoming the official supplier to the nation’s navy. This relationship continued into the 1980s, when the brand finally stopped offering its iconic reference 9401 “Snowflake” Submariner.
That’s why when Tudor cheap announced that they would be supplying watches to Marine Nationale again, it caused quite a stir in the watch world. After all, we’re suckers for a real military watch, especially when it’s from a reputable brand like Tudor.
When the watch was finally unveiled in November, Tudor definitely caught our attention. The new collaboration, named Pelagos FXD, has some very noticeable differences from Tudor’s usual offering, which we’ll get to later.
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I must admit, when I first saw Pelagos FXD on Tudor’s website, I was a little apprehensive. With a 42mm titanium case and an oversized bezel, I feared this watch would dwarf my tiny 6.25-inch wrist. However, when I tried the watch on, I was immediately blown away by how well it fit. That’s thanks in large part to the fact that the FXD is only 12.75mm thick, compared to 14.3mm for regular Pelagos. Tudor made this thickness reduction possible by removing the helium escape valve and reducing the waterproof depth from 500m on the standard Pelagos to 200m on the FXD.
Again, while Tudor lists lug-to-lug as 52mm, it really doesn’t feel that big. That’s probably thanks to the fixed spring bar named for the FXD.
While fixed spring bars are fairly common on military watches, they are a bit odd today. The benefit of them is that they eliminate the possibility of the watch being lost due to a malfunctioning spring lever. The downside, however, is of course that you can only wear the FXD on a single-channel shoulder strap.
The Pelagos FXD replica comes with two straps – rubber and fabric. Both are of high quality, as you’d expect from Tudor. The fabric strap sits nicely and is very comfortable. My only complaint is that my tiny wrist just touches too much of the excess strap. The rubber is also very comfortable, but due to its thickness, it sits poorly on the wrist. Again, I found that I had a lot of extra straps that I couldn’t fold and fold back, which is a bit of a shame.
Personally, neither strap is my favorite, but the nice thing about the fixed spring bar is that it’s easy to swap out the strap for the NATO of your choice. I think this watch looks incredible on a grey NATO or green and yellow “Marine Nationale” strap, which is perfect for FXD.
Another thing that surprised me was the shade of blue used on FXD. Regular blue Pelagos are brighter, and I honestly think it’s a bit over the top. On the other hand, the blue used by FXD is softer and closer to the Blue Bay 58. It’s a great color that is pretty and rich, but doesn’t stand out on the wrist. Combined with the matte white hands and markers, the result is one of the clearest dials I’ve come across.
A further twist is that the bezel is bidirectional to aid underwater navigation. The scale on the ceramic insert is also reversed, which makes it a “countdown” bezel. The oversized bezel makes it easier to grip, which is a very effective feature. There is no problem turning it even with gloves on, and the movements are very clear.
The movement is Tudor’s MT5602 movement with a 70-hour power reserve. Like all of Tudor’s in-house movements, this is a COSC-certified chronometer with a silicone hairspring.
For me at least, the Pelagos FXD has rekindled the Tudor relationship with the nation’s navy. Everything about the FXD feels like it was designed for military use, so it feels like a very real tool cheapest replica watches.
However, this is the problem I’m having. This watch is very popular in the market as a purpose-built military dive watch, but the reality is that few of us will use it as a tool. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the watch itself.
That said, if you put the marketing of the watch aside and judge it on its own merits, I think the Pelagos FXD is a perfect tribute to Tudor’s history with Marine Nationale. From a watch lover’s point of view, it offers a refreshingly different take on Tudor’s Pelagos collection and military diving watches in general.