The Pelagos FXD Marine Nationale was designed for the French Navy’s combat swimmers.
Let’s face it: the Tudor Pelagos has never gotten the same love received by its more-famous brother, the Black Bay 58. It’s big. It’s blue. It’s friggin titanium.
Now, that Pelagos is getting a makeover thanks to Tudor’s partnership with the French Navy, or Marine Nationale (which indeed sounds very French.)
The most obvious difference is the bezel: the FXD arrives with one-minute countdown increments and is toothy with bi-directional rotation. Super-handy for frogmen with wet, cold hands. (That’s military slang for divers, not an ethnic slur.)
Here’s what Tudor had to say:
“Underwater navigation consists of reaching a precise location by sea, without surfacing, by following a meticulously planned route. Divers carry out this underwater navigation in pairs, connected to one another by a strap known as a lifeline, and complete a series of straight swims guided by a magnetic compass.
They swim at a constant speed for a set time in each section, completing as many sections as necessary whilst timing each one exactly. This navigation entails restarting a countdown at each change of course. 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.
When the minute hand arrives opposite the triangle, the team changes course and the diver in charge of timing begins the next countdown. The model has also been fitted with a large bezel ring, which exceeds the diameter of the case for optimum grip, even with neoprene gloves and hands that are numb from long dives in cold water.”
The case is still 42mm wide but the thickness comes in at 12.75mm versus 14.3 mm of the standard Pelagos models. This could likely cause the watch to wear a little “smaller” and more comfortable, which will be appealing to some critics of the OG Pelagos.
Another sure-to-be polarizing feature is the fixed strap bars on the case design. That’s right, no spring bars. The FXD comes with a NATO fabric strap and a similarly shaped rubber strap with a tang buckle, both of which are “woven” through the strap bars. Everyone with a dive watch should take a turn on a NATO strap for sure, but not having the option of a steel bracelet? Some folks will have opinions.
One plus: the Pelagos FXD is priced under the standard Pelagos at $3,900 (vs $4,575 for any of the standard Pelagos versions). This will likely appeal to first-time buyers who want to explore the brand or dive watch nerds who appreciate a functional tool watch.