Tudor Revisits The Marine Nationale With New Pelagos FXD

Tudor has revealed the highly anticipated fruit of their recently announced partnership with the French Navy, the Marine nationale, and the resulting Pelagos will come as little surprise. This isn’t the first time these two entities have joined forces to create purpose built tools for the service men and women of the M.N. but it is the first new entry since the ‘80s, and it’s got some pretty big shoes to fill. While earlier M.N. issued Tudor watches were built within the brand’s now extinct Submariner line, the latest utilizing the Pelagos range in what they are calling the FXD.

The Pelagos FXD is a diver built to rather exacting standards, and as a result, may feel a bit compromised for practical everyday use if we’re going by the numbers. The titanium case measures 42mm in diameter and 12.75mm in thickness, while the lug to lug distance is stated to be 52mm. Now, numbers don’t always tell the whole story with a watch like this, but if you were hoping for a Black Bay 58-esque Pelagos, well, this ain’t it. The titanium case will surely wear light on the wrist, but the fixed (FXD) strap bar situation is the real unknown here. The entire lug design has been altered to create the 22mm width strap opening, with a squared off mid section unlike anything we’ve seen on a Pelagos before. 

The functionality of a fixed spring bar means one less potential break point, and is something we saw with the welded bars in Rolex Mil-Sub references, from the A/6538 to the 5513/5517. The design of the FXD is more intentional, with slots taken out of a single mid-piece, as best seen from the underside of the case. Making use of those slots is a new blue polyethylene woven fabric strap with “self-gripping fastening system” which looks a bit like velcro to my eye. A single piece blue rubber strap is also included.

I mentioned this watch being built to exacting standards, and a part of that is the bezel that’s been fitted to the case. You’ll first notice that it’s fully indexed, nothing new for a mil-spec unit, of course, as well as having a countdown orientation. Interestingly, the bezel is bidirectional, meaning it can be rotated in both directions, a very odd feature for a diver. The entire bezel assembly was developed to aid underwater navigation for divers, who swim in timed lengths guided by a compass, with resets at each section. I’m entirely unqualified to comment on such a procedure, but I will say I find the bezel design here quite intriguing, as we rarely see deviation from the norm when it comes to dive bezels.

Tudor is using their manufacture caliber MT5602 with the Pelagos FXD, and no, there is no date window in sight. The movement is COSC certified, and Tudor has regulated these to well within that standard, claiming accuracy of -2/+4 seconds post assembly. The MT5602 boasts a hearty 70 hour power reserve, making it “weekend proof” if you care about such things. Don’t expect a view of it, as the caseback gets the traditional M.N. marking, including the year, which will presumably update to 22 in the coming months. 

The Tudor Pelagos FXD is priced at $3,900 with two straps. This is not a limited edition, but production volume is unknown and they may be difficult to come by off the bat, especially if the casebacks marked with a 21 will only be around for a month’s worth of production. We’ll have more on this Pelagos FXD in short order, so drop any questions or comments below for us to address in the review or the podcast. Tudor.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.