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Professional Diving with Tudor Pelagos FXD

16 March 2022
Professional Diving with Tudor Pelagos FXD

Designed in collaboration with a specialist unit of the French Navy, the Pelagos FXD is created for underwater navigation and professional use.

Tudor had begun to produce watches for professional divers in the 1950s. In 1980s, the brand went one step further and became the official supplier of the French Navy. Never doubt that Tudor has been always aiming to go into deeper when it comes to diver’s watches, on the one hand, the brand also raising the brand with its models in terms of technical side. Besides, the aesthetic of function comes to the fore in these timepieces. And, here, a watch has been recently dropped by Tudor that goes deeper both technically and aesthetically.

Professional Diving with Tudor Pelagos FXD

The latest model is developed in collaboration with the French Navy’s combat swimmers. For this reason, the timepiece includes many functional features that are new to the brand. For instance, fixed strap bars are machined to the main body of titanium case in 42 mm to increase robustness and durability. Shaped as an extension of the lugs, they are key to the model’s characteristic silhouette. Another technical feature that specific to this model is the rotating bezel with the 120 notches. Bidirectional with retrograde graduation from 60 to 0, it does not correspond to the ISO 6425:2018 standard of divers’ watches, but instead meets the specific needs of the method known as “underwater navigation”, one of the specialties of combat swimmers.

Let us firstly look at what underwater navigation is: underwater navigation is the method of reaching the target by following a meticulously planned routed under the sea, without surfacing. Divers carry out this underwater navigation in pairs connected by a strap known as “life line” and complete a series of straight swims guided by magnetic compass. The team swim at a constant speed for the set time, they complete as many sections as necessary whilst timing each one exactly. That is, a countdown must be restarted at change of each course. The anticlockwise graduation and luminescence of the bezel make it easy to set up and monitor each countdown. When the minute hand arrives the opposite the triangle, the team change course and the diver in charge of timing starts 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.

Professional Diving with Tudor Pelagos FXD

Tudor has also dived to deeper in terms of aesthetic and design. The model is inspired by Tudor diver’s watches by the French Navy. To increase the brightness of the dial in poor light conditions, the angular hands called Snowflake, introduced by Tudor in 1969, are used in this dark blue watch. The 42 mm titanium case is entirely satin-brushed, which bring a matte effect that keeps light reflections to a minimum. For me, the most nautical aspect of the watch is the Marine Nationale (French Navy) logo, which composed of an anchor topped with a sailor’s hat on the case back, and an engraving of “MN21” for “Marine Nationale 2021”.

Professional Diving with Tudor Pelagos FXD

When we go inside the watch, the in-house Caliber MT5400 seen with its hour, minute, and second-hand functions. The Caliber MT5400 has the typical finishes of Tudor mechanisms; its rotor in tungsten monobloc is openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, while its bridges and plate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations. Its power reserve is about 70 hours, which means the wearer to take the watch off on a Friday evening and put it back on again on Monday morning without having to reset it.

Reminiscent of Tudor’s historical ties with the French Navy dating back to the 20th century, the Pelagos FXD model reminds us that there are many more mysteries to be discovered under the seas.