Continuing the expansion of its hit Pelagos FXD line, Tudor has just introduced a new black dial that offers a more traditional look than the three prior models in the line. When the titanium FXD was introduced two years ago, it was met with a mixture of bewilderment and excitement. At once familiar and unique, the watch was built in partnership with the French Navy, Marine Nationale, and featured a fully marked bezel and, most interestingly, fixed spring bars. It was a quirky release from a brand that had been criticized for playing it safe. As the dust settled and more people got to enjoy the model hands-on, the FXD proved itself to be just as excellent as every Tudor diver. After a duo of co-branded models for the Alinghi Red Bull sailing team released earlier this year, the brand has brought it back to basics with the Tudor Pelagos FXD M25717N-0001, with a very familiar black dial with white and red accents.
The Tudor Pelagos FXD M25717N-0001 features the exact same satin-brushed grade 2 titanium case as the original blue dial model, measuring 42mm in diameter and 12.75mm thick with a lug-to-lug of 52mm. The standout feature, of course, is the fixed lugs. Instead of a gap between the lugs, the case is machined from a single piece of titanium and the lugs are linked with a fixed bar. This prevents the use of traditional 2-piece straps but allows for the use of any pass-through style strap. The watch is paired with a specially made green MN-style fabric strap with a red stripe, which gives a bit of a vintage look to this otherwise modern timepiece. The fabric strap has a “self-gripping fastening system” [read: Velcro] for easy, secure adjustments, and the watch also comes with a single-pass rubber strap with a traditional pin-buckle closure.
Also of note is the fully marked and fully lumed 60-minute titanium timing bezel. Unlike most divers, which feature a graduated scaling with individual markings from 0-15, this marks out every minute, as requested by Marine Nationale, and meets the standards to allow for underwater navigation, a specialty of combat swimmers. Instead of the blue inlay, the Tudor Pelagos FCD M25717N-0001 gets a black ceramic inlay with a matte finish. (One of the best features of Tudor’s bezels is the detent at 12 that adds the slightest tension when realigning the bezel, providing tactile confirmation that everything is lined up.) The watch, of course, features a screw-down crown and 200m of water resistance, with a sapphire crystal and a solid caseback that omits the MN cobranding of the original release.
While the brand says the new FXD is most in line with its vintage reference 7016 (seen above), you’ll likely recognize this dial from the recent Tudor Pelagos 39. It has everything you want from a Tudor dial. Big blocky hour markers, the chunky snowflake handset, and a pop of red. What is not included is a paragraph of text on the dial, like the original Pelagos models (though four lines isn’t nothing). As with all Pelagos models, primacy is given to legibility, and there’s nothing on this dial to limit reading the time. Everything except the dial text is lumed with Super-LumiNova, and if this is like other versions, it will shine incredibly brightly. Like the Pelagos 39 and the FXD models that preceded it, this one omits the date for a more balanced, cleaner look.
Powering the black Tudor Pelagos FXD M25717N-0001 is the in-house MT5602 caliber. Made by Tudor-owned Kenissi, this movement is a mainstay for the brand (and a few others, like Norqain). The chronometer-certified movement has a robust 70-hour power reserve and beats at 28,800 vph. Tudor actually pushed beyond the usual COSC spec of -4/+6 seconds per day and regulates the movements to -2/+4, a nice bump for those who want it. The MT5602 further features hacking, a variable inertia balance with micro-adjustment screws, and a silicon balance spring.
While the Black Bay is definitely Tudor’s most popular collection and its cash cow, the Pelagos is where the brand defines itself and shows off some of the weirdness that used to make it so great. This is a no-brainer for Tudor: Take a quirky release that proved successful and make it even more appealing with a straightforward black dial. Tudor is giving the people what they want, and it will likely be another three-tiered success: for Tudor, for the Pelagos line, and for the FXD subline. As the brand continues to expand the FXD, my hope is that we’ll see a more standard chronograph model in the near future. The Tudor Pelagos FXD M25717N-0001 is priced at $4,150 USD and is available now. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.