Strangely enough, it can be easy to forget that dive watches like those from Tudor are actually meant for diving.
With the wild surge in popularity of mechanical timepieces over the past decade, we’re inundated with an embarrassment of horological riches in release schedules that rivals those of big Hollywood film studios. One could be forgiven for feeling numb when yet another variant of a famous watch hits the digital shelves so soon after the previous release.
But for a watch brand like Tudor—Rolex’s sister company—a long dive watch heritage and a history of working in tandem with the world’s elite fighting forces make for more meaningful products. Just this week, a select group of SCUBA-qualified journalists was given the opportunity to test the brand’s latest diver in its natural environment—the ocean—and to experience first-hand Tudor’s connection to the U.S. Navy.
Rather than simply remaster an old reference that was used by military divers in the 1950s, Tudor imagined a completely new watch inspired by old models used by Navy SEALs, SCUBA instructors, and Seabees—but that stands on its own as a contemporary piece.
The Pelagos FXD ref. M25717N-0001 will undoubtedly look familiar to Tudor aficionados—part of a series-within-a-series, it fits neatly into a sub-collection of Pelagos dive watches made for professionals, with state-of-the-art, in-house movement technology and completely modern materials. The “FXD” stands for “fixed,” meaning the watch has fixed spring bars that can only accept a pass-through strap—a requirement that stems from military specifications that ensure the watch stays securely to its band and thus, to a diver’s wrist.
Building upon the original blue FXD launched in 2022 and the Alinghi Red Bull Racing variant launched this past June, the FXD features a familiar 42mm case with fixed lugs and crown guards (to protect the winding crown), a unidirectional dive bezel with a fully hashed, ceramic insert (to time dives), a fabric strap, 200m of water resistance, and the Tudor Manufacture Calibre MT5602 (COSC) automatic movement. This time, however, the case is made from titanium (the first FXD was made from steel and had a blue dial, while the Alinghi is fashioned from carbon and features a matte blue-purple dial), while the dial is matte black with white applied indices, signature “snowflake” hands (for high visibility underwater), and red Pelagos text. At 12.75mm tall with a satin-brushed finish and a steel caseback, it has a substantial feel on the wrist, but the included, 22mm fabric strap in forest green with red central thread—plus the additional black rubber strap with a woven motif and a titanium pin buckle—lighten the load. (The green band is based on improvised straps used by the Marine Nationale that were fashioned from parachute webbing.)