Today Tudor released their collaboration with the Marine Nationale. The watch is a unique new model to the Pelagos line. The model name is the Tudor Pelagos FXD. We were able to get a sneak peak of this new watch, due to a possible accidental instagram post by David Beckham. We were intrigued then and now we see that in fact, he certainly got one before all of us! So, while we have yet to get our hands physically on this Tudor yet, let's take a quick look at what we do know so far with this new model.
For starters, this watch does not come with a titanium bracelet, and has a fixed lug/spring bar that does not accept any strap except a single pass strap.This is a pretty far cry from what we have seen out of Tudor in the last sixty years. The Pelagos has built its name on the bracelet that it comes on. The clasps on all the other watches in the Pelagos collection are incredibly cool to say the least. By not having it on this model, it really does take a lot away from the watch for me. It does come standard with two strap options. One being a fabric and velcro strap that I am sure is comfortable and a rubber single pass strap that I am confident is super comfortable as well. The fabric strap looks quite similar to the one used on a titanium Rolex Yacht-Master prototype that we wrote about a few weeks ago. I wonder if Tudor will be the test bed for this new design for Rolex?
An additional technical change from the other models is that the watch now is 12.75mm thick and does not have a helium escape valve. These two changes, frankly I think are totally fine. I am in love with thinner watches, so the reduction from 14.3mm thick to under 13mm is a gigantic move in the right direction. The watch is also only 200m water resistant, which by far is more than enough. No one, including a French Navy Diver will ever need to go beyond five hundred feet, let alone to the depths the watch could potentially go too.
A few minor changes on the dial and bezel include a more concise dial, a slight color change, no date and a countdown bezel instead of a graduated numbering system. To be honest I like the new dial layout better. To me the dial seems more properly dimensional, and a no-date watch always is more symmetrical. In pictures I really cannot tell the color difference, but the few who have handled it inform me that it is different. The bezel insert change is also pretty cool and unexpected. I like that it is fully lumed and that it can work more as a timer noting how long you have left instead of how long has passed like in standard diving bezels.
The hands and markers also look indistinguishable than those of the current model. The watch is 42mm wide like the current models and with the unique fixed strap system it looks to be almost the same lug length. There are a few minor changes to the knurling on the crown and bezel but again not super easy to tell from what the current Tudor Pelagos models look like today.
In conclusion, I am not sure about how to feel about the new Pelagos. On one hand, I honestly am not in love with the fixed strap system as I really am in love with the Pelagos’ bracelet and clasp. I feel that this issue is pretty hard for me to overlook. On the other hand I love the fact that the watch is quite thin at 12.75, has a new dial, no-date, and has a ton of history around the entire French navy. These are all pretty impressive points. I feel Tudor may have been directed more so by the Marine Nationale’s wants and needs for a watch than by their own design ethos. However, I am not sure the common watch buyer would really be drawn to this watch because of some of the quirky features--features that may seem like positives to the French Navy, but are negatives to the common buyer. Time and a hands-on review with this new Tudor will be more telling.