The third iteration of the Pelagos FXD from Tudor (ref. M25717N-0001) comes with a matt black dial and is dedicated to the countless dive watches that were issued in the past to US Navy Sailors. The 42-mm dive watch is equipped with fixed (“FXD”) strap bars, a satin-brushed titanium case with a water resistance of 200m, a COSC-certified in-house movement and a unidirectional elapsed-time rotating bezel, the black dial features a single line of red text with the model’s name.
Here’s a quick look at how the watch looks in its natural habitat (more precisely the Hovercraft salt water dive site located in Panama City Beach, at a depth of 71 to 80ft):
Tudor and the US Navy
“As early as the mid ‘50s, Tudor diving watches were being tested and evaluated by a number of outfits inside the US Navy, and by 1958 they were officially adopted by the Navy and purchased for the purpose of issuing them to divers operating in various units. This Pelagos FXD model is the spiritual successor of those watches. The nomenclature hints at the background of the watch, with FXD referring to the incredibly robust FiXeD strap bars of the case. The model represents a modern, high-performance and robust take on the famed “Milsub” (short for Military Submariner) of yesteryear. Visually, it’s most in line with a late ‘60s-era Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7016; it incorporates elements from the US military specifications for diving watches, such as fixed spring bars, as well as details inspired by other generations of issued Tudors, like pointed crown-guards typically found on early Tudor Submariners.”Tudor
The US Navy issued Tudor diving watches for decades starting in the latter years of the ‘50s. The watches were used by SEAL teams from their commissioning in 1962 all the way the late ‘80s. They have also served Sailors in all types of underwater roles, including UDTs, Seabees and Navy dive school instructors. Throughout the decades, Tudor has supported the US Navy as a supplier of issued watches. In the 1965 “First Edition” of the Underwater Demolition Team Handbook, for example, a Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner ref. 7928 is pictured next to the “Diving Watch” paragraph. The handbook was an essential piece of literature for new operators as they studied UDT operational procedures. Later, in 1973, the US Navy Diving manual lists the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner references 7016 and 7021 as “Navy-approved” diving watches. In 1974, the National Stock Number system was introduced to track the supply system of the US Department of Defense. From 1978, under code 6645-01-068-1088, a supply officer could purchase and issue a Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner reference 9411, or later 76100, to an approved sailor or operator in need of a reliable Navy-approved dive watch.
This specific supply catalog entry was only retired in 2004. Watches issued to members of the military are typically engraved with specific inventory codes, but the US Navy-issued Tudor watches didn’t follow this pattern. There was never a force-wide, consolidated marking system. Instead, the issued watches were either sterile, or marked at the unit level, with many different coding typologies, most of which were used for inventory purposes. Since many of these watches issued by the US Navy remain unmarked, it makes it quite difficult today to determine the military provenance of a given Tudor, even though official records indicate that very large quantities, in a number of references, were delivered over a span of multiple decades.
Fast forward to 2023:
The Pelagos FXD’s satin-brushed case (42mm in diameter, 12.75mm thick, 52mm from lug to lug) has fixed strap bars, which are directly machined into the main body of the titanium case, a key to the model’s characteristic silhouette. Another feature of this variant is the 60-notch rotating bezel, here unidirectional with a luminescent material-filled 60-minute-graduated ceramic insert with a traditional dive scale.
Historically, the US Navy oftentimes had their divers fit their Tudor watches with fabric straps, typically one-piece ones in black or green made out of nylon. The Pelagos FXD comes with two straps: A one-piece green fabric strap with red central thread and self-gripping fastening system, and an additional dark grey embossed fabric-motif one-piece rubber strap. The 22-mm one-piece fabric strap has become one of the hallmarks of Tudor. It is produced in France on 19th century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company in the St-Etienne region. Movement is the Calibre MT5602 with a non-magnetic silicon hairspring and certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Another notable feature is the power reserve of about 70 hours when fully wound.
More photos (on dry land):
The Pelagos FXD is priced at $4,150 and available immediately.