Is The Tudor Pelagos FXD The Perfect College Watch?
Let’s give this legendary dive watch the old college try.
Last fall, Tudor renewed its ties to the Marine Nationale (a.k.a. the French Navy) with the Pelagos FXD – an all-purpose tool watch that gets its name from its fixed (fxd) lugs.
We were fans of this handsome timepiece from the start, so much so that we felt that the Pelagos FXD deserved further study. So we took it to Columbia University’s main campus in New York City to give it some wrist time.
The Tudor Pelagos is already a fantastic diver, but the FXD was developed with direct input from the Marine Nationale’s elite Commando Hubert unit of combat swimmers. That is why, functionally speaking, the result is more focused than the rest of the Pelagos family.
And just as students eventually have to pick a major that will (hopefully) prepare them for their future careers, the FXD is more centered on the specific skills required by the Commando Hubert team.
For example, combat swimmers are generally not deep divers. So, while the case of the FXD is still 42mm wide and made of the same titanium as other members of the Pelagos class, the FXD’s case thickness has been pared down from 14.3mm to 12.75mm to reduce drag while swimming (or, in the case of a college student, as they try to make it to their 9 AM class on time).
The nature of the Commando Hubert team’s mission requires them to be ready for anything. So, again, Tudor learned an essential lesson from the Marine Nationale: Features aiding in underwater navigation are critically important for these types of military units.
Hence why, with the FXD, you get a fully graduated, bi-directional bezel scale and a toothier grip. This bezel addresses the problem of cold and, therefore, clumsier fingers and hands. Other notable differences include the omission of the HeV (a helium escape valve) and a reduced water resistance from the Pelagos standard of 500m to 200m for the FXD.
Okay, so we’ll admit, details like the lack of a helium escape valve and the inclusion of a toothier bezel aren’t particularly useful to your average college student trying to find their place in the world, but other details will. For instance, the FXD’s generous application of lume set against a dark blue bezel and dial or the way the crystal sits almost flush with the face will make it easier read the time while in a dark lecture hall or when going on a late night pub crawl.
The changes brought on by Tudor’s relationship with the Marine Nationale have obviously affected the look of the Pelagos FXD. So, while strolling around a university campus is not exactly the same as executing a daring marine rescue, the FXD is still ready, willing, and (way beyond) able to take up the mission.
Though a bit thinner than its Pelagos siblings, the FXD nonetheless has a lot of wrist presence enough, at least, to attract attention while studying at the library). Moreover, the lightness of the titanium won’t add to the burden of an already overweight backpack. Plus, the low-set fixed lugs allow the strap to lie quite comfortably on the wrist.
And for students of horological history, when you remove the strap, the case back is engraved with the Marine Nationale Logo and “M.N.21” to honor the Marine Nationale watches of Tudor’s past. Inside, beats the tried and tested in-house MT5602 automatic movement.
The movement offers 70 hours of reserve and has a non-magnetic silicon balance spring – both essential when pulling all-nighters and spending hours in front of a laptop.
One thing that makes the Pelagos family so popular amongst new buyers and enthusiasts is its value proposition – the FXD is priced at just $3,900.
But like a good education, the FXD is also an excellent investment. And this is in large part due to its versatility. First of all, the FXD comes with fabric and rubber strap options, so you can easily switch up the look. But secondly (and perhaps more significantly), the Marine Nationale mandated hi-viz display also lends the watch a strong graphic design sensibility – so it wears just as well with a sweatshirt as it does a blazer.
The integrated lugs also provide a sense of security – no spring bars mean that the FXD isn’t likely to pop off a student’s wrist.