In the world of horology, few brands can boast a heritage as storied and respected as Tudor. Their timepieces have adorned the wrists of adventurers, explorers, and military personnel for decades, and their latest offering, the Tudor Pelagos FXD Black, continues this tradition of excellence.
Before we dive into the details of this latest addition, let’s take a moment to understand the context. The Tudor Pelagos FXD Black is a natural evolution of the Pelagos FXD collection, which first made waves with its debut in blue back in 2021. Designed in collaboration with the French Marine Nationale, this timepiece set a new standard for what a “Mil-Sub” should be.
The Pelagos FXD wasn’t just a watch; it was a tool meticulously crafted for the demands of military divers. Two versions were available: one for the civilian market and another exclusively for the French Navy. The latter featured distinctive details such as “M.N.21” engraving and specialized dive straps, setting it apart as a true military instrument.
The Evolution From Blue to Black
Now, fast forward to the present day, and we have the black Tudor Pelagos FXD. What makes this iteration intriguing is its inspiration—the US Navy. Unlike its blue predecessor, this model features a unidirectional bezel, adding a new dimension to its functionality.
The connection between Tudor and the US Navy runs deep. The US Navy relied on Tudor diving watches for decades, starting in the late 1950s. SEAL teams, UDTs, Seabees, and Navy dive school instructors all trusted Tudor timepieces for their underwater missions. Tudor’s support was so significant that the brand’s watches were featured in essential literature like the 1965 ‘First Edition’ of the Underwater Demolition Team Handbook and the 1973 US Navy Diving manual.
While Tudor hasn’t officially disclosed the backstory of the black Pelagos FXD, a former CIA officer and military watch enthusiast known as @watchesofespionage on Instagram shared some intriguing insights. According to this source, the black Pelagos FXD was originally designed as a ‘Unit Watch’ for a famed SEAL Team Six squadron.
In fact, this ‘Black FXD’ isn’t entirely new to the public; it has been on the wrists of elite operators for nearly a year during training exercises and operational deployments worldwide. These specially commissioned models are available in both left-handed (LHD) and right-handed configurations, featuring a unique two-line dial text, a fully demarcated 60-minute timing bezel, a squadron-specific caseback engraving, and a Pelagos dial available in various squadron-themed colors.
It appears that the Pelagos FXD line is following a predictable yet intriguing template. Each new color configuration appears to be tied to a specific military organization and takes inspiration from a present military-commissioned model. While the introduction of the black dial and bezel may seem understated, it holds a special place in Tudor’s history with the US Navy and SEAL Team Six, making it a compelling addition.
The Tudor Pelagos FXD Black, priced at A$5,970 or US$4,150, is more than just a watch; it’s a piece of history. With its rich military heritage and connection to elite units, it’s a timepiece that embodies the spirit of adventure and excellence that Tudor has represented for generations.