The Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi edition is a crazy value proposition The Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi edition is a crazy value proposition

The Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi edition is a crazy value proposition

Borna Bošnjak

How many of you fellow WIS have answered “Tudor” when asked to recommend a watch for under $5,000? The brand has completely dominated this space in terms of popularity, and while recent price hikes have impacted the value-for-money argument a little, interest isn’t slowing down. One model, and its subsequent evolutions, can be thanked for this. While it’s not quite there yet, I have no doubt that the Davide Cerrato-penned Tudor Black Bay will eventually be deserving of the iconic moniker, paving the road for further design experimentation, some more successful than others. As fantastic as the Black Bay is (rich, coming from a 58 owner), it’s not the topic of today’s story. When compiling the latest Time+Tide Magazine buying guide (coming to a T+T Shop near you soon), I stumbled across the Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing, and had to do a double take when seeing its price.

tudor pelagos fxd alinghi red bull racing edition case profile

But first, a recap. When the Pelagos FXD was first introduced in 2021, reactions were mixed. People liked the Marine Nationale-inspired design and titanium construction, but weren’t too sure about its fixed strap bar situation. The real surprise followed earlier this year, with a duo of carbon composite-cased Pelagos FXDs made in collaboration with Red Bull’s yacht racing team Alinghi. Not only did this signal a totally new material for the brand, but also introduced a Pelagos FXD Chronograph into the mix. It’s the time-only version that drew my interest, however, as it’s currently listed on Tudor’s Australian website at A$5,370. It may be a bit crude to just focus on the money, but just by itself, that already seems like a decent deal – carbon case, Kenissi COSC-certified movement, and the Tudor brand name – but it becomes even better with some context.

Ahead of the competition

tissot sideral blue formex essence leggera

Let’s paint a picture by comparing the Alinghi to other similarly specced watches, as well as those in its own price category. Starting at the affordable spectrum – how much do you really need to spend if all you want is a carbon-cased watch? Well, the Tissot Sideral and Formex Essence Legera are champions of this segment, going for A$1,635 and A$2,750, respectively. Having said that, both of these watches house entry-level Swiss movements that won’t be a match for the Tudor’s COSC-certified MT5602, though it’s worth giving props to the Formex and its chronometer-certified Sellita SW200.

norqain wild one khaki wrist doxa sub 300 carbon aquamarine

How about something with specs comparable to the Tudor? It’s impossible not to mention the great Doxa SUB 300 Carbon, which we’ve given plenty of love in the past. Then there’s Norqain’s challenger – the Wild One and its Norteq case material, also being powered by a Kenissi movement. Both of these are significantly more expensive than the Tudor.

A stand-out in the Tudor catalogue

Tudor Black Bay 58 wrist

Whether it’s because I chose to spend a significant amount of personal cash or because it truly is a great value, the Black Bay 58 has always been my yardstick at its price point. Currently retailing for A$5,730 in steel, it actually happens to be more expensive than its larger, carbon-cased cousin. Well, that’s weird – and it doesn’t get any less confusing from there.

tudor pelagos 39

Take the Pelagos 39 for example – that’s A$1,000 more than the FXD Alinghi, though considering the all-titanium construction, maybe not the most apples-to-apples comparison.

tudor pelagos fxd black us navy green red strap

Finally, even the titanium models from the very same FXD collection retail for A$200 (ish) more than the Alinghi.

Does this suggest that Tudor values carbon about the same as titanium? We already know that brands often charge large premiums on titanium, even though its raw material prices give no reason for the markup. Admittedly, I’m still struggling to find an explanation for all this. I can kind of make sense of the fact that it’s well-priced among competition, but the fact that it’s so aggressively positioned even within the brand’s own catalogue really baffled me. One thing’s for sure – I’ll be keeping a keen eye on Tudor, as I wonder whether they’ll rectify this and bring the price of the Pelagos FXD Alinghi in line with the rest of the market.

Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition pricing and availability

The Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition is available now. Price: A$5,370, US$3,725

Brand Tudor
Model Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition
Reference Number M25707KN-0001
Case Dimensions 42mm (D) x 12.75mm (T)
Case Material Carbon composite, titanium bezel, stainless steel
Water Resistance 200 metres, titanium screw-down crown
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Matte blue
Strap One-piece blue fabric
Movement MT5602, developed by Kenissi, automatic, COSC-certified
Power Reserve 70 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds
Availability Available now
Price A$5,370, US$3,725