The Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Editions show off the FXD’s potential The Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Editions show off the FXD’s potential

The Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Editions show off the FXD’s potential

Zach Blass
  • The Tudor Pelagos FXD was born as a modern successor to the Marine Nationale
  • Its case distinguishes itself with fixed strap bars (no springbars)
  • Two new “Alinghi Red Bull Racing” Editions are released with new carbon composite case material and first-ever Pelagos FXD Chronograph

I think it is fair to say that Tudor are really killing it as of late. There are few criticisms thrown their way, which is quite a feat considering just how vocal and critical the watch community can be. Their creations are by no means perfect, and there were certainly weak points with certain models. But, the few hang-ups collectors have vocalised were largely tackled this past Watches & Wonders – with a thinner Black Bay Heritage 41mm and an unexpected, yet very welcome, Black Bay 54.

The only potential issue I can really think of these days, which is ultimately their greatest strength and weakness, is that the Tudor catalogue is largely a single model: the Black Bay. Akin to their big brother Rolex, they have effectively found an Oyster Perpetual-like base framework that serves as a through line across their catalogue. This means variety, at least for the most part, is limited to switch-ups in dial and bezel colours with occasional tangents into new case materials. Outside of the Black Bay, the adjacent Pelagos collection has had strong success as well. If the Black Bay is Tudor’s Submariner, the Pelagos is, or at least was, their larger and deeper-diving Sea-Dweller. But, then came the FXD, and later the Pelagos 39, raising the question of what the Pelagos collection is – what is its core essence with its widened parameters? More specifically, what is the FXD? Is it a one-off modern tribute to the Marine National? Or is it a collection of its own? With these two new Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Editions, however, it is becoming clearer what purpose the FXD collection can and should have.

The fact that carbon-composite cases are making their debut within the FXD line is a very strong strategic move by my estimation. While I enjoy and appreciate how the Black Bay has had forays into ceramic, and the BB58 into silver, gold, and bronze, I think it may be best to keep these models in a purer state and leave the exploration to the Pelagos, Pelagos 39, and FXD line. The Black Bay divers should be a haven for those who want a near-Submariner level experience at a more approachable price-point. But the FXD line, and Pelagos lineup overall, with their more robust and extreme connotations can be a safe-place for Tudor to run wild and really live up to their “born to dare” motto.

Case in point: the two new Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Editions. This new special duo debuts two firsts for Tudor. The first is a brand new carbon-composite case, their first foray into the lightweight and scratch-resistant material. The second, is a first-ever Pelagos FXD Chronograph. The chronograph extends 1mm more in diameter than the time-only FXD (43mm versus 42mm) and finds itself less than 1mm thicker. A blue dial is hardly new for Tudor, but the carbon-composite inserts within the titanium bezel certainly present a bit of novelty. Both are powered by COSC-certified manufacture calibres, each with 70 hours of power reserve and a silicon escapement. They each also carry a 200-metre depth rating, fitting considering these are both meant to be yacht racing approved watches.

Had these editions been presented as Black Bays it would have felt a little bit forced. The Pelagos and the FXD in particular, has a more rugged and professional sensibility. This is especially true when you consider the fact the FXD case has fixed strap bars. Yes this puts a halt to the plans of strap monsters eager to play around with factory or aftermarket options, but it does offer the peace of mind your case is far less likely to separate from your strap under stress. Through each watch, a dial-matching single-piece blue fabric strap with red accents runs through the fixed bars and secures the watch to your wrist.

With such a diver heavy lineup within the Tudor catalogue, the watches, at times, do run this risk of cannibalising one another. As I once wrote: how does the 39mm BB58 fit into the picture when the not so far off in diameter 37mm BB54 has an upgraded bracelet? The clear way forward, in my opinion, is to keep the Pelagos and FXD line rugged and explorative while keeping a classic-edge to the Black Bay line. Sure, the Black Bay has its GMT Master II edge with the Pepsi BBGMT. But, if a FXD GMT were to ever surface, let it become the Explorer II Rolex would never make.

Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Editons pricing and avialability:

The Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Editons are available now for purchase. Price: US$3,675 (Pelagos FXD “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition”), US$5,075 (Pelagos FXD Chronograph “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition”)

Brand Tudor Tudor
Model Pelagos FXD “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition” Pelagos FXD Chronograph “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition”
Case Dimensions 42mm (D) x 12.75mm (T) 43mm (D) x 13.6mm (T)
Case Material Carbon composite case, titanium bezel, carbon composite insert, stainless steel caseback Carbon composite case, titanium bezel, carbon composite insert, stainless steel caseback
Water Resistance 200m (titanium screw-down crown) 200m (titanium screw-down crown)
Dial Matte blue Matte blue, red chronograph accents
Crystal Sapphire crystal Sapphire crystal
Strap Single-piece blue fabric strap Single-piece blue fabric strap
Movement Manufacture Calibre MT5602 (COSC) Manufacture Calibre MT5813 (COSC)
Power Reserve 70 hours 70 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Availability Now Now
Price US$3,675 US$5,075