Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono

It has been a while that we last saw a Tudor chronograph as fresh as the Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition. Accompanied by a non-chronograph version, these two new watches go with the long-term partnership between Tudor and Alinghi Red Bull Racing. Signed in 2022, it marked the first time when the watchmaker ventured into the world of competitive yachting — a world in which its parent company Rolex has played an active role for decades.
The new Tudor Pelagos FXD and Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono watches feature a matt black carbon composite case and bezel insert, a first for Tudor, combined with titanium for the bezel, crown, and direct-action pushers, and 316L stainless steel for the caseback and movement container. Carbon, titanium, and steel is a blend that is also present on an AC75 hydrofoil racing yacht, like the one that bears the Tudor and Red Bull logos on its sails. The lug design is the same as we saw on the Pelagos FXD that debuted in 2021 in collaboration with the Marine Nationale. In essence the two lugs are connected with a bar, a fixed strap bar design that, according to Tudor, was initially developed with French navy combat divers.
Both new watches come with a bidirectional 120-notch bezel with Swiss Super-LumiNova grade X1, a luminous material claimed to show a performance increase of up to 60% after two hours compared to standard grades. Rolex has very expensively developed a bespoke regatta chronograph with the frankly epic Yacht-Master II (launched in 2007) — given Tudor’s much more accessible price point, it is perhaps less of a surprise that we are not looking at a regatta countdown chronograph with the new Chrono. Instead, both of these Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition watches have a 60-to-0 graduated bezel allowing it to be used to track countdowns more conveniently.
We have seen co-branding break otherwise appealing designs, especially when watch design “peaked” in the 2000s and early 2010s — garish logos placed in prominent locations on watch dials have certainly turned many prospective buyers away, even if the collaboration was otherwise close to their heart. Tudor seems to have recognized the need to strike a good balance between timeless watch design and marketable co-branding and so the new Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition and Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition have the team’s name printed on the flange ring between 10 and 2 o’clock. It should be barely visible when one is looking at their watch head-on but, on a personal note, I still wish it wasn’t there at all. Something is telling me that we will see more Pelagos Chrono watches in the future, probably with complete seconds track markings all around.
The dials offer a novel combination of red and blue — the team’s racing colors — but the coolest bit is arguably the way the hour markers are made from solid blocks of Super-LumiNova. A design that isn’t unique to Tudor but a superb match to the Pelagos FXD nevertheless. It is a bit of a shame that the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock luminous markers are missing entirely on the Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono, just a narrow dash of this material would have a long way to aid legibility — and the Swiss Made text could have found its place on the flange ring, too, offsetting the massive text that lies between 10 and 2.
The Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition watch features the Tudor MT5813 movement that is derived from the Breitling B01, with a high-precision regulating organ developed by Tudor and “exclusive finishes.” It’s good to know that Tudor still offers the most affordable way to own a B01-equipped watch with its MT5813-equipped models coming in thousands of dollars cheaper than Breitling B01-equipped references. Tudor also does the correct thing and references the Breitling B01 connection in its official communication, as opposed to hiding the origins of this solid movement. The non-chronograph Pelagos FXD is powered the Tudor Calibre MT5602 that drives the hours, minutes, and seconds — there is no date display on the Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition watch. Both watches are COSC-certified chronometers but Tudor claims the fully assembled watches are internally tested to a yet stricter tolerance range of -2/+4 seconds. Both watches have a “weekend-proof” power reserve of 70 hours.
Tudor offers the Pelagos FXD and Pelagos FXD Chrono watches on a single-piece fabric strap — sadly the fixed strap bar design means that no traditional strap (fastened with spring bars) can ever be fitted to one of these watches. The strap is woven in France on 19th century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company, made up of a 22mm “Team Blue” ribbon with red accents and a titanium D-buckle with a self-gripping fastening system with virtually infinite adjustability. With that said, you will want to check out in a boutique whether you like the way these straps tuck under the case and fold around the wrist before committing.
We look forward to seeing how Tudor will further explore the possibilities that lie in the carbon case material and the Pelagos FXD Chrono theme.