The US Navy issued TUDOR diving watches for decades starting in the late ‘50s. The watches were famously used by SEAL teams from their commissioning in 1962 all the way the ‘80s.
Throughout the decades, TUDOR has supported the Navy as a supplier of issued watches. In the 1965 “First Edition” of the Underwater Demolition Team Handbook, a TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner ref. 7928 is pictured next to the “Diving Watch” paragraph.
Watches issued to members of the military are typically engraved with specific inventory codes, but the Navy-issued TUDOR watches didn’t follow this pattern. There was never a force-wide consolidated marking system. Instead, the issued watches were either sterile, or marked at the unit level, with many different coding typologies, most of which were used for inventory purposes.
As early as the mid-'50s, TUDOR diving watches were being tested and evaluated by a number of outfits inside the Navy, and by 1958 they were officially adopted by the Navy and purchased for the purpose of issuing them to divers operating in various units. This Pelagos FXD model is the spiritual successor of those watches. The nomenclature hints at the background of the watch, with FXD referring to the incredibly robust FiXeD strap bars of the case. The model represents a modern, high-performance and robust take on the famed “Milsub” (short for Military Submariner) of yesteryear. Visually, it’s most in line with a late ‘60s-era TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7016; it incorporates elements from the US Government specifications for diving watches, such as fixed spring bars, as well as details inspired by other generations of issued TUDORs, like pointed crown-guards typically found on early TUDOR Submariners.
The history of the TUDOR divers’ watch dates back to 1954 with the launch of reference 7922. Waterproof to 100 meters (330 ft), it is the firstborn in a long line of “divers”. Affordable, robust, reliable and precise, it is representative of the tool-watch philosophy of the brand. The seven decades following its introduction have witnessed the constant improvement of this TUDOR divers' watch and those that have gained unanimous acclaim from professionals in the field, including some of the greatest military navies in the world. With the introduction in 2021 of the first generation of Pelagos FXD, TUDOR continues to write its underwater story alongside some of the most elite navy units in the world.
The Manufacture Calibre MT5602 that drives the Pelagos FXD model displays the hours, minutes and seconds functions. It has the finish typical of TUDOR Manufacture Calibres: its rotor in tungsten monobloc is openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, while its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations.
Its build has been designed to ensure robustness, longevity, reliability and precision, as has its variable inertia balance, which is maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge with a two-point fixation. Together with its non-magnetic silicon hairspring, the Manufacture Calibre MT5602 is certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), with its performance going beyond the standards set by this independent institute. In fact, where COSC allows an average variation in the daily running of a watch of between -4 and +6 seconds in relation to absolute time in a single movement, TUDOR insists on between -2 and +4 seconds’ variation in its running when it is completely assembled.
Another notable feature is that the power reserve of the Manufacture Calibre MT5602 is “weekend-proof”; that is to say about 70 hours, which enables the wearer to take the watch off on a Friday evening and put it back on again on Monday morning without having to wind it.