My 2021 Watch — A Love Song to the Tudor Pelagos FXD

My 2021 Watch — A Love Song to the Tudor Pelagos FXD

To round up the year, the Revolution editors share their personal picks for the watch that defined 2021. Revolution UK editor-in-chief and inhouse Tudor expert Ross Povey tells all about his choice – the Tudor Pelagos FXD.

2021 has been many things to many people. What optimistically began as a new, post-COVID start, stuttered a little at the beginning of the year before blossoming into an era of new hope. As the year closes, however, we seem to again be staring down the barrel of yet another cataclysmic COVID calamity named Omicron that threatens to, at the very least, cause significant disruption and at the worst … well, you know the rest!

During November, however, a ray of sunshine shone through the gathering clouds in the form of the Tudor Pelagos FXD. Not simply inspired by military watches or with a passing resemblance to dive watches used by navies of the world, this was a proper bone fide “MilSub” of the coolest design and it made this self-confessed Tudoraholic very happy indeed. So, my highlight of AD ’21 was the MN21…

Tudor Pelagos FXD (Image: Revolution©)
Tudor Pelagos FXD (Image: Revolution©)

I’ve written about it, I’ve talked about it and thankfully, I managed to “bag” myself one. Collectors love the details, and the immediate thing that struck me about the FXD “MN21” was that the watches launched in mid-November 2021 are engraved with “MN21” on the caseback and will only be available for half a dozen weeks. Watches released from January to December 2022 will be engraved with “MN22” and so on. It’s these small details that drive geeks like me crazy, which is why I am still super delighted to have “No. 9” of the Black Bay Chrono Dark! Whereas its older brother is resistant to venture, Tudor goes full throttle into limited edition pieces, cool tie-ins and making watches that appeal to die-hard vintage collectors.

Engraved with "MN21" at the caseback (Image: Revolution©)
Engraved with "MN21" at the caseback (Image: Revolution©)

Cut me in half, and it would say Wilsdorf through my core like a stick of rock. I make no apologies for this. I cut my teeth on Tudor and am regarded as the foremost expert on vintage pieces, especially military-issued watches. For me then, the Pelagos was the stuff of (literal) dreams. The Black Bay, when first introduced, was truly a Big Crown for the everyman. A few years later, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight was introduced, a watch that faithfully reinterpreted the original 1958 (hence the Fifty-Eight) reference 7924 Submariner. The 7924 is the holy grail for vintage Tudor dive watch fans, and the response from collectors and enthusiasts was resoundingly positive. Then when a Navy Blue version was unveiled, all hell broke loose. A blue “Snowflake” inspired by the 1970s Marine Nationale (MN) Tudors … what’s not to love?

Tudor Pelagos FXD (Image: Revolution©)

In some fans’ minds, the Pelagos has always been the purer of the Tudor tool watches. The square hour markers and professional application were arguably truer to the brand’s dive watch roots than the Black Bay. In my mind, it was certainly the logical line for a collaboration watch with one of Tudor’s oldest research and development partners, the French National Navy, or Marine Nationale. The most elite unit in the MN is Commando Hubert, the combat swimmers, and it was this group that Tudor worked with to develop the FXD. There were a few questions when the watch was launched, such as why there was no gas escape valve like on other Pelagos watches? Well, combat swimmers generally go no deeper than a few meters. Why a retrograde bezel that is bidirectional? It’s a countdown bezel, a key part of Commando Hubert’s underwater navigation. There are other elements that raised questions and all could actually be answered with “because, that’s what the MN wanted!”

Tudor Pelagos FXD (Image: Revolution©)

So, for me the Tudor Pelagos FXD is not just my favorite watch of 2021, it might be my favorite modern watch of all time. If there was a candidate for a “one watch collection,” that you could wear for every occasion, including swimming and fishing, then I think this would be my choice. Thank you Tudor for making this Tudor Collector very happy this year!

Tudor Pelagos FXD (Image: Revolution©)

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Ross Povey

Ross Povey, the founder of TudorCollector.com is regarded as the world’s leading expert on vintage Tudor watches. Although an expert on Rolex and Tudor watches primarily, Ross’s work covers the entire field of horology and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine in the UK. He writes for and has contributed to some of the most influential horological publications, including; The Telegraph, The Rake, Bulang & Sons, Watchonista, Hodinkee, QP and is the co-author of the book Daytona Perpetual, a celebration of the automatic Rolex Daytona released through Pucci Papaleo Editore. Ross is also an international speaker and regularly hosts watch events in the UK and Europe.

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