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Tudor has just unveiled two watches, the new Pelagos FXD “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition” which constitute the concretization of the partnership forged in 2022 between the brand and the team which will represent the Swiss union at the 37th edition of the America. I had the opportunity to see one of these two novelties up close, the three-needle version.
I will come back later to the Pelagos FXD Chrono “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition” which is a new model. The three-needle version is not really since it is a reinterpretation of an existing model, the Pelagos FXD “Marine Nationale”. It is no less interesting because it was made with care and intelligence.
The three -needle version
Carefully first because the starting point was already suited to such an interpretation. The Pelagos FXD is a technical watch that is distinguished by the particular construction of its case with fixed bracelet bars and its slender style. Tudor’s objective was to use this case to use the same materials as those used in the design of the Swiss syndicate’s boat. This is how we find matte black carbon composite in the main body of the case, stainless steel at its base and a bidirectional titanium 60-minute graduated bezel with a carbon composite disc.
The watch therefore gives off a feeling of coherence, all the more so since the colors are the same as those of the boat. While I’m generally not a fan of the black and blue mix (I find that these are two colors that don’t go well together), the result here is very convincing due to the matte appearance of the carbon composite and the blue of the dial. The rendering is contemporary, rather soft and skilfully enhanced by a few touches of red, the color I have always associated with Alinghi and watches that in the past have been created in a similar context. However, the red remains discreet because only visible at the level of the second hand, the Pelagos inscription and at the end of the bracelet strand.
In comparison to the Pelagos FXD “Marine Nationale” which could be seen as an essentially blue watch, the Pelagos FXD “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition” offers more contrasts and a hint of extra dynamism. It is nonetheless very reasonable in its color range and the more sporty atmosphere is well transcribed.
The Pelagos FXD “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition”
Tudor got smart next. Certainly the Pelagos FXD “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition” symbolizes the commitment of the brand with the union but it remains very discreet. Tudor found a kind of balance point that was not easy to achieve. On the one hand, it was necessary to embody this commitment and this link between the two parties. The consistency of the approach presented above demonstrates that this objective has been achieved. But the watch shouldn’t look like an advertising watch either, because it should also be worn by customers who don’t have more of a hook than that with sailing. The inscription “Alinghi Red Bull Racing” is positioned on the flange so that the dial is devoid of any reference to the union. The logo is only found on the case back and is therefore invisible when the watch is worn. The commercial ambition of the watch is obvious. Thanks to the carbon composite case (less expensive than an all-titanium case) and the fact that only one blue fabric strap is provided (a rubber strap is also provided with the Pelagos FXD “Marine Nationale”), the price price is set at 3,620 euros, i.e. 400 euros less than the “Marine Nationale” version). Tudor thus goes back below the 4,000 euro mark to attract customers looking for a watch that is waterproof to 200 meters, with an irreproachable presentation and which benefits from the reputation of the brand.
As I consider the Pelagos FXD “Marine Nationale” as one of the most beautiful recent Tudors (if not the most beautiful), I could only be delighted to discover a new version. The absence of a date poses no problem in a sports watch and the 42mm diameter remains quite reasonable thanks to the opening of the measured dial and the position of the bracelet in relation to the case. There remains the system with fixed bars which requires the bracelet to pass under the case and which increases the thickness a little. But the shape of the case is part of the identity of the Pelagos FXD so this constraint (which also limits the possibilities of changing the strap) remains acceptable.
Finally, one of the strengths of the Pelagos FXD lies in the performance of its MT5602 movement (undated version of the MT5612) which has a power reserve of 70 hours and a frequency of 4hz. This caliber, reliable and precise, will accompany the owner of the watch in all circumstances, whether during a regatta or dry on dry land.
Personally, I retain a preference for the Pelagos FXD “Marine Nationale” due in particular to its dominant blue which I particularly appreciate and its titanium case. The fact remains that the “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition” version is very well made, respecting the same quality criteria. Its more aggressive price and more dynamic style will be able to appeal to a wider public than that of the “Marine Nationale” version.
Pros and Cons
- The consistency of the watch with the partnership, which nevertheless remains discreet
- The performance of the MT5602 caliber
- The price drops below 4,000 euros
- the system with fixed bars requires a certain type of bracelet