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A tough time(piece)

A TOUGH new watch by Tudor was created with a collaboration with the French Navy’s combat swimmer unit, the Commando Hubert.

The new watch, launched in a press conference last week, is called the Pelagos FXD. It is a diver’s watch, waterproof up to 200 meters, with grade X1 Swiss Super-LumiNova luminescent material filling.

“We never lose track of time, even in the darkest of nights,” the company said in a presentation.

The glowing markers on the hands and around the dial are surrounded by a bidirectional rotatable bezel in titanium with a ceramic insert. The dial itself is in matte blue, and the piece is powered by the Manufacture Calibre MT5602, certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) with a silicon balance spring and a 70-hour power reserve. This particular movement exceeds the standards set by the COSC. The 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; but the Manufacture Calibre MT5602 insists on a variation between -2 and +4 seconds in its running when it is completely assembled.

The watch is worn with either a navy blue fabric strap, or else a one-piece rubber strap.

The watch has a 42mm satin-brushed titanium case with fixed strap bars, machined from a single block of titanium. “There can be no weak point,” said the company.

The case back is engraved with the Marine Nationale (French Navy) logo and the inscription “M.N.21” (Marine Nationale 2021), inspired by the original engravings of the 1970s and ’80s.

The new watch isn’t the first collaboration between the brand and the French Navy: back in 1956, the Groupe d’Etude et de Recherches Sous-Marines (G.E.R.S.), a scientific body attached to the French Navy and based in Toulon, took delivery of some Oyster Prince Submariner watches in order to assess them in real-life situations. They were references 7922 and 7923, both waterproof to 100 meters (330 ft) and fitted with self-winding and manual movements, respectively. The waterproofness of these watches was judged to be “perfect” and their performance “entirely correct” by the G.E.R.S. commanding officer at the time. Persuaded by the potential of the instruments offered by the brand, they quickly placed more orders, enabling TUDOR to attain the status of “official supplier to the French Navy” in 1961.

The most famous Tudor divers’ watch used by the French Navy is the reference 9401, with a blue dial and bezel. This model was launched in the mid-’70s and was supplied to the French Navy until the 1980s. It continued to be used into the 21st century, particularly at the French Navy’s diving school, as well as by combat swimmers. According to a statement, “Although officially removed from the French Navy’s supply stocks some 20 years ago, it can still be seen sometimes today on the wrists of reserve and retired sailors alike.”

Tudor is available in boutiques in Bonifacio Global City, Trinoma, SM Mall of Asia, Okada, City of Dreams, Shangri-La Plaza, The Podium, Makati, and Cebu. — J.L. Garcia

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