Archive for the 'Tudor' Category

Tudor Heritage Chronograph 2010: Seriously Sublime

Saturday, October 30th, 2010


Just after I wrote the last article, I received a comment from an anonymous poster who suggested that I should go back to writing ‘serious and factual’ watch reviews rather than making up fictional stories about his beloved Rolex. Which is ridiculous, because I’ve never written a factual watch review in my life, and Rolex probably comes up more fiction about their watches than I am capable of in 10 lifetimes. I, in turn, would suggest that if anyone wanted to read a ‘serious’ watch review they should really check out Watch Report instead. This blog caters to people who are serious about not taking horology too seriously.

Despite all this, there sometimes comes along a timepiece of such masterful design that I have no choice but to treat it with as much seriousness as I can muster. The 2010 Tudor Heritage Chronograph or ‘Monte Carlo’ reissue is one of them. Introduced to in Baselworld 2010 (which I was again not invited to – how much longer are they going to ignore this fastest- growing source of ‘objective horological commentary’ on the Internet?) it was immediately greeted with a great deal of fanfare and absolutely stole the thunder from more expensive watches by other brands (such as the ceramic bezel Submariners by Rolex, for example).

Everything about this watch reeks of racing- driver sophistication – not that crap F1 nowadays where drivers start crying because their car broke down in the third lap or something – but the Seventies kind, the type which if a little Spanish teammate looked at them funny in the eye they’ll smash him across the face with their manly, hairy, Seventies’ fist. And then go make out with his hot, model wife. I’m talking James Hunt and Sir Jackie Stewart and not that Spanish pokemon and the other chumps who migrate to Switzerland to save a few million a year on taxes. Chumps. Are there no real men left in the world?

Major Knurling Action

But I digress. We were on the subject of making out with your friend’s wife and racing driver sophistication. Black bezel aside, the Monte Carlo’s nicely finished case with dual- pushers and crown has seen the watch being compared very favourably with its more expensive and prestigious stable-mate, the ‘ultimate driver’s watch’, the Rolex Daytona, which the MC shares some resemblance. But who buys Daytonas anymore except middle- eastern oil salesmen? Besides, with the Heritage Chrono you get a date! More for less. Like the Daytona, the Heritage Chrono’s pushers have screw- down locks and nicely ‘knurled’ edges. Er, you know that word. Its like when they rough up smooth metal and make it ribbed to improve the grip. They won’t use ‘ribbed’ because that word usually appears on rough- rider condoms and this is the high-end world of haute- horlogerie. So you better get used to ‘knurling’ instead.

Speaking of which, the edge of the bi- directional bezel is also nicely ‘knurled’ to improve grip as well. Maybe I’m used to precision clicking, but this bezel doesn’t seem to turn with enough clicking noise. In fact, it sounds muffled and the grooves are like kind of soft when you rotate the bezel, unlike the new Submariners which click with razor- sharp precision. But what the heck, it must be a slow day in the office when I’m crapping about bezels.


With the dial you have an absolute stunner. There’s something about the contrast between gray and black that works exceedingly well here; border it with a white and black outer ring, throw in the orange accents and shield- shaped hour markers and you have a watch- face that screams racer without needing to resort to a million mini- counters that are too small to be legible, something that Tag Heuer doesn’t seem to realise with their sports lines. Its not the about the number of markers, counters and numbers you cram into the dial but all to do with the placement of the details.

And how about giving you both a steel bracelet and NATO strap for value? Ok its not really a NATO strap because for some reason Tudor decided to implant the spring bars into the fabric strap itself, but it  sure adds to the racy feel of the watch. Actually I’m not sure if race- drivers really wore watches with NATO straps back in the Seventies or Sixties, but I think NATO straps are the next big thing in custom watches. Just imagine it, unless you’re a Panerai owner, you don’t really have a huge selection of cool watch straps to outfit your watches with and change its look, maybe even entirely. But with a spring bar, you can just about fit a NATO strap to anything! Even that diamond- bezeled- leopard- spots- on- the- dial gold Rolex that you’re too embarrassed to wear in public, fit a pink NATO to it and you’re an instant sensation!

I could go on forever about this watch (or some other unrelated topic), but the fact remains this IS the watch buy of 2010. It’s got the prestige (“Rolex’s little sister! costs US$4300!”), its got the ‘heritage’ (of being a re- issue of a well- received Seventies watch), its value for money (one bracelet, one strap, chrono, date) and great design. Why don’t they make all sports watches like this?!

Tudor Heritage Chrono ‘Monte Carlo;, reference 70330N, Stainless steel, 42mm Bezel, SS bracelet and NATO strap, 150m water resistance, Automatic ETA 2892-A2 movement, Recommend Retail Price S$5650.00

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