Looking at the new Tudor Grantour Chrono Fly-Back watch that was officially presented last March during the annual Baselworld 2011 show, I can’t really figure out whether Rolex is serious about its resurrected entry-luxury sub-brand or just amuses itself with an old toy.
From the exterior point of view, the new timekeeper looks very good, even classy (for a sports watch, that is.)
Its black bezel with stylized Arabic numerals is not crafted from polished ceramic, however the lacquer seems to be of very high quality and it nicely echoes the black background of the dial.
Unlike another Tudor watch from the same collection, the bezel is fixed, so the Grantour Chrono cannot be used as a GMT watch. Well, I can live with that.
The bistable lockable chronograph pusher at 2 o’clock is equipped with a bright red marking, which is supported with red accents on the timekeeper’s face.
The layout of the dial with the small seconds indicator at 9 o’clock, a chronograph counter at 3 hours, and a date aperture at 6 o’clock is also okay. It seems to be inspired by the 1970s Tudor Monte Carlo Heritage Chronograph watch.
The vintage timekeeper was powered by the good old Rolex Valjoux Caliber 234 hand-wound movement. However, around 30 years ago the Swiss watchmaker reintroduced the model with the well-known Valjoux 7750 caliber.
I am not sure about this particular model (in its press release Tudor only says that the watch is animated by an “automatic” caliber,) but, sold under an “entry-level” brand, it may also be powered by a mass produced Swiss made movement. Most probably, it features the same ETA 2892 automatic movement with Dubois-Depraz DD 2054 module that powered the 2010 “re-edition” of the Monte Carlo. If that’s indeed the case, then Rolex stepped on the same rake twice.
The problem is not only that a model of this class must be equipped with a natural-born chronograph caliber (we understand that Rolex won’t equip Tudor watches with its own in-house movement,) but that the DD 2054 piggy-back module is known for its reliability issues.
And when it comes to repairing the module, it is easier to buy a new one, which may be a cause of severe headache after the module is discontinued and will definitely significantly reduce the resale value of the watch.
Well, if this doesn’t bother you and if you do not treat a watch as an investment (which it clearly isn’t) then there is no reason not to get one.
It looks great, fits both casual and formal dress and must feel great on a wrist thanks to its relatively compact size of 42 millimeters.
There is still no info regarding its price but I expect it to retail at around $5500.
See also: Tudor Heritage Advisor Automatic Alarm
Tudor Grantour Chrono Fly-Back (Ref. 20550N) specification
Price: $4400 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel, black lacquered
Crown material: Steel
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Numerals: Luminous hour-markers
Water resistance: 150 meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Case back: Solid