With its new Tudor Fastrider Ducati (Ref. 42000) chronograph, the recently resurrected brand continues its trend of offering not particularly bright timekeepers for those considering the canonical Rolex design language too flashy for the price.
Although the Swiss watchmaking house Rolex has no right to complain about its sales figures (according to different estimates, the brand, which is controlled by the Wilsdorf family Foundation, has a pretty much impressive turnover of between $3 billion and $4 billion per year,) at some point the company realized that there is a need for another, less expensive brand to be established.
The moment of truth, probably, manifested itself when the global financial crisis struck resulting in a significant drop in demand for luxury watches among the debt-ridden middle class.
The concept was simple: make a watch that has the famous Rolex DNA, but is equipped with a much less expensive mass-produced ETA movement.
The problem with the concept is that the pendulum swings too far: while most Rolexes are rightfully considered too blingy by some, the new Tudor watches are definitely discreet to the point of dullness.
The new Tudor Fastrider Chronograph Ducati (Ref. 42000,) for example, is offered in a simple 42-millimeter stainless steel case that has no special features, except, perhaps, for the peculiarly shaped date corrector at 9 o’clock.
The rest (like the inevitable tachymetric scale on its satin-finished fixed bezel, the pair of piston-shaped chronograph push-pieces, the potato-peeler hour and minute hands, or the standard tri-compax layout of its dial) look intolerably boring like an averagely-beautiful face on a bigboard advertising a new unisex perfume.
The only thing that looks nice here is an interesting combination of a vertical race stripe painted on the right side of the dial and the round date window, which is placed at 4:30 and looks like a number of a bike that participates in some kind of a moto GP.
As I have already hinted, the watch is not powered by a Rolex movement. Instead, it sports a more affordable ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. Lacking many of Rolex innovative technologies, the ebauche is still considered accurate and reliable (at least, for its modest price.)
The movement is operated with a pair of chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock and a shield-shaped fast date corrector at 9 hours.
As usual, the watch is shipped with a choice of different straps, including a bracelet, a natural leather strap with a folding clasp and a new safety catch, and a black fabric strap with a buckle and the same racing stripe that intersects the dial.
Although created together with Ducati (Tudor has recently become its primary sponsor,) the watch doesn’t bear any direct references to the Italian motorcycle brand.
According to Tudor’s official press release, the watch is going to be available at a pretty modest price of CHF 3300 or CHF 3500 (approximately $4200 or $4500) depending on the type of strap you order the watch with.
Tudor Fastrider Chronograph Ducati (Ref. 42000) specification
Price: CHF 3300 / CHF 3500
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, 28,800 vph, 25 jewels, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Stainless steel, alternately brushed and polished
Size: 42.00 mm
Dial: Red or Black
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 150 meters
Strap: Satin-finished three-piece link stainless steel bracelet with a polished center piece on a folding clasp and a safety catch / Leather strap with a folding clasp and a new safety catch / Black fabric NATO strap with steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective