Around 18 months ago, Rolex’s “cheaper” brand Tudor has unveiled its Tudor Heritage Chronograph (Ref. 70330) automatic watch that paid tribute to the legendary Tudor Oysterdate from the 1970s. The resemblance between the original and the reissue was, well, a little less than obvious, so, learning on past mistakes the brand decided to offer this new Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue featuring styling that makes it look almost like a faithful recreation of the old “Montecarlo” version of the same Oysterdate range.
Since the new watch comes powered by a slightly refinished version of the ETA 2892-A2 self-winding ebauche (although they renamed it as Tudor 2892, the only thing that seems to differ it from the base caliber is a branded and decorated oscillating weight), while the original was animated by a hand-wound Valjoux 234 caliber, the original and the “reissue” feature slightly different layouts of the dials.
Besides mildly reshaped hour and minute hands and new pointers on the sub-dials, the new watch also swaps the small seconds and 45-minute chronograph indicators. Although less authentic, the new layout at least makes it easier to see the subsidiary seconds indicator without pulling your shirts cuff all the way up.
Another change that makes me wince is the lack of the original fish-eye magnifying lens on the sapphire dial of the remake. The date aperture on the new watch is quite small and persons with poor eyesight (or even those who have to spend their waking hours staring at computer screens) will not find the experience of checking current date particularly rewarding.
You have probably already noticed that the Heritage Chrono Blue‘s bezel features 11 Arabic numerals instead of the usual diving scale. That’s perfectly normal since, with its not particularly impressive WR rating of 150 meters, this watch is clearly not a diver. So the bezel is supposed to be used as a second time zone indicator. To make using the GMT function easier, Tudor decided to allow the bezel to rotate both in clock- and counterclockwise directions.
What I really like about this watch is that the timekeeper swaps the crude-looking notched crown and push-pieces of the original in favor of new parts featuring more refined knurling pattern on gripping surfaces.
All in all, this is a very nice gadget for those who want to get a “classic” sporty timekeeper, but doesn’t care for a used watch with so many Oysterdates and other legendary names of dubious origin flooding the market in recent years. Price is still to be announced*, but it will surely cost less than a Rolex with similar functionality.
*UPDATE ON PRICE: In the US, Tudor Watches will offer this new model at MSRP of $4000. Although the price of this new gadget seems to be quite impressive for a “sub-brand” kind of watch that is also powered by a fairly standard mechanisms that weren’t even fine-tuned to COSC standards, I still think that it should be considered as a candidate by any person interesting in buying a classic-styled diver.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue Automatic watch specification
Price: $4000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Tudor 2892 (base caliber ETA 2892-A2), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Branded rotor
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, small seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Opaline white with matt blue trapezoids for counters
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 150 meters
Strap: Steel bracelet with folding clasp and extra textile NATO strap in blue, grey and orange on a steel buckle
Case back: Solid