Introduced at Baselworld 2013 is the Tudor Heritage Blue Chrono and has been touted as one of the standouts of the fair. Although not strictly a new watch it is a new color version of their recently released gray version. It is in fact inspired by a vintage Tudor watch, the Tudor “Montecarlo” ref. 7169.
This new model is a remarkly faithful rendition of the vintage model apart from its size and some small details. Apart from a design standpoint this model is also new and improved version through its use of modern materials for its construction.
2013 is an important year for Tudor because it see their return to one of its strongest markets: the United States so its quite an important step in their history since it has been a very long time since they sold watches in the US. Tudor could be called Rolex’s little brother and have often been overshadowed by them. The main difference between the two is that Tudor are more affordable due to their use of ETA movements instead of in-house ones that Rolex uses. One advantage Tudor has over its competitors that also use ETA movements is that the rest of the watch is made by Rolex and hence to very high standards.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue: Case and Dial
The Heritage Chrono Blue’s case is as you would expect beautifully machine finished with bevelled case edges. It is quite large at 42mm but as befits a mans sports watch, it is water resistant to 150 meters and to ensure this features screw down crown and chrono-pushers something that was first seen on the Daytona.
In customary Rolex fashion the caseback has minimal decoration apart from the text “Tudor Suisse Geneve”. A blue lacquered Tudor logo of the shield along with knurled texture is featured on the crown and is repeated also on the pushers and bezel.
Although the dial is extremely reminiscent of the original vintage model the 7139 there are some differences, for instance in the layout of the chronograph registers. Because the original model uses a different movement – the ETA 234 it means the the seconds and minutes registers have switched positions. Theres an unmagnified date window at six o’clock, this is a change from the predecessor which used a ‘cyclops’. Something some people like and others dont (me), while I understand it helps with legibility I don’t like their appearance.
This is a colourful dial and its combination of red, orange, and white over blue really works nicely . The overall color scheme is balanced well by blue surrounds for the chronograph registers as well as the outer minutes track. In keeping with its retro look the dial is very flat without any layering techniques such as an elevated chapter ring nor offset chrono registers.
The chapter ring is done in blue with white painted minute and seconds markers and five minute intervals are highlighted in orange.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue: Movement
The movement is where the main difference between Rolex and Tudor is apparent, its what makes Tudor watches more affordable becasue they use ETA ones instead of in-house built ones like Rolex. However Tudor does not only modify them but also regulate them. For this model it is an ETA 2892 with a Dubois Depraz chronograph module on top – the reason this watch it somewhat bulky at 13mm thick.
Besides the hours, minutes and small seconds the Heritage Chrono Blue features a chronograph and a date indication. In place of the typical 30 or 60-minute counters that are used on nearly every chronograph, the elapsed time is actually indicated on a 45-minute counter, which is unusual and quite convenient if youre a soccer fan!
The movement has a 42 hour power reserve, ticks at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a total of 55 jewels.
Each Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue comes with not only steel metal bracelet but also a NATO strap. Personally I think it looks great with the NATO strap. Because the dial is so colourful the strap with its colour scheme really compliments and not only reinforces the overall look of the watch but makes it more sporty and unique. The NATO strap is of a lot higher standard than the typical ones with custom buckles and loops.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue: Conclusion and Price
The Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue has Swiss horological excellence with inspired retro styling, I really like this dial version because of its traditional vibe and it has the wrist presence of a vintage watch combined with the case size of a modern piece. Originals of this watch can go for $25k so this piece is no doubt very collectible. For those not interested in collecting but wanting something stylish and sporty I think you cant go wrong too. The retail price for the ref. 70330B Heritage Chrono Blue is $4,425.