Image Source: Hodinkee
You might be familiar with the Tudor Black Bay 58 or the Tudor Pelagos, but what about the Tudor Heritage Chrono? That’s a watch most Tudor buyers probably never consider. Indeed, it’s a strange looking watch with a cream colored dial, blue or grey colored trapezoidal subdials with orange accents and minute counters. Also unusual for a chronograph is the fact that it has a bi-directional rotatable bezel, something usually reserved for GMTs or dive watches. To understand this watch we need to explore the history of Tudor chronographs.
The First Tudor Chronograph
Image Source: Amsterdam Vintage Watches
The first Tudor chronograph was launched in 1970, dubbed the Oysterdate, it featured a manually wound Valjoux Calibre 7734. This watch came in three variations, with one never leaving the prototype stage. The Ref. 7031 featured the signature geometric subdials and orange accents, providing a very striking appearance. Unlike the Rolex Daytonas at the time, the Oysterdate featured, as the name implies, a date window at 6 o’clock. Aside from the drastically different dial, the Oysterdate actually shared many similar features with its higher-end sister at Rolex. The Oysterdate used the same Oyster style Rolex bracelet as the Daytona and even exhibited the Rolex logo on the crown.
The Blue Tudor Chronograph
Image Source: Revolution
1971 saw the release of the second generation of Tudor’s chronograph line. These watches were dubbed the 7100 models and have been given the nickname “Monte-Carlo” by collectors due to the roulette wheel-esque subdials. This is also the generation that first premiered the blue colored dial. The 7100 models were mostly similar to the 7031 from a year earlier but featured a more sophisticated movement powered by the Valjoux 234.
The Automatic Tudor Chronograph
Image Source: Bulang & Sons
In 1976 the Tudor Oysterdate underwent another evolution, this time a drastic change in both looks and movement. To begin with, the date was moved from the 6 o’clock position to the more traditional 3 o’clock position on the dial and the geometric subdials at 3 and 9 were moved to 12, 6, 9 and replaced by more traditional round chronograph subdials. Maybe the most important change of all, however, was the movement. Twelve years before its counterpart at Rolex would receive an automatic movement, the Oysterdate got one, in 1976. To accommodate the larger movement, Tudor increased the case thickness of the Oysterdate, garnering it the nickname “Big Block” among collectors.
The Grown Up Tudor Chronograph
Image Source: Tudor Watches
It was over a decade until the Tudor Chronograph received another redesign. In 1995, Tudor debuted the new 79200 series of chronographs. The watch was more refined and subdued, more mature looking, if you will. Maybe that’s what garnered it the name “Prince Oysterdate.” Adding to the “grown up” feel of the watch was the absence of the iconic orange accents of the earlier models, this new model stuck to a grayscale theme for the dial. It was also available in two-tone versions and on a leather strap.
The Heritage Tudor Chronograph
Image Source: Professional Watches
Finally we have the first of the Heritage Chronographs of today. Released in 2010 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Tudor Chronograph, this watch clearly draws inspiration from the Ref. 7033 featuring a grey dial with geometric subdials and orange accents. In 2013, a new blue color was added to pay homage to the second generation “Monte-Carlo” chronograph, it features a cream colored dial, blue subdials, and a blue bezel. Both models are powered by the ETA 2892 movement.
As unique as these two watches are among the Tudor lineup, Everest still has straps for all of your Tudor needs, including the Heritage Chrono. Be sure to take a look around. And as always, please subscribe to the Everest newsletter if you want to be notified of a future article about diving into the investment potential of these two unique watches!
header image: @jerkchicken22
By: Joshua Jiang