In 1973, Secretariat won the Triple Crown, making the horse the first winner of all three races since 1925. President Richard Nixon was in the White House, and the Watergate hearings began. Construction on the Sears Tower was completed, and Tudor released an iconic chronograph. Tudor reference 7169 is known by collectors as the Monte Carlo chronograph since the dial resembles the famous roulette wheels of Monaco. In 1973, Monaco was a popular destination for vacationers who would spend hours swimming in the Mediterranean Sea and gambling at the famous casino. 1973 needed a watch that was bold and cheeky, and the Tudor’s 7169 chronograph delivered on both of those fronts. After years of compelling but basic chronographs in the 7100 series, the 7169 chronograph changed the game with its color scheme and design. It was the most visually striking in the 7100 series, pairing a bright blue acrylic 12-hour bezel with electric orange accents on the dial.
Tudor was founded alongside Rolex by Hans Wilsdorf in 1926, but from the beginning, it filled a very different niche in horology. Wilsdorf envisioned Tudor as the type of watch that “could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous.” Wildorf wanted to make fine timepieces available to a variety of collectors, not just those in the upper echelons of society. He’d be delighted that that tradition continues to this day. In fact, Tudor has become a design lab of sorts for Rolex, where creative risks are taken, and trends are more quickly reflected.
After a long fallow period, Tudor resurrected its line in the mid-2000 and began putting out fresh takes on its memorable watches from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. At some point, it was inevitable that Tudor would revisit the 7169 chronograph, a true collector’s favorite. It did so in 2013 at the very beginning of their brand reestablishment. The Heritage Chrono has been with us for seven years, and age has been very kind to it.
Thankfully, the Heritage Chronograph is a fitting homage to the watch that inspired it. The off-white dial feels crisp and clean against the dark blue bezel. Tudor has also retained the orange accents, so the seconds hand and subdials provide a bright contrast with the blue elements of the watch. (There’s also a black and gray dial option, but it’s a little less compelling than the blue version.) Both are 42 mm in diameter and have a modified ETA movement with a more than respectable 42-hour power reserve.
IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS
As always, the details on Tudors are memorable and delightful, and the Heritage Chrono is no exception. Tudors consistently have the finishing of a much more expensive watch, which is probably why its models so often win GHGB prizes. The screw-down crown and pushers on the Heritage are chrome and feature a knurled finish, making them easier to grip and use. Vintage Tudor chronographs were often known as Big Block chronos, and the Heritage Chrono was redesigned in this vein. It’s hardly a shrinking violet, and the case size and big lugs definitely make a statement. If you’re a person who loves a watch that captures attention and gets tons of comments, consider a Tudor Heritage Chrono.
There’s no better way to highlight the contrasting colors of this reference than with a matching rubber strap. Make the orange elements pop with an orange strap or echo the cool blue with a blue rubber strap. The Tudor Heritage Chronograph attracts a very specific type of Tudor fan: one who appreciates fine finishing and attention to detail. People love Everest Bands for the same reason. That’s why we’ve amassed thousands of five-star reviews over the years. Just like Monaco and gambling, Everest Bands + Tudor is a winning combination.
Written by Meghan Clark