Quietly, the modern version of the Tudor Ranger (introduced in 2014) at 41mm has been discontinued. What made this model go away? Was it the straight-end endlinks of the bracelet? Was it size? Or, was it just a bit bland for the times?
Or will it simply be retooled and relaunched as one watch publication speculated?
Photo courtesy of Watch Clicker
Tudor clearly has a hit with its Black Bay. From the popularly sized 58 model to the handsome GMT version, the heritage throwback model in its various incarnations has been largely embraced. While the Black Bay line stands on its own merits, it represents a viable less expensive and more available alternative to certain Rolex sport watches, which simply are not easily obtained by traditional retail means.
Photo courtesy of Hodinkee
But, the Tudor Ranger featured many of the same traits as its forefather, the1967 reference 7995/0 Tudor Oyster Prince Ranger. The painted dial markings, drilled through lug holes, and aforementioned straight endlinks (which the original did NOT have) all are hallmarks of practicality. This may have been why it didn’t catch on. But in theory it should have been appreciated by tool watch fanatics with a sense of history (and love of strap changing).
While there are many admirable traits of the modern Ranger, no one on our team has bought one, or knows anyone who did. That’s a fairly large sampling of Rolex/Tudor enthusiasts who did not purchase a relatively affordable (under $3K) tool watch with vintage inspired looks. Perhaps, those seeking a comparable model in spirit to the Rolex Explorer I went for the bezel-less Black Bay 36 or 41, a more modern take on the time-only tool watch. The Black Bay offers a flashier look with applied indices and a more traditional Oyster bracelet with endlinks that conform to the case—which, at the end of the day, may have been the dealbreaker for many on the Ranger.
The same reason that the Ranger may not have caught on is the fact that Tudor can and will experiment with different styles of watches, while its sister company Rolex remains more conservative. The Everest Journal team enjoys seeing surprises from Tudor. We embrace the neon accents of the North Flag, the matte titanium case of the Pelagos, the audacity of the steel and gold Black Bay Chronograph. We even admire the fact that they created the PO1, which was widely panned.
But, one head scratcher remains. Have you heard of the Tudor Iconaut? Well, maybe we should just leave a photo of it right here:
Photo courtesy of Zeitauktion
So what’s the deal with the Iconaut? Can you even get past the font on the bezel?
It’s a 43mm chronograph GMT watch (actually Tudor’s first model with a GMT complication) introduced in 2008. It emerged in a period of Tudor’s history before its reemergence in North America and full-page magazine ads with Lady Gaga and David Beckham.
James Robinson wrote on Time+Tide why he purchased and loves his Iconaut: “To me, this watch is somewhat like a Picnic bar – looks only a mother could love, but once you actually experience it, it’s brilliant.”
We dig James’ enthusiasm for this oddball, and it’s the reason we really enjoy Tudor. It’s a brand that lets go of the rules so that there’s something for everyone in the watch community.
Speaking of throwbacks to the past, if you own a Tudor Heritage Chronograph be sure to take a look at our curved end rubber and leather straps for that model. We here at Everest would never let you suffer from straight endlinks like the modern Ranger has!