Until recently, Tudor had the image of being Rolex’s kid-brother that tried to be like his elder sibling. With models that just didn’t do it for many people, they were even out of the market in the USA for a decade or so. Way back when they made Tudor Submariners and cool-looking chronographs, they were being regarded as quite the cool kid-brother. Until recently, they started creating and designing watches that looked too different from the Rolex collection. Just a few years ago, Tudor started to introduce the Heritage Chronograph that looked like the big block chronograph from the 1970s. It was an instant hit under collectors of vintage pieces who wanted to own something new, but with classic inspiration.
Now, Tudor creates a few more of these watches heavily inspired by their rich heritage from the 1960s and 1970s. One of the most interesting editions they introduced this year is the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue reference 70330B, based on their historic 1973 ‘Monte Carlo’ model with reference number 7169.
Those ‘70s colors are still as cool as they were then – blue and orange accents on a grey dial. With a case diameter of 42mm, this watch has the perfect modern size for many people out there. It doesn’t look like your grandfather’s chronograph (small) but still has those cool elements of that era. It reminds me of the time of racing cars that could easily kill you, no DSC, ASC, ABS and what more. Girls looking like Brigitte Bardot in bikinis on the beaches of St. Tropez and Cannes. Riva speedboats leaving the harbor for a quick tour along the Cote d’Azur; you know what I am talking about.
Tudor got it right this time. The watches they introduced during the last few years have a clear identity and a design with a track record (the popularity of their vintage models is still impressive). It also explains why they suddenly decided to hit the US market again. They are ready to conquer the watch market in the 2,500 – 5,000 USD segment – the segment just below Rolex. A smart move, as people entering a Rolex point-of-sale can now be redirected to a Tudor display or collection instead of telling them to go to a dealer of brand-X or -Y that has watches in that price category.
The Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue is definitely a watch that would fit in my own collection of watches. I have a weak spot for iconic watches – especially chronographs – and this Chrono Blue fits right in. The other Heritage Chronograph model, without the fancy colors is also a nice timepiece, but this ‘Monte Carlo’ re-edition makes Tudor’s chronograph a bit more distinct on your wrist.
With the colored NATO strap (a well-crafted NATO strap I must add) it is an eye-catcher and will probably be a conversation maker as well. I prefer it wearing on this NATO strap over the stainless steel bracelet.
Inside, Tudor uses an ETA movement based on the caliber 2892 with an add-on chronograph module on top. The movements used to be the main difference with Rolex some decades ago. Where Rolex used in-house developed movements, Tudor used off-the-shelf 3rd party movements. Nothing wrong with that of course, as ETA is a reliable party, and it justified the price as well. Now with Tudor’s own heritage, they still use ETA movements and I assume that they won’t be developing their own movements any time soon. Prices would go up a notch and then become a competitor for their big brother, Rolex.
Now, with this Heritage collection (Chronograph, Chrono Blue, Black Bay and Advisor) Tudor is definitely stepping out of the shadow of Rolex. Tudor is a brand to keep an eye on and needs to be taken very seriously if you are looking for a new watch in the price range of approx. 4,000 USD.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue reference 70330B Specifications
-42 mm steel case with polished and satin finish
-Bidirectional rotatable 12-hour graduated (48 positions) steel bezel for second time-zone display, blue disc
-Self-winding mechanical movement, TUDOR calibre 2892 with additional mechanism for chronograph function
-Power reserve of approximately 42 hours
-Screw-down steel winding crown with triple waterproofness system and TUDOR logo
-Screw-down steel pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock 45-minute totalizer at 9 o’clock
-Small seconds hand at 3 o’clock; Date at 6 o’clock
-Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal Waterproof to 150 m (500 ft)
-Steel bracelet with folding clasp and safety catch, additional fabric strap with buckle supplied with watch