The Tudor Heritage Chrono by Gary Cole
‘BORN TO DARE’… just three short words that immediately makes an inviting statement that is sure to draw us into the TUDOR world of timepieces. Confidence with this iconic Brand started as long ago as 1946 when its founder Hans Wilsdorf gave these words, for his vision of the journey he had in mind for his new company TUDOR.
“For some years now, I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a separate company with the object of marketing this new watch. It is called the TUDOR Watch Company.” – H.Wilsdorf
As for myself I don’t go back as far as 1946! I do admit however to discovering the brand in my very early retail days during 1979. This was a time when the Tudor Prince Oyster date self winding watch, and the classic ‘Montecarlo’ chronograph had already been launched for several years. If only I had purchased the beautiful, aesthetically eye catching Montecarlo watch at that time. For what would have been approximately under £200 in the day, I now regularly see these rare timepieces go at auction for around £16,000 upwards. Fortunately for me, Tudor in 2010 relaunched this stunning model again under their Heritage range. Going from the early original model (manual wind) to the very reliable calibre 2892 self winding mechanical movement with chronograph function. As you can see these images reveal 3 vibrant and carefully detailed colour coded styles.
Yes they are quite daring in colour! Going away from the traditional steel and black dial professional watches many other manufactures may offer at that level of quality. But isn’t that just the point? Why not apply such colour and style to make it even more daring. Particularly when you have the following complications and features to offer at a price point that is daringly attractive.
Housed within a 42mm steel case using both a polished and satin finish, a beautiful bi-directional colour coded bezel with 12 hour display for the benefit of a second time zone. So then, just imagine yourself now in the heat of a country wearing this watch with the NATO colour coded strap. The warm water of the sea is beckoning you as you are strolling along the seafront esplanade. You can choose with confidence to go swimming because you have the advantage of waterproofness with this timepiece to a depth of 150 meters. TUDOR choose to test every single one of their watches for waterproofness, not leaving any to random testing. With a screw down winding crown complemented with two screw down chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock-I am not taking any risk by deciding to enjoy the sea with the waves crashing down on me. Should I suddenly have the need to check GMT time difference back in my homeland, I only need to glance at that graduated steel bezel to inform me it is time I called home, once again thoughtful attention to detail By TUDOR.
Anyone looking at the Tudor heritage Chrono Blue for the first time may accidentally miss the incredible attention to detail it gives throughout the entire watch. I therefore give you even more reason to consider this watch as a credible purchase when it offers with discreet taste the following features:
-Soft shoulders and crown guards that protect the crown that have precision and style.
-Knurled edge to the rotatable bezel that oozes engineering thoughtfulness, including the disc in blue or black anodised aluminium.
– For an even better grip and look the winding crown and pushers are also knurled in a fashion found in racing cars of the period.
These are just a few of the attractive and functional features that justify the quality and appeal of a true iconic timepiece which began its origin in 1970.
Of course as much as I love all the carefully designed engineered achievements of the Heritage Chrono, it was for sure the unique multi coloured dial that first drew me in. As well as the versatility of a high grade matching coloured NATO strap that will also help me to preserve the top quality Tudor steel bracelet.
As far as I am concerned if I am going to spend over £3,000 on a watch (whatever the Brand) the dial has to sing to me like the fine tuned voice of Pavarotti. I don’t want any ‘off notes’ on my dial. My Heritage Chrono Blue has a blend of daring colours (opaline and blue with orange detail used for five minute interval numerals, a 45 minute totalizer and small second hands).
And it doesn’t end there! That mysterious 45 minute totalizer is pretty unusual, as the normal would be a standard 30 or 60 minutes. The jury is out as to the reason why this complication that still today sits in a pentagon shaped section of the dial which is fondly nicknamed a “Homeplate” is 45 minutes. The Homeplate name is given for a much easier reason; for this is the same shape as a Homeplate many American baseball players run to, and touch to score in a baseball. Now some may say 45 minutes represents half time for a football match, or other sports. I like to think it is more likely to be linked with the motor racing world for the following reasons. The heart of a chronograph (in particular the first early 7031/0 Tudor Chrono with Plexiglass and insert) was complete with a 500-unit graduated tachymetric scale. Simply meaning it had the capacity to calculate the hourly average speed between two points, this is crucial in the world of racing to both driver and team.
After some research I carried out, we could link this to the world of that famous race Le Mans for the following reason. In the history of motorsport warm up sessions were the normal, however they became a thing of the past, with Formula one ceasing them in 2003. The exception to the rule is the famous Le Mans endurance race; Le mans carried on this tradition and still allow 45 minutes on Saturday mornings so that the drivers and their teams can loosen up before the wait finally ends that afternoon. This would typically include testing the engine, brakes and vital components over a 45 minute period.
An early 7031 Tudor Chrono
So then my personal mystery of the 45 minute totalizer is truly out there for for debate. Whatever fans, or non fans of this iconic watch think is up to the individual. My Heritage Chrono Blue will remain special to me for the reasons mentioned in this article.