The Tudor Heritage Chronograph watch was unveiled at BaselWorld 2010, one of the most prestigious expositions in the watchmaking community, and it features a decidedly retro look; as it should, as Tudor has dug into its own extensive history for the design of this unique watch.
The Tudor Watch Company, owned by world-renowned watchmaker Rolex, was created by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf in 1946 to offer a more affordable option compared to the Rolex brand while still retaining the reputation for dependability that Rolex enjoyed. Tudor quickly carved out a successful niche in the watchmaking business and flourished throughout the ’50s and ’60s. Eventually, in 1970 they would release the watch that would be the inspiration for the design of the Heritage Chronograph; a watch that stood out both for its style and the technology it utilized, the Tudor Oysterdate Chronograph.
Although 40 years have passed since the Tudor Oysterdate Chronograph, the style it championed is present once again in its successor, the Heritage Chronograph. The watch is strikingly similar in design as to its predecessor’s; a casual glance wouldn’t be sufficient to discern the two. The dial is marked similarly and the watch movements are placed identically (small seconds at 3 o’clock, date at 6 o’clock and a 45-minute totaliser at 9 o’clock) and the color scheme is nearly identical. The Heritage Chronograph does update these features with a more contemporary design, despite its similar appearance. The lugs are beveled and polished, the watch has crown protectors, a knurled bezel and chronograph pushers as well.
The Heritage Chronograph isn’t simply a reproduction of the Oysterdate Chronograph with a new name as much as it is an evolutionary step for the design and a model in its own right. Offering the dial in either black-on-grey or grey-on-black designs, using a black eloxed aluminum disc for the bi-directional bezel, the three-linked solid steel bracelet featuring the Tudor shield logo and a new clasp as well as a seat-belt inspired black, grey and orange fabric strap are some of the more contemporary design implementations that separate the Heritage Chronograph from the Oysterdate Chronograph.
In fact, the black, grey and orange fabric strap is one of the most enticing design aspects as it helps the similarly
colored dial, regardless of whether you choose the black-on-grey or grey-on-black design, pop visually. The steel bracelet offers a more traditional look, in line with its contemporary, but I feel the fabric strap makes for a more visually striking timepiece, overall. Also worth noting about the straps is that they are “meticulously fashioned by a company that perpetuates an over century-old artistic craft,” according to the Tudor website (they also have a video showing the production of the straps).
The Tudor Heritage Chronograph features a self-winding movement with a boasted reserve of 42 hours. Tudor also claims the watch to be waterproof at depths of up to 150 meters. Throw in the price tag of roughly $4000 and you are offered a watch built to Rolex quality certifications but with a more palatable price tag. Unfortunately for anyone interested in the retro-inspired Tudor Heritage Chronograph, the Tudor brand as a whole isn’t offered in Great Britain or the United States, so you may have trouble getting your hands on one of these beautiful timepieces. But, I can think of worse excuses to take a trip to Europe than to get your hands on a watch like this one.