The Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue was introduced at Baselworld in 2013, on the 40th anniversary of the introduction of its predecessor, the ref. 7169/0 Monte Carlo, which was introduced in 1973. The newer piece quickly became the darling of the 2013 show. And just as quickly, it became the apple of nearly every watch journalist’s eye. Indeed, it quickly became the showpiece for a Tudor that was now irrefutably back.
At the time, watch journalists felt compelled to offer critiques on the too-thick case (because of the ETA 289x movement with a Dubois Depraz chronograph module riding piggyback), and the screw-down pushers that seemed a little too small to be properly proportioned or easily operated. Despite all negative PR this watch was receiving Tudor remains as a luxury watch. But those same watch journalists just as quickly fell in love with the piece, looking past the irregular details to see the beauty of the whole.
The current model is ref. 70330B, but it’s really not current anymore. After less than three years in production, it’s been discontinued – just as the ref. 7169 was only in production for a few years. Artificial scarcity? It’s hard to know.
But let’s take a closer look at the Heritage Chrono Blue anyway.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue
The 70330B really does mimic the 7169/0. You’d be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. The color scheme is effectively identical, but the date window at six o’clock is missing the cyclops now – still quite readable, but much more subtle. The hands have been updated although the orange chrono second’s hand is still there, and the running seconds and 45-minute totalizer sub-dials have been reversed.
The newer watch is 2mm larger at 42mm but the 12-hour rotating bezel is still there. In fact, such a bezel is a very effective second-time zone, readable in civilian hours for those of us who get confused by military time.
The bezel is now knurled rather than scalloped. The crown and screw-down pushers are similarly knurled, where the older watch’s elements were simply grooved for grip. A watch like this should be considered as fine watchmaking from Tudor.
The Heritage Chrono Blue comes complete with both an oyster-style bracelet and a blue, white, and orange NATO-style strap which carries its own spring bars. With the built-in spring bars, it’s not a pure NATO but the color scheme makes the entire watch visually pop off the wrist with an attention-getting blue jeans casual or race weekend look.
A final word about the ETA 289x movement with the piggy-back chrono module. This is a different setup than, say, a Valjoux 775x. That movement has the chrono function integrated, and it’s certainly a tried-and-true workhorse movement. And yes, the Heritage Chrono would have been a few ticks thinner if Tudor had used it.
But there’s something nice – smoother? – about the 289x/ Dubois Depraz module combination. The Tudor Heritage Chrono is a lovely watch to have. In the end, it only proves there’s more than one way to configure a complication, but in a world where the 7750 and its siblings are nearly ubiquitous, a different approach is a nice thing to have in your chronograph collection.