Within the last several years, Tudor watches have experienced an enormous surge in popularity. Tudor is best known as Rolex’s more affordable sibling company, and although Tudor’s history dates all the way back to 1926, it has only been within the last decade that the brand has started to reassert itself on a global level as on the industry’s premier luxury watch manufacturers.
A core part of Tudor’s recent success has been its numerous heritage models, which draw their design inspiration from important vintage watches from the brand’s history. Tudor’s archives are packed with iconic designs and the brand’s Heritage line reimages some of its most noteworthy models with modern materials and manufacturing technologies. Alongside the ultra-successful Black Bay series and the alarm-equipped Advisor models is the Tudor Heritage Chrono range, which draws its inspiration from the brand’s vintage sports chronographs. The first Heritage Chrono appeared in 2010, but it was the addition of a striking blue and orange variant in 2013 that really put this vintage-inspired model on collectors’ radar. Enter the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue
Heritage Chrono Blue Key Features:
– Reference Number: M70330B
– Year of Introduction: 2013
– Case Size: 42mm
– Materials: Stainless Steel
– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, 45-Minute Chronograph
– Dial: Opaline and Blue w/ Luminous Hour Markers
– Bezel: Bidirectional, Blue Aluminum Insert w/ 12-Hour Scale
– Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)
– Movement: Tudor Caliber T401 (ETA 2892 w/ Chronograph Module)
– Water Resistance: 150 Meters / 500 Feet
– Strap/Bracelet: Stainless Steel Bracelet or Fabric Strap
– Retail Price (USD): $4,200 (Strap); $4,525 (Bracelet)
Click here to learn more about the history of Tudor watches.
The Design of The Tudor Heritage Chronograph
The overall design of the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue is heavily based on the famous Tudor “Montecarlo” chronograph watches from the 1970s. Produced from 1971 until around 1977, this second generation of Tudor chronographs earned its “Montecarlo” nickname due to the colorful appearance of their dials, which were slightly reminiscent of a casino roulette wheel.
Like the original reference ref. 7169/0 from the 1970s, the modern Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue features a stainless steel case, rotating 12-hour bezel, a dial with a two-register layout, and a date window at 6 o’clock. However, while the original vintage model featured an acrylic crystal with a Cyclops magnification lens above the date window, the modern version benefits from a scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire crystal and omits the Cyclops lens of its predecessor.
Although there are a number of small updates and technological improvements present on the modern example (such as the placement of the sub-dials swapping locations), the overall aesthetic of the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue is a near-recreation of the vintage Tudor Montecarlo watches and follows the same exact color profile as the blue versions from the 1970s, complete with a dial that features bright blue and orange accents. Additionally, due to its modern materials and build quality, the 42mm stainless steel case of the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue offers users an ample 150 meters (500 feet) of water resistance, thanks to its screw-down crown, case-back, and chronograph pushers.
Inside The Tudor Heritage Chrono: The Movement
Historically, Tudor has been able to achieve a more affordable price point than Rolex by using third-party movements, rather than in-house calibers like its parent company. In fact, many older Tudor watches were built using Rolex cases fitted with generic movements; however, this has changed in more recent years and now the entirety of Tudor’s current catalog has its own distinct design language that uses cases and external components that are entirely exclusive to the brand.
Despite the fact that Tudor now produces watches that feature its own in-house movements, there are still many Tudor models that are powered by third-party calibers (or modified versions of off-the-shelf movement designs). An example of this is the Tudor Caliber T401 that is found inside the Heritage Chrono Blue, which is essentially an ETA cal. 2892 with a Dubois Dépraz chronograph module bolted on top of the dial side. One particularly nice touch is that although the Tudor cal. T401 is a modular chronograph movement, the pushers on the Heritage Chrono Blue are in line with its winding crown, which helps maintain visual symmetry when looking at the side of the case.
As the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue’s Caliber T401 movement is based on the ETA cal. 2892, it has a frequency of 28,800bph (4Hz) and offers users a 42-hour power reserve. However, Tudor has modified the standard Dubois Dépraz chronograph module to feature a 45-minute counter (rather than a 30-minute counter) and ditched the hours sub-dial entirely for a more streamlined two-register layout. Unlike the in-house movement found in the Black Bay Chrono, the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue’s Caliber T401 is not chronometer certified. However, since Tudor is modifying, finishing, and assembling these movements in-house, it is safe to assume that timekeeping performance is in line with what you would expect from the Tudor brand, regardless of whether or not it is actually a certified chronometer.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue Price and Availability
Although the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue has been in production since 2013 (and the Heritage Chrono itself since 2010), Tudor still lists the watch as an option on its website. Currently, the Heritage Chrono range consists of six models – which span three dial colors (blue, black, and grey), with each one available on either a stainless steel bracelet or a striped fabric strap. While the hands and dial on the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue are slightly different than the ones found on its black and grey counterparts, retail prices are the same across all colors, and the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue retails for $4,200 on a strap and $4,525 for the bracelet-equipped version
Like most Tudor watches, the Heritage Chrono Blue holds its value incredibly well on the secondary market, and even pre-owned examples that are several years old are still trading hands for values close to their original brand-new retail prices. Generally speaking, Tudor watches do not experience the same type of immediate hyper-appreciation as their Rolex counterparts, and there are only a handful of models that have long waiting lists at a retail level. What this means is that you may be able to find a small discount by shopping on the secondary market, although even the most affordable used Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue watches are still going to cost somewhere around $4k.
Among the three different dial color options available in the Tudor Heritage Chrono range, it is the blue version that is typically considered to be the most desirable among collectors. While all three variations feature small pops of bright orange, the different style of hands and hour markers on the Heritage Chrono Blue makes for a more refined appearance and works with the model’s bright blue accents to create a truly striking yet cohesive overall package.
One of the main reasons why people love Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona watches is because of their funky dials that exude an inherently retro charm. Although the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue is a significantly different watch than a vintage Rolex Daytona, it does manage to check a similar aesthetic box – and at an entirely more affordable price point. While a vintage Paul Newman Daytona will set you back a minimum of six figures, the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue comes in at under $5k and offers a wonderfully fun and playful aesthetic from the golden era of mechanical sports watches.