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Why We Love It
Make no mistake - original Tudor Rangers are truly rare.
Like their Rolex cousins - the venerable Reference 1016 - these early Ranger models feature matte black dials with painted Tritium luminous indices and Arabic 'quadrants' that are more commonly referred to as Explorer dials. These Tudors were sized slightly smaller than the ExplorerI - 35mm vs. 36mm - and were produced in limited production with both time-only and time and date displays, the latter being something never offered on the Explorer I.
Powered by off the shelf Swiss made movements instead of in-house Rolex calibres, the Ranger models also have a thinner case profile, resulting in a nearly 1:1 wearing experience. They also feature a stylized 'arrow' hour hand - a design cue carried forward on the much larger Ranger Heritage models currently available in the Tudor catalog.
The marketplace for these rare models is complicated by an overwhelming number of fakes and 'Frankens' on the market - likely outnumbering the genuine article 5 or 10 to 1. In all of our years collecting and dealing vintage watches, we have only been able to offer a half dozen correct, authentic examples!
This particular example, a Reference 7966/0, dates to circa 1966 and features a roulette date display, magnified acrylic crystal, and folded-link Oyster bracelet with a 1970 date stamp. The case and bracelet remain strong with normal sign of wear, and the dial is simply exquisite, with rich even patination across the indices and handset - its a looker!
Despite their extreme rarity, the Tudor name means a true value proposition even here - a price tag around half as much as a 1016 Explorer I!
Don't snooze on this one - there's no telling when we might be able to procure another example!
The Tudor Story
Although it started as Rolex’s gateway brand, the quality of Tudor’s products are by no means inferior to Rolex’s.
Tudors were in many ways Rolexes in all but name, with the same waterproof Oyster cases and similar styling. However, in order to keep costs down, Tudor used off the shelf Swiss movements rather than their own in-house calibres. What resulted were watches that were more affordable than Rolexes to the consumer, but still uniformly tough and reliable.
Hans Wilsdorf created Tudor for the everyman, for miners, construction workers and every sort of tradesman. Rolex was meant for the explorer and the businessman, where Tudor was to be a different creature entirely. For your everyday person Rolex was, and often still is out of reach.
But in creating Tudor, Wilsdorf wanted to offer “a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex is famous."
Today Tudor has certainly defeated any impression of being the redheaded stepchild of the Rolex family, and their current timepiece collection – as well as their vintage counterparts – are getting the recognition and respect they most rightfully deserve.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 35mm (excluding the crown). Calibre 2824 automatic-winding movement by ETA. Tudor Reference 7966/0. Circa 1966.
Overall Condition: The case is in very good condition overall showing wear consistent with age and use. Luminous matte black dial is in excellent condition with rich patina to the Tritium luminous elements and matching handset. Signed crown.
Includes stainless folded link Oyster bracelet (7835/261) with signed clasp
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options