Tudor 'Big Block' Chronograph
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Tudor 'Big Block' Chronograph

We at analog/shift are huge vintage Tudor fans, and often find ourselves preferring the Tudor version of a watch compared to the Rolex. It seems like everyone and their mother is wearing a vintage Rollie these days, making Tudor a great way to enjoy everything that made the brand the icon it is, while managing to stick out from the crowd.

The Reference 79170 is no exception.  In fact, it could be said to have a leg up on it's Rolex equivalents.

It is no mystery that the Rolex Daytona commands a great deal of respect these days, and despite the growing dialogue surrounding the popular models' value and future appreciation, it remains one of the most well-known and sought-after Rolex lines.  But while Rolex was still filling their watches with hand-cranked units, Tudor was rolling out chronographs driven by automatic Valjoux drivetrains, a fact that is often overlooked when the conversation veers toward collectible vintage chronos. 

The 'Big Block', which was released in 1974 succeeding the much-loved Monte Carlo, marked an impressive leap for Tudor, largely due to the introduction of the Valjoux 7750 Automatic movement.  In addition to bringing the perk of self-winding technology to Tudor's popular line, the new drivetrain included an hour register and a quick-set date, features that made the watch more functional and more enjoyable to wear. 

The Big Block collection had three main references; The Reference 79160, which featured a fixed tachymetre bezel, the Reference 79170 with a bi-directional hour bezel, and the 79180, which was fitted with a steel tachymetre bezel.  This particular watch is an early Reference 79170, hallmarked by three traits: applied trapezoidal indices (replaced in later editions with simple stick markers), a T SWISS T marking at 6:00 (again, replaced by T SWISS MADE T in later versions) and a contrasting frame around the date aperture which was later removed.

In excellent overall condition, this well-preserved example is our favorite expression of the Big Block as it offers a classic sporty look at a tremendous value.  

Details

Stainless Steel Oyster Case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Valjoux 7750 Automatic chronograph movement with Quickset Date. Circa 1984.

Overall Condition: The case is in very good condition over all, with no major blemishes or signs of over polishing. Panda dial is in outstanding condition with crisp printing and no signs of degradation or wear. Applied trapezoidal hour indices and luminous baton hands. Acrylic cyclops crystal. Rolex-signed Trip-Lock crown and screw case back.

Includes one 20mm leather strap with contrast stitching and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

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