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For the better part of last decade it seemed as though there was no place in the watch world for the thoughtfully-crafted styles of yesteryear. “Bigger,” “sleeker,” “shinier,” seemed to be words that were on everyone’s mind. Brands catered to the prevailing trend, releasing watches so large that they only looked at home on the wrists of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sly Stallone.
But in the early 2010s something remarkable happened: brands did the unthinkable and looked backward, poring over their old catalogs, resurrecting old and discontinued designs and giving them new life on the modern wrist.
True, brands have been doing that for a while now—IWC, for example, did it in the 1990s with the Portuguese.
Yet it was never done to such an extent as it is now. Brands from Longines, to Zenith, to Seiko have released heritage-inspired pieces that take classic styles and update them with modern cases and modern movements. Vintage in spirit and yet modern in execution, they prove that there’s space for traditional styles in the watch world after all.
And Tudor was on the fore of this wave with the 2010 release of the Heritage Chronograph.
Since Tudor’s inception in 1946, the brand has struggled to step out of the shadow of its big brother Rolex. Explorers and combat divers carried watches made by Tudor to the Poles or to the deepest parts of the ocean. And yet, in the U.S. at least, the Shield never enjoyed as much success as the Crown.
But that all changed with the launch of the Heritage Chronograph.
The fact that it was a chronograph wasn’t necessarily remarkable: Tudor made its first chronograph in the 1970s and continued to do so until the dawn of this century.
Still, these chronographs never really did resonate with consumers the way that the Rolex Daytona did. Sales—of both chronographs and time-only watches—faltered. In the early 2000s Tudor ceased selling watches altogether in the United States.
In 2007, the brand sought to reinvent itself. In true Janus-like fashion, it forged ahead while keeping one eye on the past. The Heritage Chronograph was a result of that strategy.
Based on a design from the 1970s, the “Monte Carlo,” the Heritage Chronograph is something that we lovers of vintage chronographs go absolutely wild for. It has all the look and feel of the Monte Carlo, but with an updated style that’s completely contemporary.
With a case that’s just a hair under 43mm, the Heritage Chronograph isn’t the sort of watch you could forget is on your wrist—but with a dial like that, you really wouldn’t want to. Its vibrant colors—orange and blue and silver—hearken back to the Monte Carlo. But the dial is sharper, more modern, with different surrounds to the hour markers and a different placement of the date window.
The heftiness of the case is necessary to accommodate the Dubois-Depraz chronograph module that’s sandwiched on top of the robust, workhorse ETA 2892 calibre. Still, for all its sportiness, it wears well for its size. On a bracelet it’s substantial, but wearing it on a NATO strap (included here) slims it down considerably.
Coming complete with both inner and outer box and hangtags, the Heritage Chronograph perfectly proves the truth in the motto “Everything old is new again,” something that we here at Analog/Shift can get behind one hundred percent.
We’re sure you can too.
Stainless steel case is approximately 42mm (excluding crown and pushers). Tudor Heritage Chronograph Reference 70330B. ETA Calibre 2892 with Deprois-Depraz chronograph module.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition overall with signs of moderate wear throughout. Dial is in excellent condition. Case back shows some signs of wear but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes original 22mm NATO strap, worn.
Also includes inner and outer box and hangtags.