Tudor: The Heritage Journey continues…Baselworld 2013

Tudor – The Heritage Journey Continues…

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Tudor’s Remarkable 1970s Intepretations of Heritage

6 March 1946. It was on this fateful day that Tudor was officially announced by Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf – as a watch manufacturing company producing moderately priced mechanical timepieces encompassing aesthetic, technical and functional characteristics in the progressively growing market. The success of Rolex through its branding and communications strategies was rippling across continents worldwide, and the birth of the Tudor brand signified a dawn of a new era – a vision and commitment held deeply by Wilsdorf.

67 years later since its inauguration into the world of watches, Tudor is an established watch company spoken highly by worldwide collectors. Hans Wilsdorf is responsible for the advancements of Rolex and Tudor, and his horology visions are lived vicariously through collectors’ wrists today. Who is responsible for Tudor’s success today? Behind every great company therein lies a leadership of excellence. David Cerrato comes to mind. After a 2 year stint with Officine Panerai, under the Richemont group, Cerrato entered the Tudor family with a strong background in communications strategy in 2007, and has held the product design and marketing activity helm till today. 

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Between 2007 and 2010 was a mere three years, and David Cerrato was on a mission to rebrand and relaunch Tudor in preparation for a solid re-entry into the watch market. At the turn of last decade at Baselworld 2010, Tudor was probably the most talked about watch brand with their reintepretation initiatives. The Heritage Chrono ref. 70330N (seen below), is a reissue with very close resemblence to the coveted 1970 Tudor Monte Carlo Chorograph ref. 7031/1 and 1971 Tudor Monte Carlo Chronograph ref. 7032/1 (seen in the above image; often referred to as the poor man’s Paul Newman Rolex Cosomograph Daytona references 6262, 6263, 6265, 6240, 6241), in black and grey dial. This reinterpretation of the Monte Carlo Home Plate definitely positioned the Tudor brand firmly in the worldwide watch markets.

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The Baselworld 2012 was yet another milestone in the history of Tudor watch making. (Read my Baselworld 2012 Trip report here) Continuing with the 2010 success of the Heritage Chrono, a brand new model Tudor Heritage Black Bay ref. 79220R was released with a 1960s intepretation of the Tudor Submariner Ref. 7922, 7924 no crown guard.  The iconic Tudor Submariner Snowflake was reintroduction with a titanium cased new model Tudor Pelagos with the hands and markers found on these vintage submariners once issued to the French Navy (M.N). 

Tudor Monte Carlo Chronographs from the Past

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2013 New Model: Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue Ref. 70330B

Year: 2013. Location: Baselworld 2013. Booth: Tudor. Everyone is eagerly anticipating for Tudor’s Heritage initiatives to continue in full force, myself included. With all the hype surrounding the colour – blue (think Pantone colour codes), the latest release of Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue Ref. 70330B is destined to be a huge hit with new and seasoned watch collectors alike. With a strong resemblence to the Tudor Blue Monte Carlo Ref. 7169/0 produced in 1973, this reinterpreted Heritage Chrono Blue dial exudes all the brilliant colour combinations that are responsible for the skyrocketing prices of the vintage Tudor models. 

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What exactly attracts a Tudor collector to pursue these Monte Carlos’ of yesterday? The use of bold colours, such as   mandarin orange on the numerical markers around the chapter ring, and second hand, with the contrast of a lilac-grey dial – established an overall unity that defined the pyschedelic 1970s era. Aside from the moderate prices of Tudor watches at that point in time, the form and function of a 2-register chronograph with the datewheel at 6 o’clock position could very well be the reason for rising prices of vintage Tudor chronographs over the past 15 years. 

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The Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue Ref. 70330B is an evolutionary by-product of Tudor’s continuing success for many collectors, and at a price of 4,200 CHF (swiss francs) – I am quite certain the phones at Tudor dealerships are ringing off the hook right about now. 2013 marks a milestone for Tudor as our American friends are finally seeing the light of these beautiful Heritage line of watches at their official retailers and distributors  – as Tudor is embarking on its maiden flight into the United States. 

The Cerrato Effect

Has David Cerrato, Global Head of Marketing & Design of Tudor, been observing the vintage Rolex and Tudor market in the recent years which led him and his team to such a heritage endeavour today? Perhaps, or perhaps not. As risky as going back to the future in a time machine is, bringing a reintepretation of a vintage Tudor back into today’s volatile markets plagued by recessions and bail-outs, is a commendable call-to-action. It is only through understanding what the consumers are really after – aesthetics, functional, technical qualities that a watch company will, and can weather through these rough economic waves. It does not really take a Marketing genius to know what works for today’s watch collecting climate, but a fusion of a brand’s founding core values (such of Tudor) with today’s improved innovative techniques and exceptional materials – that will propel a watch manufacture to greater heights. In the years ahead, will there be celebrations of his efforts in laying down the successful foundation of Tudor? The Cerrato effect is widespread amongst passionate Tudor watch collectors, and I certainly hope that his visionary elements from conception to production will keep driving and elevating Tudor’s brand presence – for as long as possible.

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2013 New Model: Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Ref. 42000CR and 42000CN

Ceramic was all the hype just a couple of years back, and as technology exclusivity dilutes alongside improvements – there is no doubt that Tudor has finally joined the ranks of the ceramic watch makers. The Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is a brand new model for Baselworld 2013, incorporating a ceramic monobloc case finished in matte black.

First of its kind, in that typical ceramic watches of the past are manufactured with several adjoining parts, Tudor has managed to accomplish a truly one-piece bloc of its case through a specialized process – injection moulding. The bezel and case are moulded together as one, thereby reducing potential entry of moisture and dust into the watch.

Technical Specifications: Valjoux 7753 movement, 150m water resistance, and 42mm case.

There are 2 variations for the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield:

Ref. 42000CR – PVD coated monobloc ceramic case, with Tudor Logo and “BLACK SHIELD” signed on dial, outer chapter ring, marker indices, second hand, chrono counter hands, date wheel, and “swiss made” in brilliant RED. Optional all black rubber strap, or red stitched leather strap.

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Ref. 42000CN – PVD coated monobloc ceramic case, with Tudor Logo and “BLACK SHIELD” signed on dial, marker indices, date wheel, chrono counter hands, and “swiss made” in Antiqua GOLD with distinctive specks of gold-glitter, exuding a typical 1960s Rolex Gilt effect. With the exception of the second hand in Brilliant Red. Optional all-black rubber strap or a matching Caramel Gold suede strap.

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This year looks to be another spectacular year for Tudor. Both the Heritage Chrono Blue and Fastrider Black Shield are listed at the top for my modern collection in 2013, maybe that of yours too. Will 2014 or 2015 bring more excitement to worldwide Tudor watch collectors? Anticipation of the Heritage kind…is nothing short of this acquisition journey.

AK
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