Looking at the new Tudor Grantour Chrono Fly-Back that was officially presented last March during the annual Baselworld 2011 show, I can’t figure out whether Rolex is serious about its resurrected entry-luxury sub-brand or just amuses itself with an old toy.
From the exterior point of view, the new timekeeper looks good, even classy. Although the black bezel with stylized Arabic numerals is not a polished ceramic, the lacquer is of great quality and it nicely echoes the black background of the dial.
Unlike another model from the same collection, the bezel is fixed, so you can’t use the Tudor Grantour Flyback Stainless Steel as a GMT watch: the Arabic numerals are here just for extra legibility. Well, I can live with that.
The bistable lockable chronograph pusher at 2 o’clock features a bright red marking supported by red accents on the dial.
The layout of the dial with the small seconds indicator at 9 o’clock, a chronograph counter at 3 hours, and a date aperture at 6 o’clock is also okay. Their source of inspiration seems to be the 1970s Tudor Monte Carlo Heritage Chronograph.
Originally, the vintage timekeeper sported the good old Rolex Valjoux Caliber 234 hand-wound movement. However, around 30 years ago the Swiss brand reintroduced the model with the well-known Valjoux 7750 caliber.
I am not sure about this particular model (in its press release Tudor only says that it is animated by an “automatic” caliber,) but, sold under an “entry-level” brand, it may also be powered by a mass-produced Swiss-made movement. Most probably, it features the same ETA 2892 automatic movement with the Dubois-Depraz DD 2054 module that powered the 2010 “re-edition” of the Monte Carlo. If that’s indeed the case, then Rolex stepped on the same rake twice.
The problem is not only that a model of this class must be equipped with a natural-born chronograph caliber (we understand that Rolex won’t equip Tudor watches with its own in-house movement,) but that the DD 2054 piggy-back module is known for its reliability issues.
And when it comes to repairing the module, it is easier to buy a new one, which may be a cause of severe headaches after the module is discontinued and will definitely significantly reduce the resale value of the ref. 20550N.
Well, if this doesn’t bother you and if you do not treat it as an investment (which it isn’t) then there is no reason not to get one.
It looks great, fits both casual and formal dress, and must feel great on a wrist thanks to its relatively compact size of 42 millimeters.