People often overlook the Tudor Ranger and its qualities. Tudor, being the little brother of Rolex, easily garnered attention among the collecting and professional circle. You may be more familiar with the Tudor Heritage Chronograph or the Tudor Black Bay. Both watches have endured their times being number one, not only for the brand but for their respective categories in general. These are amazing watches themselves, but there’s something about the humble Tudor Ranger that makes it a true classic.
No, you won’t find any record-breaking or historic moment anchored with it. No deep seas, high mountains, or never-travelled-before routes, but it surely has its merits. The Tudor Ranger is more than just a tool watch. It’s an everyday piece with an appeal and aesthetic that not all watches can carry. We all know how some watches simply like to serve a certain purpose. For instance, the Rolex Submariner functions mainly as a dive watch. You may not find the same features from such a powerful and expensive watch, but its simplicity is what people vie for in the Tudor Ranger.
If you’re an experienced collector, a quick look at the Tudor Ranger will give you the Rolex Explorer vibe. Don’t dismiss it as it’s mostly compared to the timepiece. This is due to the fact that the Ranger and the Explorer are almost the same age. It’s most likely that the Ranger launched in response to the Explorer. Just like the Explorer, the Ranger features a black dial with Arabic numerals for the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Many people refer to this as the “Explorer Dial.” The vintage Ranger, however, measures 2mm short of the vintage Explorer.
While the vintage Explorer focused mainly on time, Tudor produced date iterations of the Ranger. Not to mention, the vintage Explorer only had one reference throughout its production; the Ranger has a few. As expected, these references have variations from each other, no matter how small they may be. Generally, the Ranger features the usual stainless steel case. It went into production from the late 1960s through the 1980s.
Come 2014, Tudor launched the Tudor Heritage Ranger at BaselWorld. It came as a surprise for many people. It doesn’t have any innovative features. In fact, it’s the most honest iteration of a vintage one can find in the 21st century. Collectors especially had positive reviews of the watch. The watch doesn’t have any unnecessary feats like a ceramic bezel, sapphire casebacks, or even an added complication. It’s as if Tudor really meant to bring an old timepiece back to life, period.
Today, we’ll take a look at the 2014 Tudor Ranger and what makes it special. But to understand the great thing about the Ranger, we must first get deep into the history of the Tudor Oyster.
While the origin of the Tudor Ranger is no secret, it’s not a parade either. Tudor has been keeping it low when it comes to this watch. Perhaps, this is how the Ranger’s “most faked vintage watch” title comes from. A lot of people can be dismissive of certain Ranger references, while others can be fooled by faked ones. This is because there isn’t a lot going on about this watch. Not even Tudor themselves provide a comprehensive guide on this watch.
The challenge with the Tudor Oyster relies on the fact that it’s not necessarily a reference of its own. Assembled right in Geneva, the Ranger isn’t much of an identity in itself when it first launched but an iteration of a Tudor Oyster. People would always refer to the number in between the lugs of the watch’s case where Rolex and Tudor would typically place it at. Collectors would often refer to this as one of the indicators of a watch’s heritage and even authenticity. However, the serial and reference number of the Ranger isn’t as clear as others would assume. It doesn’t have a unique reference number for its case. In fact, in the 1960s and 1970s, The Ranger comes in the same case as the Tudor Oyster, Oyster Prince, and Oysterdate. Therefore, it possesses similar reference case numbers to the aforementioned Tudor watches.
So, what exactly is a Tudor Ranger? It’s easiest to describe the watch as a 34mm Tudor Oyster. It also has a matte black dial and an “Explorer dial” with Arabic numerals at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock mark. Its hands also come in a distinguishable shovel hour hand. Now, the rest of the watch feels like an amalgamation of everything great about watchmaking at the time of its launch. It features an ETA calibre with a crown signed with the Rolex insignia, available with an Oyster bracelet. Still with us?