Tudor Pelagos FXD M25707B/24-0001

Years of SCUBA diving with mechanical watches on my wrist have revealed certain strengths and weaknesses in functional design that would otherwise remain hidden on terra firma. I’ve also learned that my aesthetic assessment of a dive watch often changes once I’ve had the chance to dive with it. The significance – and, in turn, the satisfaction – of specific design details can shift considerably at depth. After spending a few weeks with the Tudor Pelagos FXD, including a week SCUBA diving with it off the rustic Dutch island of Bonaire in the West Caribbean, my attitude shifted from a watch nerd’s middling curiosity to a diver’s full-blown fandom. My perspective transitioned in stages as I came to better appreciate the FXD’s aesthetic, experience its functional design, and, finally, maximize its unique capabilities as an underwater navigational tool.
Jack Forster summed up my initial reaction to the Tudor Pelagos FXD in his Second Look. Like Jack, I found the concept of the watch vaguely interesting until I strapped it on and found myself entirely enthralled. This was long before I got anywhere near water with it.

What I didn’t know about the FXD prior to handling it was how different it actually was from other dive watches, including the standard Pelagos. I didn’t expect the various design tweaks of the FXD to form such a novel and cohesive aesthetic.
At 330 comments and counting on James’ Hands-On from last November, plus its own episode of HODINKEE Radio a week later, you would think that there wouldn’t be much left to add to the conversation about the Tudor Pelagos FXD. When I first read James’ coverage, I thought to myself that the idea seemed interesting but I didn’t have all that much interest in actually seeing the watch, much less taking it for a test drive. It made the same first impression on me that the 2019 Tudor Black Bay P01 did – very interesting in the abstract and with a certain quirky appeal, but perhaps a little too high-concept, too granular in its design details, for its own good, at least for a wider audience.

A watch with not just fixed strap bars (the “FXD” means “fixed”) but actual strap slots cut into the case seemed a strange way to go, and then of course, there’s the presence of a bidirectional countdown bezel on what’s nominally a dive watch. The watch, I read, was designed in collaboration with the elite French combat diver’s team, Commando Hubert (the unit is named after Lieutenant Augustin Hubert, who was killed in action on D-Day off Sword Beach) and presumably those folks know their business, but the accumulation of somewhat outré details seemed a little deliberately willful. This is the Tudor Pelagos FXD, take it or leave it, was the vibe I got. Where, I wondered, was the simple and easy next take on the Pelagos, which would have been – well, a thinner, possibly smaller diameter Pelagos but with METAS certification?

Tudor 25717N-0001 Pelagos FXD US Navy Watch

With the new Tudor Pelagos FXD Reference 25717N, Swiss luxury watch brand TUDOR pays tribute to its iconic Milsub timepieces created for US Navy divers. This 42mm diving watch in titanium features a high-performance Manufacture Calibre, unidirectional bezel with ceramic-insert, black dial and fixed strap bars.

The TUDOR Pelagos FXD Reference 25717N is a modern, high-performance and robust take on the famed “Milsub” (short for Military Submariner) of yesteryear.

Inspired by the aesthetic style of a late ‘60s-era TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7016, this new model incorporates elements from the US military specifications for diving watches, such as fixed spring bars, as well as details inspired by other generations of issued TUDORs, like pointed crown-guards typically found on early TUDOR Submariners.The US Navy issued TUDOR diving watches for decades starting in the latter years of the 50s. The watches were famously used by SEAL teams from their commissioning in 1962 all the way the late 80s.

These robust instruments have also served sailors in all types of underwater roles, including TUDOR Pelagos FXD Reference 25717N , Seabees and Navy dive school instructors.

The issued TUDOR Submariners have played a role in teaching the basics of scuba diving at the Underwater Swimmers School, all the way to aiding in underwater submarine maintenance at submarine bases in the US and abroad. Issued TUDOR watches also played a role in pioneering innovative underwater technologies under the surface of oceans across the globe.

Throughout the decades, TUDOR has supported the US Navy as a supplier of issued watches.

In the 1965 “First Edition” of the Underwater Demolition Team Handbook, a TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner ref. 7928 is pictured next to the “Diving Watch” paragraph. The handbook was an essential piece of literature for new operators as they studied UDT operational procedures.Later, in 1973, the US Navy Diving manual lists the TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner references 7016 and 7021 as “Navy-approved” diving watches. In 1974, the National Stock Number system was introduced to track the supply system of the US Department of Defense.

From 1978, under code 6645-01-068-1088, a supply officer could purchase and issue a TUDOR Pelagos FXD Reference 25717N Oyster Prince Submariner reference 9411, or later 76100, to an approved sailor or operator in need of a reliable Navy-approved dive watch. This specific supply catalog entry was only retired in 2004.

Watches issued to members of the military are typically engraved with specific inventory codes, but the US Navy-issued TUDOR watches didn’t follow this pattern. There was never a force-wide, consolidated marking system.

Instead, the issued watches were either sterile, or marked at the unit level, with many different coding typologies, most of which were used for inventory purposes. Since many of these watches issued by the US Navy remain unmarked, it makes it quite difficult for watch scholars of today to determine the military provenance of a given TUDOR, even though official records indicate that very large quantities, in a number of references, were delivered over a span of multiple decades.

Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono

It has been a while that we last saw a Tudor chronograph as fresh as the Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition. Accompanied by a non-chronograph version, these two new watches go with the long-term partnership between Tudor and Alinghi Red Bull Racing. Signed in 2022, it marked the first time when the watchmaker ventured into the world of competitive yachting — a world in which its parent company Rolex has played an active role for decades.
The new Tudor Pelagos FXD and Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono watches feature a matt black carbon composite case and bezel insert, a first for Tudor, combined with titanium for the bezel, crown, and direct-action pushers, and 316L stainless steel for the caseback and movement container. Carbon, titanium, and steel is a blend that is also present on an AC75 hydrofoil racing yacht, like the one that bears the Tudor and Red Bull logos on its sails. The lug design is the same as we saw on the Pelagos FXD that debuted in 2021 in collaboration with the Marine Nationale. In essence the two lugs are connected with a bar, a fixed strap bar design that, according to Tudor, was initially developed with French navy combat divers.
Both new watches come with a bidirectional 120-notch bezel with Swiss Super-LumiNova grade X1, a luminous material claimed to show a performance increase of up to 60% after two hours compared to standard grades. Rolex has very expensively developed a bespoke regatta chronograph with the frankly epic Yacht-Master II (launched in 2007) — given Tudor’s much more accessible price point, it is perhaps less of a surprise that we are not looking at a regatta countdown chronograph with the new Chrono. Instead, both of these Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition watches have a 60-to-0 graduated bezel allowing it to be used to track countdowns more conveniently.
We have seen co-branding break otherwise appealing designs, especially when watch design “peaked” in the 2000s and early 2010s — garish logos placed in prominent locations on watch dials have certainly turned many prospective buyers away, even if the collaboration was otherwise close to their heart. Tudor seems to have recognized the need to strike a good balance between timeless watch design and marketable co-branding and so the new Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition and Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition have the team’s name printed on the flange ring between 10 and 2 o’clock. It should be barely visible when one is looking at their watch head-on but, on a personal note, I still wish it wasn’t there at all. Something is telling me that we will see more Pelagos Chrono watches in the future, probably with complete seconds track markings all around.
The dials offer a novel combination of red and blue — the team’s racing colors — but the coolest bit is arguably the way the hour markers are made from solid blocks of Super-LumiNova. A design that isn’t unique to Tudor but a superb match to the Pelagos FXD nevertheless. It is a bit of a shame that the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock luminous markers are missing entirely on the Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono, just a narrow dash of this material would have a long way to aid legibility — and the Swiss Made text could have found its place on the flange ring, too, offsetting the massive text that lies between 10 and 2.
The Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition watch features the Tudor MT5813 movement that is derived from the Breitling B01, with a high-precision regulating organ developed by Tudor and “exclusive finishes.” It’s good to know that Tudor still offers the most affordable way to own a B01-equipped watch with its MT5813-equipped models coming in thousands of dollars cheaper than Breitling B01-equipped references. Tudor also does the correct thing and references the Breitling B01 connection in its official communication, as opposed to hiding the origins of this solid movement. The non-chronograph Pelagos FXD is powered the Tudor Calibre MT5602 that drives the hours, minutes, and seconds — there is no date display on the Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition watch. Both watches are COSC-certified chronometers but Tudor claims the fully assembled watches are internally tested to a yet stricter tolerance range of -2/+4 seconds. Both watches have a “weekend-proof” power reserve of 70 hours.
Tudor offers the Pelagos FXD and Pelagos FXD Chrono watches on a single-piece fabric strap — sadly the fixed strap bar design means that no traditional strap (fastened with spring bars) can ever be fitted to one of these watches. The strap is woven in France on 19th century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company, made up of a 22mm “Team Blue” ribbon with red accents and a titanium D-buckle with a self-gripping fastening system with virtually infinite adjustability. With that said, you will want to check out in a boutique whether you like the way these straps tuck under the case and fold around the wrist before committing.
We look forward to seeing how Tudor will further explore the possibilities that lie in the carbon case material and the Pelagos FXD Chrono theme.

Tudor Black Bay Master Chronometer

It’s a good day for the Tudor Black Bay lineup today at Watches & Wonders 2023. From subtle dial changes to new case sizes, the collection continues to serve as Tudor’s most widely-appealing flagship lineup. Now the watch that started it all—the Black Bay in 41mm—is getting an overhaul inside and out. Debuting in the original colorway Tudor chose for its release in 2012, this third-generation Tudor Black Bay is now available with METAS Master Chronometer certification and a few visual adjustments to help with the refresh.
It’s a slight relief, really, to see that the larger Tudor Black Bay in 41mm will not be discontinued. That was a concern of mine when we recorded our pre-show predictions episode this past weekend. Instead, Tudor has given new life to the model and marks their intent to transition the entirety of their range to METAS certification. While it retains its 41mm case size, the slab sides have been slightly rounded and the thickness reduced down to 13.6mm. Not exactly the most vintage-y dimensions. But hey, Tudor basically has you covered now at every size with the Tudor Black Bay 58 and Black Bay 54. We also get subtle changes to the minute hand and the Black Bay now comes with a lollipop seconds hand.
I love that they went full circle with the burgundy bezel here. And I’m guessing that later this year might be a good time to roll out blue and black versions. But that’s just me speculating. You also get some new strap and bracelet options along with the new and very popular T-Fit quick adjusting clasp. The watch is available on rubber with a fitted end link, or the three-link or five-link stainless steel bracelet. These are all handsome options that’ll help distinguish the watch from previous generations.
And let’s not forget that METAS certification is no small accomplishment. That means this MT5602-U movement should be operating at 0 to +5 seconds per day (COSC tolerance is -4 to +6 seconds a day). It’s a fitting transition to greatness for a watch that has done so much for the brand. I might even like this more than the white dial GMT. It’ll be a tough watch to get but you can learn more about picking one up at the brand’s official site.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Four 79000N

Earlier today, Tudor announced all of their novelties for Watches & Wonders 2023. And, among everything from an opaline-dial BB GMT to a METAS-certified steel Black Bay 41, the brand also took the wraps off of a new expression of the Black Bay format – the 54.
Intended as a sort of modern take on Tudor’s first dive watch (the reference 7922 of, you guessed it, the year 1954), the new Black By 54 (which goes by reference 79000) follows the downsizing pattern we’ve seen applied to the Black Bay line over the past few years, going from 41mm to 39 in the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, and now 37mm for the Tudor Black Bay 54 .

As I said in my original Intro, this will undoubtedly bring a new balance to the Black Bay line and offer specific appeal to those who either prefer a genuinely smaller dive watch or those who want a modern and robust Tudor that still feels like vintage.

Well, now I’ve had the chance to wear one for the better part of half an hour and I think Tudor made a great call in giving a smaller Black Bay the green light. The combination of minor detail tweaks (like the new crown and more sterile bezel, along with the very thin case profile) make for a lovely-wearing watch. It captures the proven appeal of the Fifty-Eight, but does so in a way that feels more willful in both its vintage inspiration and more intentional in the push for a smaller wrist presence. Despite measuring 37 x 11.24 x 46mm, the Black Bay 54 has 200 meters of water resistance. And though such dimensions are not so diminutive as to make the listed water resistance especially difficult, sub-38mm dive watches do not commonly offer 200 meters of water resistance. I’m not entirely sure why, but once you start to get on the smaller side of the dive watch realm (which is likely centered around 41 to 42mm), some of the specs start to diminish, with passive crowns, less water resistance, and the like.

Not here. With the Tudor, you get an actually small, vintage-like dive watch that still offers good water resistance, a luminous pip at 12 on the bezel, and a smooth 60-click bezel. After all, if you’re buying a Black Bay, even a small one, you want a proper diver watch. Additionally, you have the option of a steel bracelet, which tapers from 20mm at the lugs to 18mm at the clasp, or a black rubber that shares a similar taper en route to its fold-over steel safety clasp. Also of note, and value to my eyes, both the bracelet and the rubber strap feature clasps with Tudor’s T-Fit toolless micro-adjustment. I think it’s great that Tudor is including this on more of their bracelets – and even better that it’s now available on the available rubber strap.

For those asking, there is no official comment as to whether or not any of the Tudor Black Bay 54 hardware is interchangeable with other Black Bay models. Regardless, I really like T-Fit and it makes a lot of sense for a rubber strap that uses a fold-over clasp. Aside from the design elements I mentioned in the introduction to the 54, the main takeaway that I found from having it on my wrist is that it feels very much like a smaller Fifty-Eight, but that’s only partially because of the 37mm case. The rest comes down to thickness and, and the manner in which the 54’s various layers stack up on your wrist.

At 11.24mm thick, it’s already a slim watch, but even compared to my Pelagos 39 (which is only 11.8mm thick), the two wear very differently and the 54 both looks and feels much thinner. This is primarily due to how much of the thickness is tied to the crystal and bezel edge rather than in the bulk of the main case structure. The central case element is both quite thin and shaped to keep the lugs flat against your wrist. This gives the watch a very low profile that I didn’t expect, and one that made my Pelagos feel almost thick by comparison. It’s a nice bit of ergonomic consideration that ensures that the Black Bay 54 will likely suit a wide variety of wrists (also thanks to the 46mm lug-to-lug) while also wearing in a manner similar to an actual vintage sports watch.

The Tudor Black Bay 54 is offered only in no-date with a black/gilt-effect dial. Beneath that dial, we find Tudor’s manufacture MT5400 movement, which is COSC certified, ticks at 4 Hz, and has 70 hours of power reserve. Also seen in other no-date Tudor divers like the Pelagos 39 and the Black Bay 925, the MT5400 is produced under Tudor by Kenissi in a new Le Locle-based manufacture that is also where Tudor’s watches, including the new Black Bay 54, are assembled. I got a chance to tour the new facility just before Watches & Wonders and was very impressed by the experience. Expect a full report soon enough.

The Tudor Black Bay 54 will retail for $3,850 on the steel bracelet or $3,625 on the rubber strap. With such a small delta between the two prices, I’d be keen to see what the asking price would be if I got the steel and added the rubber, too. Both work well and as much as I’m often a fan of 3rd party rubber straps, the T-Fit clasp and the fitted end links are both welcome refinements over more conventional aftermarket options. At the price point, the Tudor Black Bay 54 remains a premium offering, similar to that of the other steel Black Bay models, but in a space that has fewer options in terms of dive watches with equal proportions and equal specs. It’s not the only option on the market, but I’d wager that after today – if you’re in the market for a smaller dive watch – it’s almost certainly on your list (or should be).

With the Tudor Black Bay 54, Tudor has managed a cool trick. They’ve expanded their scope by shrinking the Black Bay and creating one of the most appealing vintage-inspired dive watches I’ve seen so far in 2023.

TUDOR Ranger 79950

In July of 1952, Commander James Simpson of the British Royal Navy led a group of scientists and military personnel on a mission to Northern Greenland. This mission, known as the British North Greenland Expedition (or BNGE) involved conducting seismological and gravimetric surveys. Additionally, a number of scientific studies in geology, meteorology, physiology, and glaciology were also carried out. The mission took place over a period of two years and claimed the life of one of the men involved. Of the 30 men who participated, 26 were equipped with Tudor Oyster-Prince wristwatches. During their stay in Northern Greenland, they used BBC radio signals to keep track of the accuracy of these timepieces.

Today, Tudor sets its sights back on the adventuring spirit of 1952. The brand uses the inspiring tale of the icy expedition that surrounds those watches as spiritual inspiration for the new Ranger. Announced this afternoon in London, this latest Tudor watch is sure to cause a stir amongst Tudor fans. Whether it’s a welcome return or not, however, is yet to be seen. The new Ranger takes early 1960s design and charm, a pinch of Tudor and Rolex DNA, and wraps it up in a conveniently wearable 39mm package. But before I jump into the key details about the watch, let’s go back to earlier this week.
The new Tudor Ranger is a 39mm stainless steel sports watch with a classic 12-3-6-9 dial layout. Its design and looks harken back to both something old and something recent. The Ranger has its roots in the early ’60s. It was re-launched by Tudor several years ago, then discontinued a few years later. This new version, however, features the Tudor shield instead of the rose, a silver seconds hand with a red tip, and just the word “Ranger” for the text 6 o’clock. And though the BNGE was used in the campaign for the North Flag, it’s the Ranger’s return that it signals this time. The Ranger name does inspire a sense of adventure, so it also fits the bill. And as much as I still love the North Flag, the new Tudor Ranger is a likable, understated value proposition.
After the requisite period of social media teasing, Tudor has announced their big new summer release, a relaunch of the popular Ranger. While Tudor has been working feverishly over most of the past decade to build out their Black Bay line, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that, yes, the brand has a history of making sports watches that aren’t specifically made for diving. The Ranger, in this guise, is a simple three handed sports watch that will draw some comparisons to a certain watch made by Tudor’s sister company, which has a somewhat similar name, dial layout, and size. What it doesn’t share with that watch, however, is an affordable price tag, which feels like the most immediate story coming out of this launch.
We’re only halfway through July, but 2022 is already shaping up to be the year of the field watch. Legible, function-forward, military-adjacent wristwatches have been around for a century now, but have been on something of a glow-up lately. A lot of you know, love, and maybe even own the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical, which has not slowed down since its launch in 2017. Then we have the Rolex Explorer’s 2021 return to 36mm, followed by this year’s Watches & Wonders release of both the Tudor Black Bay Pro and the Patek Philippe Calatava 5226G-001. Add it all up and you’ll see that straightforward and casually capable steel sport watches are enjoying a moment.
Now Tudor is back with a new take on the Ranger to mark – to the day, no less – the 70th anniversary of the British North Greenland Expedition. While the new Tudor Ranger ref. 79950 doesn’t blaze new Tudor territory, it does re-establish the simple, straightforward, and endlessly robust steel sports watch in their lineup. And it’s yet another high-profile field watch with enthusiast chops, a strong value statement, and a vintage-derived aesthetic.

I won’t spend any time rehashing the British North Greenland Expedition, as Mark Kauzlarich covered it nicely with his initial introducing for the Ranger and my pal Jason Heaton wrote a lovely background on the only known surviving watch from the expedition here. This is the watch that inspired the new 2022 Tudor Ranger – at least spiritually.

Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G

Launched in 2022, the two tone Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G instantly captured the hearts and minds of watch enthusiasts across the world. Everyone expected for Tudor to come out with some amazing new watches in 2022 but I don’t know if anyone expected something like this.

The Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G is Tudors first reference in expanding the collection from the original Pepsi that was released in 2018. Many thought we were getting a coke version or at least something in stainless steel. This time, I’m glad the community was wrong.

Enough of the hype, let’s begin to talk about the watch. The two stand out features of this watch are the brown & black bezel and the mixture of stainless steel and yellow gold. Some might say that this is a little flashy for the brand, mostly known for being tool watches, but it’s such a great combination. It kind of reminds us of another watch produced by Tudors big brother Rolex, the Root Beer GMT Master II. Comparing both of these watches side by side and you’ll instantly notice some similarities but after close consideration, you’ll start to notice that both can stand on their own.

What make the Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G unique is that it has all the qualities, features, and value of its comparison that is sold at a much higher price tag. With a MSRP price of $5,550 the Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G is one of the best value purchases of maybe any GMT watch on the market. For that price you get a watch that has an in-house movement that is COSC certified, gold, brand recognition, superb quality control, and is manufactured to last a lifetime. It’s hard to beat the Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G on quality and price.
When I first saw the aluminum bezel color of brown and black I instantly smiled. It literally warmed my heart that Tudor had decided to come out with their own version of the Root Beer. This color combination, in my opinion, can only be pulled off when matched with a two two watch. The day night visibility may not be a vibrant on other GMT watches but I bet there are only a few that look better than this one.
Tudor as a brand has made great strides when it comes to their movements. They have made consistent investments into their R&D and manufacturing capabilities over the years and they are finally starting to show in their collections. In the past Tudor has been slightly criticized for only using the MT5652 movement in only one of their watches. Seeing this calibre now being used in two more watches, the Tudor Black Bay Pro being the other, is a great sign that the investment has been paying off.

When it comes to the specs of the Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G movement, well they are pretty good. The accuracy rating is +/- 2 seconds per day and the power reserve is 70 hours. Exactly what you’d expect from modern watchmaking technology and a brand on the level of Tudor.
Expect for there to be a waitlist for this watch but not to the same lengths as other watches in the Tudor collection. Our estimate is average waitlist times for customers who have a prior relationship with a Tudor authorized dealer is 3-9 months.

Tudor Heritage Ranger

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?

Tudor Heritage Advisor

The Tudor Heritage Advisor is, from historical, horological and aesthetic perspectives, perhaps the most interesting watch the brand has ever made. It’s also, not coincidentally, the only alarm watch that Tudor has ever produced.[/ I’ve been pretty open about my love for the rather underappreciated Advisor for some time now. The Advisor is precisely my kind of watch because it’s so interesting from every angle you can look at a watch. It’s got an interesting history, it’s got an interesting movement, and it’s got an interesting design. Quite obviously, this is the most complicated dial that Tudor makes. For that matter, it’s the most complicated dial Tudor has ever made, even including the original Advisors. That’s mostly because it’s the only watch with an alarm complication that Tudor makes, and much of the complexity of the dial is dedicated to that function.
Before I jump into the alarm complication and the design of the watch, it’s worth noting the historic importance of the Tudor Heritage Advisor . The Advisor was, and is, the only alarm watch that Tudor has ever made, which is significant enough by itself, but it’s important to remember that, in 1957, Tudor was nearly an identical clone of Rolex, albeit at more affordable price points. The Advisor was one of two early watches (the other being the Ranger) that brought Tudor out of Rolex’s shadow because it was the first watch that Tudor made with no Rolex equivalent whatsoever, which remains true today. Here we can examine an unusual element to the alarm complication. You might guess, as I think most experienced watch collectors will, that this is the power reserve of the watch, but this is actually dedicated exclusively to the power reserve of the alarm complication, which has its own crown to both set and wind. Winding the alarm is manual, as is typical in the genre. Here we can see a very straightforward on/off mode selector. This has two uses, the first of which is obviously to disable the alarm. It’s also useful in setting the alarm because in the fairly likely event the alarm hand crosses the hour hand, the alarm will sound unless it was disabled beforehand. Here we can see the pusher that controls the on/off switch. This is oversized and very thoughtfully placed to be easily accessible while the watch is on your wrist.
Now we can take a look at the simple, and classic, dauphine hands, as well as the alarm hand. The red alarm hand, which many will guess is a GMT hand, is very straightforward, although oddly, it can only be set counterclockwise. One minor criticism I have is that I feel the alarm hand should also have some lume, as I can definitely see someone wanting to know what their alarm is set for in the middle of the night. Here we can see the dual crowns, one with the rose emblem and the other emblazoned with Advisor. The lower crown is basically a conventional crown and is used to set the time and date, as well as to wind the mainspring if you want to (the watch is automatic, so this isn’t necessary). The upper crown winds and sets the alarm. This works well enough, but I wish I could wind the alarm complication without pulling it out to the first step, and it’s not clear to me why this wasn’t done, as neither crown screws down. Tudor has also opted for a pointer date subdial, which looks terrifically classical and fits with the overall theme nicely. Ironically, this vintage touch is entirely modern as the original Advisor simply had no date.
As was the case with the Tangente Sport I recently reviewed, I was surprised how bright the deceptively tiny application of lume was. The Advisor certainly doesn’t wow anyone with the intensity of its lume, but in a genre of watches that often has no lume at all, finding a useful amount like this is a very nice touch. Again, I would advise (get it?) Tudor to consider putting a luminescent triangle on the alarm hand to make this complication visible at night.
So how does it sound? It’s surprisingly loud and has a pleasant bell quality to it. There’s quite a bit of vibration too, which may make it useful in noisy environments or, for those who sleep with their watch on, in waking its wearer up. All in all, it’s much more powerful than I expected and I believe this would reliably wake people up and certainly get your attention that it’s time to leave for a dinner engagement.
The 42mm case is quite interesting, from the sense of pushers and crowns, but it’s also interesting in terms of composition. While the bezel is steel, the back and central case are apparently made from titanium, which is said to have superior acoustic properties for applications like this or perhaps minute repeaters. The steel bezel will assist in scratch resistance, although looking closely at the watch, it’s surprisingly difficult to see a color difference between steel and titanium components, making it hard to tell which is which. This is a bit unusual as titanium is typically a darker gray, but custom alloys have reduced that appearance in other watches, like Grand Seikos, so perhaps Tudor has used a similar approach h
Another area that distinguishes the Advisor is the movement. While Tudor is now quite well known for its in-house movements in the North Flag, Pelagos and recently the Black Bay, the Advisor is actually Tudor’s first serious foray into movement design. The alarm complication, which is far more sophisticated than something like a date, moon phase or GMT complication, was developed entirely by Tudor. Thus, this movement, which is based on the excellent ETA 2892, has a substantial in-house character to it. While it remains exclusive even within Tudor, it can also be seen from the historical perspective as the beginning of Tudor as a manufacture, which it appears to be transitioning to.
For all of these wonderful historical and horological traits, my favorite aspect of the watch is simply how it looks. As I’ve said before, I like basically two kinds of watches: the super clean designs, as typified by Nomos or Grand Seiko, or the crazy complex ones, like you might find in my recent Zenith Chronomaster review. The Advisor obviously falls into the latter, albeit in a very reserved and subtle way. Yes, it’s a dial brimming with features, but it doesn’t overwhelm you in the way other busy watches might. It’s a crazy complex watch that is intended to be worn every day. In fact, after my own North Flag, I’d say the Tudor Heritage Advisor is my favorite Tudor watch. Few other models within Tudor, or in the watch market generally, can be so compelling from this many different angles.

Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Ceramic

Tudor just released a new version of the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield, this time in a less wild, but no less bold, monochromatic look. This model was designed after the new Ducati xDiavel, a suitably awesome looking bike which sports a similar finish. Like all Black Shield models, its pièce de résistance is its super tough ceramic case.
The Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is, unlike many other popular Tudor models, a watch that belongs squarely in the present. Even in these times when vintage watches are extremely popular, it’s crucial for brands like Tudor to also maintain a solid lineup of contemporary models. That’s not only because not all watch collectors are into vintage styling, but also because the company must continue to innovate, both horologically, like with their new movements, but also stylistically. The Black Shield may not do anything particularly radical, design wise, but it does set itself apart from other Tudor chronographs, like the Chrono Blue and the regular Fastrider.
The most remarkable aspect of a Black Shield, however, is clearly its case. All feature a ceramic monobloc middle case and all in this nice matte black finish. Ceramic is a wonderful material for watch cases, particularly if you like black watches, because not only is it extremely scratch resistant, the black coloration will never come off.
If the new Black Bay with black bezel is the Black Bay Black, should this be called the Black Shield Black? Well, I’ll leave those questions to the forums, but I have noticed something intriguing here. This watch features a black ceramic case, a black dial, a tachymeter bezel and a chronograph. Is it possible that Tudor was targeting the far more expensive Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon watches? There’s no way to say for sure, and the massive price differential likely means few will cross shop the two, but perhaps they ought to be looked at together.
The dial, although not particularly vintage, is certainly not out of line with Tudor’s design credentials. It’s a little more stylized in some areas than Tudor’s more tool watch designs, but legibility is not sacrificed. It’s particularly difficult to make a chronograph, especially one with three subdials and a date complication, easy to read, but Tudor has done a good job here.
That legibility is mainly the product of an extremely high contrast between white accents, not all luminescent, and the black dial. It is, nonetheless, fairly busy, which is pretty much inescapable given this movement (Valjoux 7753). The dial’s texture itself is not entirely flat black as the subdials receive a subtle black guilloche finish. Even more subtle is the sunburst finish to the rest of the dial, which you’ll need bright, direct light to appreciate. In most lighting it appears matte.
The hands are among the Black Shield’s most interesting features and bring some artistic flourishes to the watch. The minute and hour hands are partially skeletonized, allowing the owner to see through to the subdials underneath, although this is more for looks than utility. The chronograph seconds, as well as all subdial hands, have white tips, likely to make them more legible. The main hands have luminous paint on the last half or third of them to provide similar clarity. Perhaps most intriguing are the diamond shapes throughout, like on the counterbalance of the seconds hand.
This area of the dial is very interesting. For one thing, it features the name of the particular watch quite prominently, which is atypical. For another, although you can’t easily see it in this photo, the TUDOR GENEVE area is actually applied and apparently PVD coated black (or perhaps also ceramic?). It’s also somewhat 3 dimensional, with the GENEVE section sloping downward from the flat TUDOR area, not unlike a desk nameplate. But I think the best aspect of this view is the applied Tudor Shield logo. I think it looks great (although I wish it were luminescent), but mostly I just enjoy the fact that the shield on the Black Shield is white.
I find the applied hour markers particularly cool. They’re solid white, like the shield, and very three dimensional in appearance. The subdials each receive what appears to be an applied border. It’s very subtle from most angles, given that they’re solid black against solid black, but it’s a nice touch The date is extremely subtle, just a tiny porthole between 4:00 and 5:00. It’s not particularly difficult to read but it’s very out of the way. The lume isn’t bad at all for a watch in this genre, particularly against the black dial, although it’s unfortunate that Tudor didn’t take the opportunity to add lume to the hour markers and shield. As usual, neither the color or intensity of the lume has been altered in this photo.
The 42mm case of the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is its most crucial feature, thanks to its ceramic composition. Ceramic cases offer a big advantage for watch collectors because they are much, much harder than a comparable steel case. They are far harder to scratch, and this is especially true when comparing them to their most direct analog, steel watches with a black coating. Black coatings can be made very tough, but they are not invincible, and with a serious enough impact the black coating can be removed in a scratch, revealing the shiny steel behind it. This black case, however, is not a coating and cannot be separated from any other part of the case. Thus, the Black Shield will remain new looking for a very long time. It’s not the only interesting feature, however. Notice this shape on the 9:00 side of the case, which strongly reminds me of the Mazda rotary logo. This is actually where the date is set. Using an included red Tudor shield-shaped pusher device, you push the center of the logo to advance the date. Now, in general, I always prefer to have a date set from the crown, but I will say that Tudor’s implementation is much better than many others I’ve seen. Generally the pusher is tiny and recessed and the tool is steel, which looks nice, but poses a hazard to the case if you get careless. I prefer the large red plastic one it comes with. It’s easier to hold, harder to lose and is unlikely to ever scratch the case (this is one instance in which plastic is probably superior to steel). The target is also very large, and, thanks to a concave portion at the center, the pusher will slide into the perfect spot every time.
The crown is emblazoned with the the shield logo. The shield logo is indeed best associated with Tudor’s contemporary pieces, like this one, and it was obviously the way to go on a watch named the Black Shield. The crown screws down and while the pushers do not, it is rated for 150 meters, so with the rubber strap (this one is on leather) it should be plenty good for swimming. The black strap that it comes with accents the watch well, particularly with the white stitch. As is virtually always the case with Tudors, a solid back hides the movement, in this case a Tudor Calibre 7753, which is based on the Valjoux/ETA 7753.
The Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is one of the edgiest and most contemporary designs from Tudor and it needs to be put in context. First, how does this new model, in black and white, compare to the other Black Shields? In my opinion, this is the Black Shield to get. The other two are great in their own right, one of which even has a bit of a vintage flair to it, but the monochrome incarnation is the most serious of them and has more of a tool watch feel to it. It’s also much more versatile. The more interesting comparison, I think, would be with the Omega Dark Side of the Moon. Of course, it can never be a direct comparison because not only does the Omega have an in-house 9300 movement, but it also costs much, much more. And yet, I can’t help but feel that the same collector could wear both. They’re not really all that similar to each other, but blacked out ceramic chronographs are not altogether common, at least not yet. The Black Shield is a great looking sports watch, but it’s surprisingly tough too. Hardened cases are becoming more common, with options from Bremont, Sinn and Damasko for instance. It’s nice to see Tudor’s entrant into this category, and opting for ceramic over hardened steel makes it somewhat more unique in its price point. I’d love to see a Black Shield three hander to round out the ceramic options, but that seems improbable. Right now, if you’re looking for the toughest Tudor watch you can get, it’s probably either this or the Pelagos, although the titanium middle case of the Pelagos is more vulnerable to scratches (on the other hand, it has much better water resistance). If you happen to be lucky enough to have a Ducati Dieval, however, this is a no brainer.