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Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On

Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Apparently, the term “bandwagon” appeared in the English lexicon around the middle of the 19th century and has been used interchangeably as both noun and verb in playfully disparaging fashion ever since. The term easily pre-dates the Toronto Raptors, Arcade Fire, and yes, even Tudor Watches, who also find themselves deservedly experiencing a meteoric rise to stardom in the span of just a few short Baselworld release cycles, thanks to the popularity of the Black Bay. To be fair, there’s still plenty of room on the Tudor wagon, but let’s not forget that, just like everyone’s current favorite team or band, there’s an awful lot more to this brand than a single-player or hit single. Which is to say that Tudor, for the better part of the last decade, has quietly shown immense depth and character – releasing compelling and innovative elements like the Heritage Advisor that ultimately laid the foundation for not just the mass-market appeal of the Black Bay and its numerous iterations, but the current heritage re-issue trend as a whole.

Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

To call the Heritage Advisor the “best-kept secret” in Tudor’s modern collection probably wouldn’t be overstating things too much. For many collectors, there is a litany of options that might appeal first – which speaks to the depth of Tudor’s current line of offerings. Released back in 2011, well before the watch community reached critical mass on Instagram, before the vintage re-issue craze, and certainly before Tudor watches were even available in the United States, the Advisor was designed to pay homage to the brand’s emblematic alarm watch from 1957, also called the Advisor. But rather than simply re-issue the only watch from the mid-century Wilsdorf management era with an alarm function, Tudor sought to expand upon it — adding more technical features to improve the watch’s capability and overall wear experience for the modern man. And just as it was then, the Advisor remains Tudor’s most complicated watch in the catalog.

Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

You could count on one hand the number of mechanical alarm watches (automatic or otherwise) that come in under 10,000 bucks. The perennial classic Master Memovox by Jaeger LeCoultre is perhaps the best known, starting at around $9,500, though a lesser-known alternative would be a hand-wound Cricket President from Vulcain, which retailed for around $5,000 — but whether or not that brand or its distributors are still in the game isn’t immediately clear. Also less known, Fortis had a very rare (and extremely finicky, if watchmaker rumors are to be believed) alarm chronograph that can be had on the pre-owned market for around the same amount of money, but its original MSRP was well north of $10k. The Heritage Advisor comes in somewhere between — with a starting price of around $6,000 on strap, it’s Tudor’s most premium offering, albeit priced well within reason for someone looking for this particular complication. Pricing or value aside, what is clear is that a mechanical alarm is far more of a novelty than even a mechanical watch – a quirky analog handshake to a bygone era extended by precious few brands in watchmaking, past or present.

Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The original dual-crown Advisor was a relatively featureless, four-handed affair: it measured 34mm and featured a red alarm-setting hand, adjusted by the crown at 2 o’clock. Otherwise, there was little to give away the fact that something so unique hid beneath its silver dial. The modern iteration flips the script a bit – an Advisor in name and typography only. Here, we have an assertive 42mm titanium case with 100 meters of water resistance but one that wears comfortably, thanks to its light weight and modest 49mm lug-to-lug span. The watch is powered by an automatic ETA 2892 base that has been heavily modified with an in-house mechanical alarm module. It’s worth noting that, back in 2011 and prior to the MT-series of manufacture calibres, this was Tudor’s only in-house designed movement.

Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Like most any traditional automatic watch, you can wind, set the date (indicated at 6 o’clock), and set the time on the Advisor using the push/pull crown at 4 o’clock. The crown (also push/pull) at 2 o’clock is marked “Advisor,” and is used for all of the Alarm-related functions. Pop it into the first position to wind the alarm, filling up the red reserve indicator at 3 o’clock in the same manner one might wind a hand-wound watch. Pull it one stop more into the second position to adjust the red alarm-time-setting hand. Note that the chapter ring is only indexed for the 10-30-50 minute marks between each hour, which leaves a bit of imprecision in the alarm-setting process, should you aim to wake up at 6:03am. For the rest of us non-obsessive-compulsives, simply set it to the nearest 6 o’clock, pop the crown back in place, and click the pusher at 8 o’clock to arm the watch.

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Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

So what does a mechanical alarm sound like? Well, unlike the hollow digital chirps rendered by a quartz-powered G-Shock or Breitling Aerospace, options traditionally range from a frenetic insectoid buzzing (like a robotic cricket who’s had too much coffee) to a miniaturized firehouse alarm that might send those within earshot racing for their engines. And though it also depends whether the watch is being worn or not when the alarm goes off, the Advisor is much more of the “cricket” variety, as you’ll hear on our recent Instagram post. Listen closely and you might pick up on a light ringing that persists throughout the duration of its 10-second discharge – similar to the Seiko Bell-Matic from many years ago.

There aren’t many alarm watches to choose from to begin with, but there are even fewer that provide any indication that the alarm is on or off, leaving most wearers with a nagging sense of dread looming throughout the day. Is it going to go off during a funeral? In a movie theater? During meditation at the end of a yoga class? In addition to the Advisor’s power reserve giving you direct visual confirmation that the alarm has enough juice, the indicator at 9 o’clock gives you hard confirmation that it’s armed and ready. Both the reserve indicator and the pusher are crucial because the alarm time runs on a 12-hour basis, meaning one could set the alarm intending to get up at 6 am. But if this action were performed at, say, 4 pm the previous day, then the alarm would go off in two hours at 6 pm, likely causing a bit of a scare during dinner. Thankfully, the pusher at 8 o’clock can also be used to mute the alarm once it begins buzzing – definitely handy if its arrival comes as a surprise. Both indicators add a few more elements to the dial, but I’d say the added visual complexity is absolutely worth it to not have to play horological hot potato every time you want to set a reminder to wake up early enough to watch a Tour de France stage.

Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

You could use the Advisor to set reminders throughout the day or week, but from a practical standpoint, I think the best way to use it is to set a single, recurring daily reminder that always falls at the same time (to wake up, to meditate, to walk the dog, etc.), that way, it’s just a matter of winding up the alarm after every discharge, and then using the pusher to re-arm it. My routine with the watch during the month of July became: 1) Set & wind alarm for the following morning. 2) Wake up, re-wind alarm, leave pusher in “off’” position. 3) Remove watch before bed, switch alarm to “on” and set on nightstand. 4) Remind wife not to freak out again when it goes off in the morning. 5) Make coffee and watch the day’s TDF stage.

Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Advisor is available in three dial options, including both silver and black, though I’d argue that the “cognac” option pictured here is the absolute knockout. Rich burgundy at some angles, and a cool gray at others, its multiple layers and contrasting matte and brushed textures between the outer and inner regions of the dial yield a fun, super-dynamic presence on the wrist. Unless you’ve worn the gorgeous champagne-dialed S&G models, Tudor simply doesn’t get enough credit for making excellent dials, but why would they, when most watch fans only know them for their more austere, singularly matte offerings found on the Black Bay or Pelagos dive watches?

Tudor Heritage Advisor Mechanical Alarm Watch Hands-On Hands-On

So for now, forget what you see on the Instagram-driven bandwagon – Tudor is far more than a one-hit-wonder, with interesting and innovative evergreen offerings like the Advisor that are absolutely worth a closer look. The price of the Tudor Heritage Advisor in the pictured configuration is $5,950. You can learn more about the Advisor mechanical alarm collection over at tudorwatch.com.

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  • Sheez Gagoo

    What an unexpected beauty. And reasonably priced as well. Wait for other dial options.

  • Chris MoJo

    I would like to see a version of this in rose gold. I wouldn’t be able to afford it but I think it would look great!

  • commentator bob

    Vulcain does also have an automatic, and to report on the status of the brand and its distributors you could call them (a bit of old timey journalism):

    http://www.vulcain-watches.ch/en/contact/contactform

    • I’ve actually been meaning to do a ‘check-in’ on a few very quietly dormant, but significant brands. They’re actually one of them.

      • Gokart Mozart

        Can we expect an update soon 🙂

        Also updates on Fortis and Glycine would be great.

  • wickets

    is the torch part of the watch package for lume backup? 🙂 p.s. a lume shot would have been nice

    • There’s lume, but it’s pretty underwhelming. I scrapped the shot I took, as it just wasn’t that great 😉

      • wickets

        Thanks… Good to know

  • TheChuphta

    Very cool, I’d like to know the thickness. I’m guessing it’s approaching 14mm(?) and it wears pretty large given that big dial. Regardless, it makes me wish I could come up with a need for this complication so I’d have an excuse to pick this up.

  • Raymond Wilkie
    • Gokart Mozart

      No, this is the black sheep of the family.

      The kid that would require a DNA test.

      Thank goodness for that.

  • ???

    Only hope it has longer minute and second hands.

  • haha! Another coincidence, but if we string enough of ’em together, I think you’ll have a case. Always good to have ya 😉

  • I mean, they have black, a gorgeous silver/white, and this cognac, each with three strap options (bracelet, nylon, or leather) – that’s honestly not bad for a top-tier product offering.

    • PR

      Yes but I think Tudor is lagging behind with more interesting color options which can really push into younger and diverse markets that find majority of their non black bay line boring and dull. Think dark metallic green, shades of blue, grey, burgundy etc. would be killer on watches like these

  • Stoked to have ya 😉

  • I’ve handled a few over the years – they’re beautifully made and finished. Would be another tragedy to see those guys disappear.

  • …besides, can we really fault Canada for hiding all the cool stuff? If anything, I blame your southern neighbors for finding everything too late 😉

    • SuperStrapper

      We tend to just give it away. We like to selflessly share I suppose…

  • funkright

    I’ve tried it on a few times over the years, love the look, but just don’t need the complication. I think a GMT (and that’s what I thought it was the 1st time I saw it in the showroom case) that had a look like this one would be a winner.

  • Gokart Mozart

    I agree but I am biased, I have a vintage Cricket. Absolutely love it.

  • spice

    As I noted before on this site, I really like this Tudor direction, especially the hands – vast improvement on the “snowflakes”, IMO. Would prefer (parent) Rolex movement, if such were possible.

  • ProJ

    Not my style, but nice to see Tudor (i.e. Rolex) experimenting with new features.

    • Gokart Mozart

      No Tudor, if it was Rolex it would make it onto one of their watches.

      I don’t see Rolex adding this to their products for at least 20 years if ever.

  • I would agree – it’s a big pusher for sure, but it’s actually really great having a slightly larger “snooze” button, as it were – if this thing goes off in the morning or in a movie theater and you’ve got to quickly shut it off, the larger pusher is very much appreciated. Clearly a functional choice on part of the designers, but I don’t disagree with your eye.

  • Gokart Mozart

    This is easily the best watch that Tudor does although it is not the looker that the old one was. It is just a bit too chunky and in your face.

    I like the extra features they have added to the alarm, albeit not really required when you have used it a few times. Anyway, once it goes off a few times in a restaurant or important meeting, you will remember to switch it off. Trust me.

    Interesting, about how loud you say it is. I have a slight hearing problem and having seen the advisor, it is not that loud compared to my vintage cricket.

    I am not sure about the modern cricket, although the modern diver cricket is roughly as loud as mine.

    Zach what is your opinion, is the Cricket louder. Also the Cricket has a 20 second alarm.

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