The case of the Heritage Chrono Blue is water resistant to 150 meters and has a screw-down crown as well as chronograph pushers. The caseback is typically stark in Rolex fashion, but it does have some text (“Tudor Suisse Geneve”). The crown has a blue lacquered Tudor shield logo, and knurled texture that is mirrored on the pushers and rotating bezel. The texture makes the crown easy to grip, but if it digs into your wrist, it feels a bit sharp and it feels a bit like sandpaper. Though, that is a minor concern. We only mention it due to our high level of expectation when it comes to all things Tudor or Rolex.
As a chronograph, the Heritage Chrono measures up to 45 minutes. Having said that, you can still measure hours with the bi-directional rotating bezel (which happens to turn in a very satisfying manner). Rather than having a 60 minute counter like many rotating bezels, the Heritage Chrono has hour indicators on it. This can be used to track a second time zone, as well as being used to measure hours. What you can do is line up the 12 o’clock position with the hour hand, and you can measure up to 12 hours. The bezel contains a blue aluminum insert. Sure we would have loved ceramic, though ceramic would not have been able to produce just the right type of finishing to offer that retro look. It is worth noting that the Pelagos dive watch model does in fact have a ceramic bezel.
As we mentioned, it was Tudor’s intent to give the Heritage Chrono Blue a design extremely similar to the original “Montecarlo.” From a design perspective, they have more or less succeeded flawlessly. The dial is almost an exact analog save for some little differences. The biggest differences are probably the juxtaposition of the chronograph minute counter and the running seconds hand, and the removal of the cyclops magnifier over the date window. That latter feature actually would have been nice to retain, and I will tell you why. The date window is located at the 6 o’clock position, serving also as the hour marker. Tudor uses a date disc with a custom font, which is nice. The problem (and again, I am being picky) is that in the tens, the size of the font makes it so that it is difficult to see the “1” before the number, as it is so close to the edge. So you can see, a magnifier over the date window would help a bit. Again, we like to keep Tudor and Rolex on their toes about these things because we more or less demand perfection from them. They are certainly able to deliver perfect watches, and on the rare occasions they don’t, we like to remind them just how high people view them.
It true that the dial of the Heritage Chrono Blue is something you either love or don’t. As you know it is based on a historic design from the 1970s, and certainly is indicative of that era. The hands are very well-sized, and the lume is good, though there isn’t a ton of it. The polished metal hour markers are applied, but in going with tradition, the dial is otherwise flat. Something about the dial makes me really want Tudor to take a few more modern steps and give it a bit more depth. You have this really cool design with lots of details, and I think it would look so cool with a few more visual levels.
The major difference between Rolex and Tudor, and the main reason Tudor watches are priced more affordably, are the movements. While Rolex produces their own movements, Tudor uses Swiss ETA movements. Honestly, there is nothing at all wrong with that. Tudor not only regulates the movements very well, they also end up modifying them. For example, Tudor could have taken an easier route and used the chronograph minute counter on a 2894 movement that measures 30 minutes. Instead, they decided to make the watch as much like the original as possible and used an ETA 2892 with a chronograph module over it that has a minute counter that measures 45 minutes.
We have a lot of love for Tudor and their simple yet sporty modern offerings that will surely be a hit in the United States. The best Tudor watches are all about 42mm wide which is a great size for most men and their designs are useful and comfortable, though a bit unique so as not to look generic. They also have a great connection with the past and models like the Heritage Chrono and Black Bay that people are fawning over. We can’t stress enough that because Rolex and Tudor are sister companies and share what is a very high level of skill and talent for producing components, the steel used for the case and bracelet is excellent. 2014 will be an interesting year in the US watch market as Tudor makes itself available not only in select US watch retailers, but also in the media. We anticipate that Tudor will follow Rolex’s lead in becoming a major advertiser in the US, helping to spread word of the brand and digging deeply into the market share of similarly-priced luxury sport watch competitors. Competition is always a good thing for consumers and we say “bring it on Tudor.” Price for the ref. 70330B Heritage Chrono Blue is $4,425. tudorwatch.com
>Model: Heritage Chrono Blue
>Size: 42mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Lover of classic sport watches who yearns for a bit of color
>Worst characteristic of watch: Crown a bit sharp, and date sometimes difficult to fully read.
>Best characteristic of watch: Beautifully crafted case and exceptional modern construction with a genuine retro look.