The Tudor Heritage Ranger: the return of an icon
It sometimes happens that something you had not considered at first glance eventually, as time goes by, it becomes slightly different: this is how I'd describe my feelings nearly four months after Baselworld 2014, about the Tudor Heritage Ranger, one of the timepieces the Geneva based watchmaker has unveiled during the fair and which, to be honest, did not excite me at all.
The reason is perhaps the attention that the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Blue has drawn during the fair, the outcome being the Ranger, has been a bit on the sly in those days. The Tudor Heritage Ranger is not a first ever in Tudor's history for it replicates the 1967 Ranger and this is why it is part of the Heritage line-up.
It is a classic three hand timepiece, with a 41mm wide satin finished case, as it is the bezel, with the exception of a tiny mirror polished ring, you can hardly catch at first sight, placed just in the middle of the bezel itself. It features a slightly curved sapphire crystal, as we are used to with the Heritage range and a matte black dial where the indexes are not applied but rather ocher painted to give it a vintage look.
On the dial and the winding crown they placed a rose, the Tudor's hallmark, and at 6 o'clock is placed the same lettering you may find there over the last 50 years: “Rotor Self-Winding” that unmistakable lettering which makes you feel your timepiece is smiling at you.
What you might hardly appreciate in any photo is its folding buckle the shape of the Tudor brand logo when fully closed. It's not overdone or claim it as a design masterpiece, as it is way perfect: such a nicely done folding buckle is hard to find sometimes even on very high-end wristwatches (and you will not find them there either).
Handcrafted in leather with white stitching, two rivets each side and stamped Tudor logo on the inside. It's that kind of bracelet that the older just the better. If you're looking for something else, anyway, any Tudor Ranger comes with a replacement “camouflage” bracelet. The icing on the cake is the “camo” design is not printed, but rather sewn and the result is the dark green embossed on the bright ones.
There's a small flaw with this bracelet anyway: the crown is a bit hard to extract sometimes, nothing to really care about too much, but a small hollow would have helped with unscrewing it. It also comes with a traditional leather bracelet or a stainless steel one that, unfortunately, does not look like the 1967 model; designers at Tudor were maybe afraid the Ranger looked too much like a Rolex.
The Tudor Heritage Ranger retails for 2.310 Euro and, if I had to look for any competitors, I'd probably go for a Baume et Mercier Clifton, more classic than a Ranger to be honest or else the JeanRichard Terrascope, even sportier than, which have both the same price tag and overall finishes as the TUDOR. None of them boasts anyway such a bracelet as well as a replacement one. The dream competitor is perhaps the Zenith Pilot Type 20 GMT 1903, which has upmarketed the Ranger, has an in-house caliber, and a nice nabuk bracelet alike the Ranger's one I hope TUDOR will adopt in the next future.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®