For nearly half a century, Tudor has left a prominent reputation in the history of chronographs for its distinctive image, unique style and superior quality. By challenging itself, stimulating enthusiasm, Tudor has continuously improved its products, launched fashionable but retains its unique characteristics, occupied a seat in the field of sports chronographs, and reflected in the evolution of the four product series.
In 1970, the brand first introduced the manual winding mechanical watch, the Oysterdate chronograph, with its bright colors and unique pentagonal hour markers, which impressed many watch enthusiasts instantly.
The following year, the second Oysterdate chronograph series came out. This collection, which is now called ‘Montecarlo’ by collectors, has improved both in technology and style. It is worth noting that for the first time, this series combines the blue dial and outer ring, which is also attracting attention.
In 1976, Tudor launched its third chronograph watch series, a watch series known as ‘Big Block’ in the watch collection, which adopted an important innovative technology. Prince Oysterdate is the brand’s first chronograph with a self-winding mechanical movement, and combines the traditional elements of the Oysterdate series since its inception. Not only are Tudor chronographs easy to identify, they are also technically excellent.
Finally, in 1995, the brand presented the second Prince Oysterdate self-winding chronograph watch series, which has made several improvements in aesthetics and technology, such as a re-created delicate case and a nearly scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
Tudor has launched four chronograph series, and has produced more than ten models over the years, and each time can always bring surprises to watch fans. In view of the growing interest in the chronograph wrist series, Tudor specifically selected a number of important historical watches to record the evolution of the chronograph series in detail.
1970 first series: Tudor OYSTERDATE
The first Tudor chronograph was named Oysterdate. Introduced in 1970, this watch is equipped with a manual winding mechanical movement model 7734 Valjoux and a cam chronograph. The diameter of the case is 39 mm, which is more prominent than the standard size at that time. It is also equipped with unique beveled lugs and carefully-crafted solid lines. The distinctive dial style also sets it apart. The launch of Oysterdate by the brand can be said to be a bold bet. As a result, the watch immediately gained popularity after the launch, which fully proves that this is a wise decision.
The first generation of sports Tudor chronographs can be divided into three categories according to the outer ring design. Two of them have been put into production in large numbers, and the other has never been put on the market. The shape of these outer rings is noble and unique, and draws rich technical and sports elements. The unique model 7031/0 is equipped with a Plexiglas Plexiglas word ring on the outer ring. On the outer ring is a 500-unit progressive scale speedometer used to calculate the average speed between two points per hour. Model 7032/0 is equipped with a frosted stainless steel outer ring, and is also engraved with a graduated scale of 500 units of tachometer. The last model is model 7033/0, with a two-way rotating outer ring and a 12-unit progressive scale word ring made of black anodized aluminum, fully retaining the characteristics of the prototype.
The dials of the above three models have the same design and are also composed of three colors, including a gray background, a black chronograph dial and a minute track set against a white background. These chronographs are also equipped with unique luminous pentagonal hour markers, which the collectors call ‘home plate’, because of their shape reminiscent of the home base of a baseball field. Another feature is that the minute counter is in 45-minute units, which is different from the 30 minutes generally used.
These chronographs are equipped with a waterproof oyster-type case and a screw-in winding crown, which is water-resistant to 50 meters. Its screw-in button prevents the chronograph from operating by accidental touch.
Tudor OYSTERDATE 7033/0
Model 7033/0 is the last model in the entire Oysterdate chronograph 7000 series. Unlike the previous two models, this watch was never launched on the market. Its design is similar to the other two models, but it is specially equipped with a two-way rotating outer ring and a 12-unit progressive graduation ring made of black anodized aluminum. This element laid the cornerstone for the model 7169/0 introduced in 1971. .
1971 second series: TUDOR OYSTERDATE ‘MONTECARLO’
The second-generation Tudor chronograph, introduced in 1971, has always been available in the 1977 catalogue. Many watch enthusiasts like to call it Tudor ‘Montecarlo’, because its dial is reminiscent of a casino roulette. The 7100 series chronograph retains the shape of the case of the previous model, and the dial is also painted. Hour scale, but the movement is different. Unlike the 7734 Valjoux movement, these Tudor chronograph wrists are equipped with the 234 Valjoux manual winding movement. The frequency of this new movement has increased from the original 18,000 times to 21,600 times per hour, greatly improving the accuracy of the watch; its timing device is also equipped with a clutch wheel and cylindrical gears, making the overall operation more precise. In addition, this series is also available in different color combinations, with a blue-gray dial and two blue outer rings.
This innovative collection is a combination of three chronograph watches. Model 7149/0 is equipped with a Plexiglas Plexiglas outer ring and a 500-hour progressive-scale tachymeter, replacing the original model 7031/0 in the catalog. Model 7159/0 with a frosted stainless steel outer ring engraved with a speedometer replaces the previous model 7032/0. As for the model 7169/0 equipped with a rotating outer ring, it has been put into mass production since its introduction and has become the prototype 7033/0 Incarnation.
In the early days of the 7100 series, the design of the stainless steel strap was no different from that of the first Tudor chronograph. Later, this strap gradually evolved into model 78360, adding a solid link to the original oyster type.
Tudor OYSTERDATE ‘MONTECARLO’ 7169/0
The mass-produced Tudor Oysterdate chronograph (model 7169/0) is based on a prototype of the 7000 series and is equipped with a 12-hour progressive graduated rotating bezel indicating the time in the second time zone. This model is available in two color combinations. The dial of the watch above is blue-gray, and the other is black-gray, like other models of the 7100 series. The 7169/0 has appeared in the catalog since 1971.
1976 Third series: Tudor PRINCE OYSTERDATE ‘BIG BLOCK’
In 1976, Tudor launched a new product series, which revolutionized the brand. In fact, these new Prince Oysterdate watches are the first chronographs in the history of Tudor with an automatic movement. In addition to the name Prince Oysterdate, many people also refer to this watch as ‘AUTOMATIC CHRONO TIME’ or ‘CHRONO TIME’ based on the markings on the dial. The case generally retains the line design of the previous series, but the case has become thicker due to the oscillating weight of the self-winding movement, and as a result, the collectors’world has given the watch a“ Big Block ” (Hunk) nickname. This name has been used until the 79100 series launched in 1989, and its design has not changed much from the original model.
Like the previous models, the 9400 series can be divided into three categories according to the outer ring design. This feature can also be found in the ‘Big Block’ model of the 79100 series. Similarly, the same model also has different dial designs, from which we can see two aesthetic trends: one is from the dial design spirit of the previous two series, some collectors call it ‘Exotic’; A feature is commonly found in product catalogs, emphasizing the sharp contrast between the dial and the chronograph, such as a combination of black with white or silver with white.
These new chronograph watches are equipped with the 7750 Valjoux movement. Its diameter is 30.4 millimeters or 13 cents, which is the same as the 234 Valjoux manual-winding movement, but it is 1.5 millimeters thicker than the latter and has a swing frequency of 28,800 times per hour. The timing device consists of a highly reliable cam and swing pinion system. In view of the different structure of this new movement, the dial has been rearranged, including the addition of an hour counter; the entire set of counters has been moved to the left of the dial, and the calendar window has been changed to 3 o’clock.
Tudor PRINCE OYSTERDATE ‘BIG BLOCK’ 9430/0
The official name of the Prince Oysterdate chronograph series has never appeared on the dial. Conversely, the words ‘CHRONO TIME’ are printed on the surface (as shown in this 1976 model), or ‘AUTOMATIC CHRONO TIME’ found on other dials.
The model 9430/0 shown on the next page, with a black dial and three white chronograph dials, has a double-layered design with noticeable stripes. The 7750 Valjoux self-winding chronograph movement provides the Oysterdate chronograph with an innovative fast date conversion function. In the previous models, if the wearer has not used the watch for a long time, they need to rotate the hands around the dial a number of times to set the date. Today, however, the wearer can adjust the date dial directly from the winding crown position.
1995 fourth series: Tudor PRINCE OYSTERDATE
With the introduction of the 79200 series in 1995, the shape of the Prince Oyster-date self-winding chronograph has also changed, showing a new look. First of all, the watch cases of the past three generations have always maintained a striking and distinctive shape, and now they have become more delicate and softer. The contours that were easy to recognize in the past can now be seen in more curved and circular structures, with softer lines.
The fourth-generation design also has three significant changes: one is the use of a unique new dial with silver and cream chronograph dials; the other is a black anodized aluminum ring made of pad printing technology to replace the traditional Plexiglas Plexiglas Speedometer word circle; the third is a blue crystal mirror and a small window convex lens, replacing the original Plexiglas Plexiglas mirror surface.
The watch uses the 7750 Valjoux self-winding movement and has made many improvements. All because of the special aesthetic design, its decoration is exquisite and unique, creating a new ‘special Tudor’ design. The oscillating weight of the movement is no longer decorated with pad printing, but is engraved and gold-plated. Screws are changed from matte to polished.
In 1996, Montres TUDOR S.A. celebrated its 50th anniversary. At that time, the brand had established a reputation in the international market, and Tudor gradually reduced the use of Rolex cases, winding crowns and straps.
Tudor PRINCE OYSTERDATE 79260
Model 79260 replaces the original Plexiglas Plexiglas speedometer word ring with anodized aluminum word ring made by pad printing technology. The watch shown above was produced in 1996 and features a new chronograph dial design with a silver-colored cream chronograph dial.