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50 Years of the Tudor Chronograph Part 2 – Destination: Monte carlo

Posted: 17/04/2020

Following hot on the heels of the first series Home Plate chronographs of 1970, in 1971 Tudor launched the second series of chronographs. The flamboyant use of colour that was a signature of the Home Plates was continued with vivid tones of orange and blue dialed watches now complementing the grey and orange colour scheme that was first seen on the first series of watches. Compared to other watches in the Tudor and Rolex line-ups, these watches were both big at 40mm and eye-catching in their execution.

A Tudor 7169 Monte Carlo

In the second series of Chronographs the home plate style markers were replaced with more conventional rectangle shaped lume plots. The use of bright orange remained with eye-catching elements on both chronograph registers as well as on the outer seconds markers. The watches became known by collectors as Monte Carlos, as the dials resembled the roulette tables of the famous casinos of Monaco’s  most famous casino district.

Monaco’s Casino de Monte Carlo

Three’s a Magic Number

As I mentioned in the last article, the Home Plates were fitted with either a steel or black plastic tachymeter bezel. Tudor offered a third bezel variation in the second series having experimented with the 12-hour bi-directional rotating bezel on the prototype 7033. The Monte Carlo chronos were available in three references:

7149 – Fixed plastic tachymeter bezel

7159 – Fixed steel tachymeter bezel

7169 – Rotating 12-hour bezel.

A Blue Tudor 7169 with rotating 12-hour bezel

The prototype 7033 Home Plate with 12-hour bezel

The elongated triangular orange stopwatch second hand was carried over from the Home Plate as well as the presence of two sub dials and date aperture at six o’clock. The introduction of the blue element on some watches necessitated a blue acrylic tachymeter bezel instead of black on the 7149s and a blue 12-hour bezel insert on the 7169.

A vintage Tudor 7149 in blue livery

Continuing the Home Plate’s grey and orange colour scheme – a 7159

The Case Continues

The cases of both the first and second series chronographs remained largely unchanged, with the cool square shaped crown guards and large size 40mm diameter. The Monte Carlos remained in the Tudor catalogue until approximately 1977. The biggest non-visual change was, however, the improved movement. The Homeplates were equipped with the Valjoux calibre 7734 which had been a good workhorse for the watches. The second series chronos housed the Valjoux calibre 234. This was a high-frequency movement with improved accuracy and also had upgrades to the column wheel and clutch.

Heritage Blue

In 2013 Tudor followed the original Heritage Chrono from 2010, that was largely based on the Home Plate, with a second Heritage Chrono – the Blue. The second version was very heavily based on the vintage reference 7169 Monte Carlo. The Heritage edition was housed in the 42mm case with sapphire crystal and had a blue 12-hour rotating bezel. I have to say that this is one of my favourite Tudor Heritage models, especially when worn on the blue, orange and white fabric strap that has become a trademark of Tudor’s over the past decade. Anybody looking for vintage vibes but in a modern watch that can be worn everyday – look no further!

Old vs New – a Tudor 7169 alongside a Heritage Chrono Blue

2013’s Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue








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