The Tudor Heritage Ranger. It might have been the most expected unexpected hit of BaselWorld 2014. Tudor has made a name for itself bringing its mid-20th century sports replica watches into today, without simply mimicking them (for example, see Black Bay or Heritage Chrono or Heritage Advisor), instead modernizing them without compromising the unpretentious, function over form practicality that Mr. Wilsdorf himself declared should be Tudor's driving mantra. We have no nonsense on these watches, no expensive ceramic bezels, no silly sapphire case backs. What we do have are well designed, really nice everyday tool replica watches that just make people happy. The new Heritage Ranger, shown for the first time to the press less than one week ago, is no exception, and in fact, might be the most faithful vintage tribute yet from Tudor - here is why.
The Heritage Chrono and Black Bay are both gorgeous watches, but to be a stickler, do not make a direct allusion to any particular reference. The Black Bay features nods from the early big crowns as well as dial and bezel traits often found on later Tudor Submariners. The Heritage Chronos are the same - they are a mishmash of a few different reference and dial configurations. The Heritage Ranger, however, takes what we love about vintage replica watches updates it into a modern piece. Now, I have to warn you, the things that make this new Ranger so special will seem trivial to most but to anyone that collects replica watches from the 1960s or 70s, you'll absolutely love it.
First, the dial. Its "Explorer" style dial with numerals only at the poles looks just as the 1967 Ranger's dial did, right down to the text "Rotor Self-Winding" at 6 o'clock. On top of that, the whole thing is actually domed, to give it a vintage feel. But, more importantly, this dial does NOT feature applied markers. In this day and age, applied markers are kind of a must for a nice timepiece, with printed marker indicating a lower end dial. But, the dial of the Ranger wasn't printed, it was painted. That means the hour marks look just as they would've in the 1960s, void of the shiny gold surrounds that are common-place today, even on its brother the Black Bay. It really, really, looks like a dial from the 1960s. Like, really.
Then, we have the lugs. They're pierced. What does that mean? It means that you can push out the spring bars to change a strap with a paper clip, just like you could back in the day. All modern replica watches now feature closed off lug holes requiring a small tool to pull the spring bars down. Again, not a huge deal, but a cool little detail we were happy to see on this Tudor.
Further, the Heritage Ranger is available on a bracelet that is is similar to what you might find on the Black Bay in some ways, but different in another. This guy doesn't have end links. That means the bracelet ends with a simple straight across tube filled with a spring bar. This isn't completely faithful to the original 1960s Ranger, because back then Oyster bracelets did come with endlinks that hugged the case, but it does bring back the feeling of all those JB Champion / Gay Freres bracelets of the mid-20th century that just worked on any fake watch you decided to put em on. Super cool idea from Tudor, and though admittedly not my thought, consider what the Black Bay would look like on this bracelet...
The Heritage Ranger is also available with many other strap options, including this "bund" style that can be seen here. This really brings back the military / adventure feel of the original Ranger and while it's likely not everyone's cup of tea, there will be a certain set that this will really appeal to. It's made of nice soft calf leather.
But, if if the Bund style strap aint yo thang, then the Ranger is also available on a simple tobacco colored normal calf strap.
Finally, no matter which option you choose (steel bracelet vs. bund strap vs. normal calf leather), your Ranger will come with a woven Camo strap. Yes, I said Camo, as is camouflage. You might think I'm kidding, but i'm not. And of course, this isn't your average $15 nylon Nato.
Like all woven straps supplied with Tudor watches, this new Camo strap is woven in france by the same people that weave the robes for the vatican. You might have seen other camoflaged nato-style straps elsewhere, but those patterns are printed onto the nylon where as with this, it is truly woven in.
The quality is superb, and it is surprisingly wearable. That said, the lug width of the 41mm Ranger is the same as the Black Bay and Pelagos, so any Tudor strap (or any 22mm strap, for that matter) would work well. And, it's essentially a freebie with whichever Ranger you buy, so you are certainly not forced to wear it. Having said that, as soon as I saw it during our product presentation, my mind immediately went to the visual image of the folks from Tudor trying to explain to the board of Replica Rolex why they should approve a Camo strap...I, frankly, can't believe it happened. But, it's cool.
Here are all four possibilities that come from the Tudor factory for your Ranger. The Ranger is 41mm in diameter, with a crown featuring a Tudor rose stamp, a beveled case, a beveled buckle on the strap, gorgeous vintage style dial, and really attractive price. In the US, the Ranger will retail for $2825 with either of the two leather straps, and $2950 on bracelet. Delivery should begin around July of this year.
You can read more about the new Tudor Heritage Ranger right here.Tudor Basel-world-2014 Hands On With The Swatch PAY 22212