For nearly half a century, TUDOR has left its mark on the history of chronographs with products of strong identity, unique style and uncompromising quality. By proving equal to the task, by kindling passion, by constantly improving its products and by offering models clearly belonging to their era but retaining their own distinct identity, TUDOR has earned a place apart in the field of sports chronographs, embodied in the development of four successive families of products. In 1971, a second series of Oysterdate chronographs, today known to collectors by the nickname “Montecarlo”, provided technical improvements and a stylistic evolution. Notably, the introduction of blue dial and bezel variants in this series left a lasting impression.
The second-generation TUDOR chronographs appeared in 1971 and remained in the catalogue until 1977. Nicknamed TUDOR “Montecarlo” by enthusiasts because their dials are reminiscent of a casino roulette wheel, the 7100 series chronographs retain the case of their predecessors as well as the spirit of their dials with painted hour markers, but their movement is different. In place of the Valjoux calibre 7734, the TUDOR chronographs were now equipped with the manually-wound Valjoux 234. This new movement offered the wearer better accuracy thanks to a higher frequency – 21,600 beats per hour versus the former 18,000 beats per hour – and had a more sophisticated chronograph mechanism, with a clutch and column wheel. An additional combination of colours was also introduced on this series with a blue and grey dial and two types of matching blue bezels.
Three chronographs constitute this new series. Reference 7149/0 with a Plexiglas bezel and a 500-unit per hour graduated tachymetric scale replaced reference 7031/0 in the catalogue. Reference 7159/0 with a satin-finished steel bezel and an engraved tachymetric scale replaced reference 7032/0, while reference 7169/0 became the incarnation, from then on produced in large numbers, of the prototype 7033/0 with a rotatable bezel.
In the early years of the 7100 series, the steel bracelet remained the same as on the first TUDOR chronographs. It later evolved towards a bracelet still of the Oyster type, but with solid links, reference 78360.
A watch produced in large numbers based on the 7000 series prototype, the TUDOR Oysterdate chronograph, reference 7169/0, featured a rotatable bezel with a 12-hour graduation to tell the time in a second time zone. This reference existed in two colour combinations. Presented here with a blue and grey dial, it was also available in black and grey. Like the other references of the 7100 series, the 7169/0 has been in the catalogue since 1971.
Oysterdate reference 7149/0 with a Plexiglas bezel and a 500-unit per hour graduated tachymetric scale was presented for the first time in 1971 and progressively replaced reference 7031/0 in the catalogue. To the qualities of the latter, it added improved performance thanks to the use of a new movement. While the lines, the dimensions and the technical specifications of the case changed only slightly from one series to the other, the replacement of Valjoux calibre 7734 by Valjoux 234 was a definite improvement. It brought increased precision to the wearer thanks to its high-frequency of 21,600 beats per hour versus the previous 18,000. Its chronograph mechanism with a column wheel and clutch was also more sophisticated. The dial, while keeping the very graphic style of the originals, was redesigned with more delicate rectangular hour markers and more technical counters.
In the 7100 series of chronographs, an alternative combination of colours was introduced on several references. While the version with the black and grey dial was inspired by the previous generation, the new dial with a bright blue counter and minute track is unique. The TUDOR Oysterdate “Montecarlo” reference 7149/0 presented here and produced in 1971 is a fine example. The colour variation is not indicated in the reference. Accordingly, an Oysterdate chronograph with a tachymetric-scale bezel in either grey and blue or grey and black Plexiglas is classed under reference 7149/0.
As of 1971, reference 7159/0 progressively replaced reference 7032/0 in the catalogue. Mirroring its predecessor, it had a satin-finished steel bezel engraved with a 500-unit per hour graduated tachymetric scale, which represented its main difference from other chronographs in the 7100 series. The watch presented here was produced in 1973.