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29 juin 2023

TUDOR Unveils the Prince Chronograph One for Only Watch 2023

For Only Watch 2023, TUDOR is celebrating a classic chronograph from the ‘70s in a charming, modern way.


For the first time a brand-new prototype Manufacture Chronograph Calibre, fully developed from the ground up by TUDOR, is being presented in a unique 18k solid yellow gold interpretation of a TUDOR classic, the “Big Block” chronograph.

TUDOR watches are all about value, reliability, and robustness—and that often means watches in stainless steel or titanium, but for Only Watch, TUDOR dared to break the rules with an entirely new 18k yellow gold case that celebrates the return of the legendary “Big Block” Chronograph, the first TUDOR automatic chronograph, released in 1976. The unique Prince Chronograph carries on this spirit with another incredible first: a brand-new Manufacture Chronograph Calibre entirely developed by TUDOR. The prototype of this calibre, movement “number 0” in the development process, is found inside the TUDOR Prince Chronograph One. The new caliber, MT59XX, features column-wheel construction and meets all TUDOR Manufacture Calibre performance standards.

Back in 1976, TUDOR introduced its first automatic chronograph. The addition of a self-winding rotor to a chronograph movement typically adds thickness to it. TUDOR engineered a thicker mid-case to accommodate the self-winding rotor and therefore collectors dubbed the new automatic chronograph the “Big Block” in reference to its blocky case. It would stay in the catalog for nearly two decades before being discontinued in the early ‘90s. Its long production run, numerous variations, and distinct aesthetic have earned the watch a sterling reputation among TUDOR collectors.

While The Prince Chronograph One was conceptualized as a celebratory reincarnation of the Big Block Chronograph, it’s thoroughly forward-looking in its execution and represents the best of TUDOR’s core values. To start with, the MT59XX inside the watch is the very movement TUDOR solely developed as a prototype to pave the forward for TUDOR’s modern chronograph calibre. When the “Big Block” Chronograph was produced, the calibre was sourced from third parties with the value proposition to the end user in mind. Now, TUDOR is capable of producing cutting-edge calibres and the Prince Chronograph One is a fitting platform to showcase such an important moment in TUDOR’s history.

The “XX” in the TUDOR calibre designation is reserved for prototypes, and the movement inside the Prince Chronograph One is the genesis of TUDOR’s modern exploration of column wheel chronograph movement manufacturing. As such, the mainplate is engraved with MT59XX. On the gear train bridge, one finds the signature of Kenissi, TUDOR’s movement manufacturing arm. The Kenissi markings are not found on standard production TUDOR watches, instead it’s specifically reserved for development phase movements. The visual touches don’t stop at the prototype engravings, however. The MT59XX retains TUDOR’s signature movement architecture and performance, including a traversing bridge fixed on both sides anchoring a silicon balance spring and variable inertia oscillator. Performance falls within typical TUDOR specifications as well, with a weekend-proof 70-hour power reserve and a tolerance range of 6 seconds (-2/+4) tested on a fully assembled watch. Further, the aesthetic of the movement is in line with TUDOR’s range of Manufacture Calibres, its rotor in tungsten monobloc is openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, and its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations.