Monday Morning Find: Tudor Monte Carlo to Buy With Your Monaco Grand Prix Winnings
The Monaco Grand Prix is now in our collective rearview mirror, but to hold you over until next year's lavish race, here's a quirky Tudor Monte Carlo chronograph. The '70s icon is as close as you can get to strapping a weekend on the Riviera onto your wrist. It has bright colors and Rolex components, and it will certainly get you second looks.
In 1970, Tudor added a a watch to its lineup that embodied everything that would come to define racing chronographs over the coming decade (save the automatic movement that was still just making its way into chronos). It was called the Oysterdate Chronograph and was bright, a little strange looking, and had a dial that seemed chaotic but was optimized for timing laps around a track. It went through a number of iterations over the following few years, and each garnered a new nickname. What we've got here is a fan favorite, the Monte Carlo.
The 70s Oysterdate Chronographs fell into two major camps, the Monte Carlo you see here and the Home Plate. The former has the blue and orange dial and finer markings on the subregisters, and the hour markers are straight batons. The Home Plate gets its nickname from the (you guessed it) home plate-shaped hour markers, plus it is black and orange and has fewer notches on the subregisters. Each could come with a steel or a colored bezel, and in case any nerds ask you, this is the reference 7159/0 model.
This Monte Carlo was Tudor's reference point for the modern Heritage Chronograph Blue, one of the watches that helped Tudor gain major credibility among vintage watch collectors as a brand that "gets it." In contrast to the larger, modern Heritage Chrono, the Monte Carlo has a slimmer 40mm case that's only a little bigger than that of the Rolex Daytona, with a nearly identical steel bezel and pusher set.
In case you didn't know, Tudor is Rolex's younger, more affordable sister brand. Now they function mostly independently and have their own manufacture (factory), but during this period Tudor watches were largely made with Rolex components and then less expensive movements were put inside. Here you can see the Rolex coronet logo on the crown and bracelet of this watch as well as the "case by Rolex" signature on the caseback, and inside is a brought-in caliber 234 manually wound movement.
This Tudor Monte Carlo chronograph is available from Crown & Caliber for $14,500.