A Retro Racing Watch for the Modern Man

By Julien Asso

A quick glance at the Tudor Monte Carlo in stainless steel reminds us why racing chronographs have always been so popular. The watch evokes the smell of gasoline and the rumbling of powerful engines.

Manufactured in 1970, its contemporary 40 mm diameter makes it absolutely wearable nowadays whilst the colourful dial is a conversation starter. Its affiliation to Rolex is undeniable. The Rolex Oyster bracelet, case, crown and pushers are reminders of the golden era of Tudor which was then showcased as the cooler 'younger brother' of Rolex. While vintage Daytona prices are going through the roof, their wider Tudor counterparts remain much more affordable. In addition to boasting a chronograph, the Oysterdate Monte Carlo incorporates a date function, magnified by the typical cyclops.

Issued during the most adventurous period of automotive racing, this two-register chronograph allows for great legibility on the race track thanks to the contrasted black subdials and oversized luminous indexes and hands. Large and robust yet comfortable, the Oysterdate Monte Carlo was indeed designed and built as a toolwatch.

Appreciated by Rolex collectors and racing enthusiasts alike, the Monte Carlo utilises the manual winding calibre Valjoux 7734. Its bezel calibrated to 500 units actually allows the wearer to measure greater speeds than the Daytona, reinforcing its usefulness for all extreme and non-road-legal measurements.

The dial displays signs of age, which is a good thing. The now mythical pentagonal hour markers show an even and orange patina, which tastefully matches the orange subdivision on the 3 o’clock register. The case remains bulky and strong enough to endure many more beat-ups in the years to come.

Truth to be told, chronographs don't get much more desirable than that.

This increasingly collectible racing chronograph is lot 29 in Watches Online, open for bidding from 2-16 of July, and has an enticing estimate of £5,000–8,000.

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