To mark the 70th anniversary of the British North Greenland Expedition, TUDOR has released 3 new Ranger models, tool watches celebrating the spirit of this daring adventure, complete with Manufacture Calibre MT5402, a 39-millimetre case and a clasp with rapid adjustment system.
THE RANGER SAGA
The origins of the TUDOR Ranger collection date back to 1929, when Hans Wilsdorf registered the “Ranger” name. The aesthetics that are now recognised as the Ranger didn’t appear until the 1960s; large Arabic numerals, generously coated with luminescent material at; 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock, as well as its uniquely designed hands. In 1973, a version of the Ranger was made with an integrated bracelet under the name “Ranger II”.
THE SPIRIT OF A TOOL WATCH
The new Ranger models respect the aesthetic standards established in the course of its history, especially its dial with the aforementioned Arabic numerals, whilst incorporating new state-of-the-art technical elements, in particular a high-performance Manufacture Calibre and a TUDOR “T-fit” clasp with rapid adjustment system. It continues within the TUDOR collection; the tradition of the expedition watch, born with the Oyster Prince watches used by the members of the British North Greenland Expedition. The tradition of a robust, practical, and affordable instrument.
To echo this functional heritage, the 39mm case and the bracelet of the Ranger are satin-brushed, creating an overall matt finish, in the purest spirit of a “tool watch”. Some elements however, are polished to strengthen the lines of the case, including the inner edge of the bezel. The dial incorporates a detail of historic influence, the hour markers painted in luminescent material. Beige in colour, they perfectly contrast with the grained, matt black dial and match the tone of the TUDOR shield logo and inscriptions.
The arrow-shaped hands, rounded for the hour hand and angular for the seconds hand are characteristic of Ranger aesthetics, with a novel touch; the tip of the seconds hand is burgundy in colour.
MANUFACTURE CALIBRE MT5402
Equipped with Manufacture Calibre MT5402, the Ranger model’s construction has been designed to ensure robustness, longevity, reliability and precision due to its variable-inertia balance, which is held in place by a sturdy traversing bridge with two points of fixation. Thanks to this balance and the non-magnetic silicon balance spring, the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 has been certified as a chronometer by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), with its performance going beyond the standards set by this independent institute. In fact, where COSC allows an average variation in the daily running of a watch of between -4 and +6 seconds in relation to absolute time in a single movement, TUDOR insists on between -2 and +4 seconds’ variation in its running when fully assembled.
Another notable feature is that the power reserve of the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 is “weekend-proof”; approximately 70 hours. This enables the wearer to take the watch off on a Friday evening and put it back on again on Monday morning without having to wind it.
JACQUARD, STEEL OR HYBRID BRACELET
The fabric strap is one of the hallmarks of TUDOR, who, in 2010, became one of the first watchmaking brands to offer it with its products. Woven using a traditional method on 19th-century Jacquard looms by the Julien Faure company in the St-Étienne region of France, its manufacturing quality and comfort on the wrist are unique. In 2020, TUDOR celebrated ten years of collaboration with the hundred-and-fifty-year-old Julien Faure company. The partnership began with the launch of the Heritage Chrono, the first model fitted with a fabric strap created by the craftsmen, at Baselworld 2010.
For the Ranger model, TUDOR chose an olive-green bracelet with two red stripes and one beige stripe woven by the craftsmen
The Ranger is also offered with an entirely satin-brushed steel bracelet, with the TUDOR “T-fit” clasp equipped with a system for rapid length adjustment. Easy to use, requiring no tools and offering five positions, this practical system allows wearers of the TUDOR Ranger to carry out a fine, instant adjustment of the total length of the bracelet along an adjustment window of 8 mm.
Finally, a third bracelet option is offered, in natural rubber and fabric-like, textured, black leather with beige top-stitching and a folding clasp.
The British North Greenland Expedition represented a seminal moment for TUDOR and its tool watches. In fact, this was one of the very first long-term tests under real-world, extreme conditions implemented by the brand. The members of the expedition monitored variations in the precision of their Oyster Prince watches compared to the hourly signals emitted by the BBC, and recorded them in notebooks specifically provided for this purpose. In light of the expected temperatures, the TUDOR watches sent for this project were specially lubricated with “arctic” oil and provided with bracelet extensions so the watches could be worn over the sleeves of the parkas. Upon returning from Greenland, one of the members of the expedition wrote in a letter to TUDOR, which has been preserved in the brand’s archives, that his watch “maintained remarkable precision” and that “at no time did it need to be rewound by hand”.
This approach to testing, termed “destructive”, where the watch is evaluated in the field by professionals under extreme conditions, echoes the theme of TUDOR’s first large-scale advertising campaign launched in 1952. Such testing steered the development of a number of the brand’s tool watches. This notion of robustness remained at the heart of the TUDOR philosophy as evidenced in particular by its branding over the following decades, always focused on technical performance under difficult conditions rather than on questions of aesthetics or prestige status. At the beginning of the 1970s for example, in a TUDOR catalogue, the Ranger model was presented on the wrist of a woodcutter who “chose his watch with the same care as his chainsaw.”