After a two-year hiatus, Tudor has re-released the adventure-minded Ranger. Part of the Rolex family of watches, these gorgeous expedition watches have the look and quality of a Rolex at a more accessible price. This new version is the best evolution yet of a tool watch that you can wear every day and pass down to your kids.
The new release of the Tudor coincides with the 70th anniversary of a British expedition to Greenland, on which explorers brought along the waterproof and automatic Tudor Oyster Prince — the 1952 watch that evolved into the Ranger.
According to Tudor, the Ranger was introduced in the 1960s and first appeared in their catalog in 1969. It endured various reference numbers under the Ranger name until 1988, and then after a 26-year break, it was re-released as the Heritage Ranger from 2014 to 2020. Now it’s back without the ‘Heritage’ qualifier as the New Ranger.
Since the 2020 model, the case of the Ranger dropped from 41mm to 39mm, which puts it much closer to the original 34mm timepiece without being overly dainty to our modern sense of proportion.
Rolex owns Tudor, and with it, they have offered a (relatively) more affordable entry point to the Rolex family since the 1940s. Free from the pressure of being Rolex, Tudor has enjoyed more design freedom. In recent years, this has led to stunning vintage-inspired watches like the Black Bay 58, which shares DNA with the Rolex Submariner worn by Sean Connery as James Bond. The Ranger, however, is a kid sibling of the Rolex Explorer, which is many people’s personal Holy Grail Watch and the watch that Bond’s creator Ian Fleming wore himself.
However, a new Rolex Explorer also costs twice as much as a Tudor Ranger. Plus, you’ll likely need to get on a waiting list to buy one, which may lead you to ask yourself how much you’re willing to pay for a crown on the dial when the Ranger exists.
Ultimately, it’s the aura of the watch that matters. And the new Ranger seems to have nailed it there. Not just with the 39mm size, but also the vintage cream-colored numerals against the matte black dial, the red-tipped second hand, and the ‘Ranger Arrow’ hour hand.
The Tudor automatic movement has a 70-hour power reserve, which means it will keep ticking for nearly three days on a shelf before you’d have to reset it. But you probably won’t want to take it off. This watch could make you trade classic rugged style for the convenience of a smartwatch for everything but working out. And given that it costs less than many used Rangers on the secondary market, there’s not much of a downside to buying the new Ranger (if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one).
The New Ranger’s MSRP is $3,050 on a steel bracelet or $2,725 on the fabric and combination rubber and leather bands.