Monochrome Watches
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The Unique Tudor Prince Chronograph One… The Return Of The Big Block, And A New Manufacture Movement

The classic Big Block Chronograph from the 1970s is back, and Tudor also teases its new manufacture chronograph movement.

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |

Looking at the entire lineup of unique watches for the Only Watch 2023 charity auction, you can see that some are not just an evolution of existing models but unprecedented creations… And, among the 62 watches presented, what Tudor has prepared has drawn our attention. Dare I say, it had us hooked! Visually, it marks the return of a beloved design, a watch inspired by Tudor’s first automatic chronograph, the 1976 Prince Oysterdate Big Block. But there’s more, and this can be seen under the solid caseback: a new manufacture automatic chronograph movement that could well replace the Breitling-based calibres. All in all, it somehow feels like we already know what to expect at Watches & Wonders 2024… Let’s have a closer look at this Tudor Prince Chronograph One. 

For now, chronographs at Tudor have been either powered by a Valjoux (FastRider Chrono), an ETA with Dubois-Depraz module (Heritage Chrono) or, more recently, by movements produced by Breitling (Black Bay Chrono). Manufacture movements, made by Kenissi (a movement maker partially owned by Tudor/Rolex), were reserved for 3-hand and GMT watches. But, with the Prince Chronograph One, Tudor is potentially about to reveal what’s coming next. And that is a new movement made by the brand’s manufacture based on the architecture of the other calibres of the brand (some similarities are evident).

The Tudor Prince Chronograph One features a brand-new manufacture chronograph movement entirely developed by Tudor: calibre MT59XX. The prototype of this calibre, movement “Number 0” in the development process, is an integrated, automatic movement with a column wheel and (even though it is not mentioned) a vertical clutch. Other than this, it remains in line with previous manufacture movements of Tudor (as said, the base architecture is close to classic 3-hand movements), with a transversal bridge, a silicon hairspring, a 70h power reserve and it meets all Tudor Manufacture calibre performance standards. As such, it is anti-magnetic and regulated to -2/+4 seconds/day, tested on a fully assembled watch.

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Knowing the complexity of developing a chronograph movement and the costs generated by research and development, we clearly can’t see this new calibre MT59XX remaining as a unique prototype. Without making assumptions that can’t be verified, it would seem logical for Tudor to gradually implement this new movement (and potentially some variations with two-counter displays) in either a new chronograph or the existing Black Bay Chrono.

And talking about a new chronograph, this new movement is also housed in an unprecedented watch, a model inspired by the 1976 Tudor Prince Oysterdate Big Block reference 9430/0. What do we know about this Tudor Prince Chronograph One for Only Watch 2023? For now, it has been presented in a 42mm solid yellow case and bracelet, with some important differences from the Black Bay Chrono. While the latter mixed racing and diving features, the Prince Chronograph One is entirely devoted to racing, with a fixed bezel with a black aluminium insert, a tachymeter scale and thin, legible hands. The right side of the case has been changed, too, with new screw-down pushers, a new, more classic crown and guards around it.

Thanks to the new movement, the black dial of the Tudor Prince Chronograph One also pays tribute to the vintage Big Block with a 6-9-12 layout for the sub-counters, mimicking those found on Valjoux-powered watches. A discreet date sits at 3 o’clock, and hour markers are sleek applied batons. And while this unique 18k yellow edition will surely remain an exercise in style, we know that Tudor loves to tease future models with the Only Watch auction. The 2015 Black Bay One gave birth to the black dial Black Bay a few months later, and the 2019 Black Bay Ceramic One announced the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic of 2021 with its METAS-certified movement.

All of this is to say that, possibly, we could see the comeback of the Tudor Prince Chronograph powered by this new manufacture movement in the coming months or at Watches & Wonders 2024… At least, this is what we hope for!

The present gold Tudor Prince Chronograph One will be offered at Only Watch 2023 to raise funds for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and carries an estimate of CHF 25,000 – 35,000 (which is certainly on the safe side). For more details, please visit and

1 response

  1. Does this mean that the movement based on the Breitling movement will be discontinued?


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