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Tudor Predictions 2024 – The Potential Return of the Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph

With the brand's return to motorsports, this is the watch we predict Tudor could launch in 2024.

| By Brice Goulard | 7 min read |
Tudor Predictions 2024 - Tudor Watches and Wonders 2024 - Tudor new model 2024 - Return Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph

A few days ago, the MONOCHROME team delivered our yearly forecast of potential launches for the 2024 Rolex Collection. As always, we try our best to guess what the Crown will be presenting at the watch industry’s largest fair, Watches and Wonders. While trying to imagine and design these potential Rolex models, we also started to think about its sister brand, Tudor. This year, we’ve had intriguing snippets of evidence about what could be the main new model to be released by the brand in April 2024… A mix of a unique piece presented for Only Watch and an unexpected return of Tudor to motorsports as the partner of Visa Cash App RB Formula 1 Team, which made us realise that it could well be the year of the return of the Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph. 

Brands like Rolex and Tudor don’t do things without a commercial reason. Brands of such stature don’t get involved in multi-million partnerships with a Formula 1 team without a commercial goal. There is, without a doubt, the wish to increase sales and reach out to a new audience; for that, new, purpose-built collections are often required. With this in mind, the arrival of Tudor as a partner of Visa Cash App RB Formula One is the first hint of what we could see this year: watches dedicated to motorsport. We have already seen the first piece of evidence on Daniel Ricciardo’s wrist, in the shape of a blue dial Tudor Black Bay Master Chronometer. It seems, however, that we might be looking at a so-called “team watch” not meant to be sold to the public.

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What, then, would be the most relevant watch for motorsports and Formula 1? A chronograph, of course. You might argue that Tudor already has a chronograph in its collection, the Black Bay Chrono, specifically the recent panda and reversed panda models. But these watches are connected to diving – they are named Black Bay, after all – despite being equipped with a tachymeter scale. The Black Bay Chrono is a rather odd mix of elements.

In the past, Tudor had several watches ideally suited to racing and motorsport timing, mostly the Oysterdate Big Block series (see above). Launched in 1976, the Prince Oysterdate watches were the first automatic chronographs of the brand and the third generation of stopwatches released by Tudor – following the Homeplate and the Montecarlo. Tudor is very good at recreating its past icons, and since the Homeplate and the Montecarlo were revamped over a decade ago, we can imagine the brand eyeing another candidate, a more recent one inspired by the automatic Big Block models.

The unique Tudor Prince Chronograph One in 18k yellow gold presented for Only Watch

Now that we’ve brought this up let’s look back to June 2023 with the presentation of the unique pieces made for the (postponed) Only Watch charity auction. Among the 50+ watches offered by brands was a unique and unprecedented Tudor chronograph in full yellow gold. Named the Tudor Prince Chronograph One, this watch is directly inspired by the mid-1970s Big Block Prince Chronograph watches and even features a brand new manufacture movement, supposedly to replace the current chronograph used by Tudor, which is sourced from Breitling. Allow me two comments. First, we know that Tudor has often used Only Watch as a platform to pre-launch upcoming models. Second, brands don’t develop an entirely new movement for a unique piece, specifically not an integrated chronograph movement. If anything, this signals that there will soon be a new chronograph movement at Tudor. But it also suggests that there is probably a new chronograph collection in the works that might take the shape of a Big Block-inspired Tudor Prince Chronograph.

The classic Tudor Prince Chronograph for 2024

As we always like to mention, there’s a logic behind our forecasts. And our Tudor Predictions 2024 are no exception to the rule. Now that we’ve explained the reasoning, let’s look at what could potentially be Tudor’s main new model this year: the Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph or Tudor Prince Chronograph.

Tudor Predictions 2024 - Tudor Watches and Wonders 2024 - Tudor new model 2024 - Return Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph

Having seen the full gold Tudor Prince Chronograph One for Only Watch, it is pretty easy to imagine what the potential standard edition of this watch could be. First of all, it’ll be made (most likely) from stainless steel and not yellow gold, like the unique piece. We’re looking at a typical racing chronograph, with inspiration from past models of the brand – from the 1970s up until the early 2000s, with the entire series of automatic Oysterdate watches (more details here and here). These potential new Tudor chronographs would measure 42mm in diameter, with an overall design that aligns with the brand’s production and Heritage models. It would be equipped with a fixed bezel featuring an aluminium insert and a tachymeter scale, as well as screwed pushers on the sides (not that we like them, but they are a signature element of most Big Block watches) and pointy crown guards.

Tudor Predictions 2024 - Tudor Watches and Wonders 2024 - Tudor new model 2024 - Return Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph

With the unique Prince Chronograph One for Only Watch, Tudor itself admitted the Big Block inspiration, explaining in its press release how it heralded “the return of the legendary Big Block Chronograph, the first Tudor automatic chronograph, released in 1976 (…) and the rebirth of a popular classic Tudor Chronograph“.

The Big Block inspiration would continue onto the dial with a typical 1970s layout and sub-counters at 6-9-12, explained at the time by the presence of a Valjoux 7750-based movement. In our imagination, the dial of the new Tudor Prince Chronograph would feature sunken registers with a snailed pattern, applied baton markers and thin baton hands – two elements that clearly differentiate it from the Black Bay Chrono. A date located at 3 o’clock and panda and reserve panda dials seem to be the most relevant options – like past models.

Tudor Predictions 2024 - Tudor Watches and Wonders 2024 - Tudor new model 2024 - Return Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph

The most important element in these potential new watches would be the movement. Announced by the unique Prince Chronograph One, our expected 2024 Big Block Chronographs would feature a new integrated calibre MT59XX (the XX will be replaced at the time of launch). To “meet all Tudor Manufacture Calibre performance standards”, the new calibre, according to Tudor’s press release, features “a column-wheel construction“. A possible replacement for the calibre MT5813 found in the Black Bay Chrono, which is made by Breitling, this new movement displays several well-known elements.

Tudor Predictions 2024 - Tudor Watches and Wonders 2024 - Tudor new model 2024 - Return Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph

This new MT59XX movement (engraved Kenissi on its main plate) seems to share multiple technical solutions – if not most of its base architecture – with the time-only automatic movements of the rest of Tudor’s collection, such as a transversal balance bridge, a silicon hairspring and a 70-hour power reserve. The column wheel is easy to spot on the right side; however, we can’t yet pinpoint the type of coupling used. It is said, at least for the movement found in the unique gold watch, to be working within a range of 6 seconds (-2/+4) per day.

Finally, these new 2024 panda or reversed panda Tudor Prince Chronographs would be equipped with a classic Oyster-like 3-link steel bracelet with Tudor’s T-Fit adjustable clasp. And we can easily imagine textile or leather strap options, too.

A Formula One-themed model too?

As part of our Tudor Predictions 2024, we’ve imagined a slightly more adventurous take on the Big Block-inspired Tudor Prince Chronograph, this time related to the brand’s partnership with Visa Cash App RB Formula 1 Team.

Tudor Predictions 2024 - Tudor Watches and Wonders 2024 - Tudor new model 2024 - Return Tudor Oysterdate Big Block Chronograph

For this, we’ve conjured a bolder edition with a black case and bracelet – just like the Black Bay Chrono Dark Limited Edition at the time – that could be either a coating (preferably DLC) or even ceramic. This black theme would continue on the dial, with contrasting silver hands and sub-counters (for enhanced legibility) and some striking blue accents on the chronograph hands in line with the 2024 livery of Visa Cash App RB Formula One.

This Formula One-themed version of the Tudor Prince Chronograph would remain mechanically identical to the standard versions described above, with the possibility of an additional black and blue textile strap. That being said, it might be a bit too soon for us to see such a special edition, but one can dream…


Note: This Tudor Predictions 2024 article is based on our own Photoshop mock-ups; Tudor has provided nothing officially. These predictions are based on our imagination and expectations. All images are under license of MONOCHROME and should not be used without agreement or copyright (©Monochrome-Watches, 2024).

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8 responses

  1. I wish they do fancy colors for the BB54.

    Teal
    Mint
    Bordeaux

    Otherwise an updated 58 with green as an additional color
    Blue pelagos39

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  2. The legendary big block chronograph was launched in 1976 and was the Dragon year of the Chinese zodiac. Come 2024 (another Dragon year after 48 yrs), if they ever do a reissue of it. I will hope to see an engraving of a dragon to spur up the case back for a special edition.

    1
  3. Great stuff. I am looking forward to the Black Bay and Pelagos predictions too!

    My top wants:
    Pelagos 39, matte black dial in 904L Steel
    FXD in 40mm (true Milsub size)

    2
  4. I used to have a Big Block. Shouldn’t have sold it 8 years ago! Boy it sure wore like a lump, though. Hopefully any new ones aren’t as thick, but I don’t foresee that.

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  5. Nothing beat than having a grand return of the tudor submariner .

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  6. This Chronograph caliber is an Exciting announcement!!!! It looks like this will have a Vertical Clutch for the Chrono functions. The reason I say this because I don’t see any lateral structure that could denounce a Horizontal Clutch that occupies lots of lateral space. This caliber looks very compact, more akin to a vertical clutch than horizontal, just look at El Primero and will understand this point.

  7. To large!!!! Make it 37, 38mm in bronze and I would consider a purchase.

    2
  8. I have been expecting this also, and I hope it comes soon! But I have been wondering if the fiasco surrounding the indefinitely postponed Only Watch Auction might delay the official release of the production version. I had been expecting this at April’s Watches & Wonders Geneva, and we shall see soon enough.

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