Editor’s note: I’ve always had a real soft spot for the Tudor Heritage Advisor. Not only is the alarm one of my favourite complications, but this watch — for all that it’s an outlier in the current catalogue — is a hugely important piece in the modern rebirth of Tudor. Read on to find out why …
Last year, Tudor unveiled its first manufacture movement to nigh-on internet-breaking levels of fanfare and buzz. So impressive was the MT-5621 that it overshadowed the retro-modern North Flag that showcased it. But it’s a little remarked upon fact that Tudor’s first foray into in-house happened way back in 2011, in the Tudor Heritage Advisor — one of the earliest, and (in my opinion) most underrated of the Geneva-based brand’s popular Heritage collection.
Before we talk about why the Advisor holds such a special place in Tudor’s line-up, let’s find out a little about where it came from. First released in 1957, the original Tudor Advisor was a small alarm watch, often in an Oyster-style case, powered by a manually wound A. Schild movement.
Few watches capture the charm and anachronism of mechanical timekeeping quite like alarm complications. In these days of Google alerts and iPhone reminders it’s hard to imagine what possible use we could have for a wristwatch with a mechanical alarm – but back in the day it would have been remarkably useful.
Oddball though the complication is, Tudor hasn’t cut any corners with the Advisor. The 42mm case is titanium and steel, with a polished steel bezel. Aside from cutting down on weight, the properties of titanium make for a clearer alarm. And while the main movement of the Advisor is based on the trusty ETA 2892, the module has been developed completely in-house by Tudor. Other than the alarm power reserve and on/off indicator, the most interesting feature is that the whirring of the alarm doesn’t slowly fade away – rather it ends abruptly. It’s a detail few who weren’t familiar with alarm watches would appreciate, but it’s impressive nonetheless. The alarm itself is wound and set via the crown at two, and engaged by the pusher at eight.
Given that there isn’t much call for mechanical alarms these days, the Advisor is often overshadowed by the rest of the Heritage line (especially the expanding Black Bay family), but it says a lot about Tudor that for one of its first reissues it chose to re-create such a historic model (this being the only alarm Tudor, or indeed Rolex, have ever made) in an interesting and challenging way. It’s also good to see the brand still paying attention to the Advisor – this cognac-dialled version, released earlier this year now joins those with silver and black dials.