For many years in the past Tudor has simply been Diet Rolex or Rolex Light. In the recent years Tudor has slowly pulled away from being “almost” Rolex to a Brand that is almost perfect. The Tudor Hydronaut II Chronograph is one of the watches that truly helped this idea of perfect independence. With this watch one can see Rolex influences but not to the point like in the past where a Tudor model was almost exactly the same watch(see Tudor Prince Tiger Chronograph vice the Rolex Daytona). One may also seek to find the Tudors that were exactly the same watch( see the Tudor Submariner or Mini-sub vice the Rolex Submariner).
The Hydronaut II Chronograph’s polished stainless steel case is smoothed and rounded from lug to lug, similar to the Rolex Yachtmaster. I loved looking at my reflection on the left profile side much like looking upon chrome of a classic 50’s Chevrolets Bumper. On other side were you find the traditional chronograph pushers and crown. But with these pushers you will utilize the quarter turn to unlock the pushers. This makes for a quick use, contrary to unscrewing an aquatic chronograph’s pushers. You will also find at 10 o’clock the same unlocking feature on the quick-set date pusher.
The dial has wonderful balance of colors and levels. The red, second counter chronograph hand with the tear drop pointer sets well against the snow white backdrop of the dial. On the dial you will find the two chronograph sub-dials in black( for the particular version) with a sliver tone ring set atop. The sub-dial hands like the second counter hand will also be in red. This adds un-Rolex like look of depth and texture. The subsidiary second dial found at nine o’clock is in a slight depression creating more but subtle contrast. The Hydronaut II like all chronograph watches from Tudor is powered by the Swiss workhorse ETA Valjoux 7750.
On the wrist, this watch fits well being 41 mm, along with subtly curved lugs and having a low height under 14mm fitting well under the sleeve. The weight is just enough to know that its there. The lightly tapered bracelet seemed to be carefully crafted as not to pull arm hair coming together at a smartly adorned flip lock clasp.
This claps when closed displays the regal Tudor Shield and when opened again another cleverly placed shield is present near the hinge. Gone are the days of the Rolex adorned bracelet clasp. This watch is for a the person wants Rolex level, quality, chronograph without the Rolex heavy “Crown” hovering about.
Charles Walhingford – Contributing Writer
Charles Walhingford was bitten at 6 years old by the watch bug with his father’s Bulova Accutron Spaceview. To him nothing can beat that sweep and hum. Charles believes the hard work, time and artistry that the watch maker spent making your watch is a direct reflection of the hard work and sacrifice you have made to afford that particular time piece. Charles recently started a Youtube channel where he shows his admiration for watches. Charles loves independent brands like Kobold and Muhle Glashutte but equally adores the heavy weights like Breitling and Breguet. Read his articles here.