7149/0 Tudor Monte Carlo
In vintage, you’ll hear people who know a thing or two talk about condition like people in real estate talk about location. It’s everything. This is particularly the case in sport Rolex, where it’s well known that if you buy a watch with polished bevels Eric Wind will personally hunt down your entire family mercilessly like a shit Liam Neeson. But try finding a perfect vintage Tudor today, they’re so few it’s hopeless, like trying to find a non-vegan burger in Portland. And this is all assuming it hasn’t been messed about with, no one wants a Perezcope article to appear about their latest purchase. All of which brings me to this 7149/0, it has to be a drawer queen. A perfect case, barely worn, caseback sticker on, papers, and doesn’t look at day over 20. Meet the Tudor equivalent of a flat in Belgravia.
The 7149/0 and its siblings (7159 steel bezel, 7169 12-hour bezel, and this 7149 bakelite bezel) are a descendant of the first-ever Tudor chronographs, the ‘Home Plate’ series, slightly more bold in accents. The reference garnered its Monte Carlo moniker for its similarity to the roulette tables of Monaco, with orange, white, grey, and black/blue track details. Where the Big Blocks often land in controversy for their 12-6-9 sub layout, the Monte Carlo is the classic dual register format with date at 6. This was Tudor at their best, and the brand obviously thinks so as well, because Tudor chose establish its new brand identity in 2013 with just a reissue of this Monte Carlo and the Black Bay. While niche today, this chronograph is core to the brand’s identity. And you even get distinct square crown guards, which on the Rolex side of the house are not cheap to come by. In short, they’re funky, fun, and fucking cool.
The phrase NOS or even LNOS, meaning like like new old stock, gets throw around a lot. But can you find a fault in this thing? Having owned a few of these even I’m coming up with empty hands. Premiums associated with condition often get lambasted in the comments, because if you tour the market you’ll find most examples listed at 2/3rds this value. But condition is the new rarity and it would be a tall order to replicate something like this in the market. It’s not the example for everyone, it’s the example for someone who has to have it perfect. If you get it, you get it. You also probably dust your baseboards every morning, but that’s neither here nor there.
The wear is super interesting here in that it’s just light, light marks on the bracelet but not the clasp, probably indicative of being stored and not worn. Its dial is very lightly aged with cream-tone tritium and no visible damage. It comes from a well-regarded Genevan retailer, caseback sticker and papers.