7169/0 Tudor Monte Carlo
Provenance is funny thing. What is it exactly? This 7169/0 has only ever had one owner who kept all the ephemera and serviced it regularly. But it is still ‘just’ a well-preserved Monte Carlo. I know multiple collectors who are only interested in one-owner watches. This intrigues me. It’s a bit like the collectors who buy ultra-low mileage 60s Porsches, surely the entire value you’re buying is destroyed upon use or purchase? And yet, the notion of minimizing and specifying the ownership chain, to a reasonable degree, holds appeal. Perhaps it never will for the majority of watch enthusiasts. However, if you’re reading this, I suspect you understand what I’m feeling. We are not the majority, those who furor the smallest details.
The obvious benefit is the increased probability that the watch has not been fucked with. Every trading of hands is an opportunity to someone less knowledgable or scrupulous hand to ‘fix up’ some scratches or touch up a dial. But then there’s also the romantic angle, which I find watch people particularly susceptible to. Someone bonded with this watch deeply. It service the purpose it was built for, even serviced every few years with records kept. That’s how respect is shown for a mechanical object. Further, the retailer even has a picture of him wearing it in Hong Kong shortly after 1978 purchase. Whatever the attraction to single owner watches, it runs deep in this Monte Carlo. It’s not like you can get a certificate from Tudor or anyone else certifying that this is a one-owner watch. The meaning is entirely up to the purchaser and market. But I have to admit, I get it.
The underlying reference is an increasingly collectible chronograph. The 7169/0 is the fully graduated 12-hour bezel (a bit Heuer in aesthetic I find), second generation Tudor chrono after the ‘Home Plate’. The dials were more bold, hence named for its similarity to the roulette tables of Monaco with orange, white, grey, and black/blue track details. The case was 40mm, where a contemporary Daytona ran 37 (with square guards no less, a style only paralleled on very collectible early Subs). The column-wheel Valjoux 234 was Tudor’s first non-cam driven chronograph at a high beat rate. Despite being a second generation, the 7100 series Tudors are as core to the brand DNA today as the 7000s were for their unapologetically flamboyant design. Oh, and they retained the cyclops at 6. How can you not love that? It would be hard to find a better example. Even if purchase means this is no longer a single owner watch, I think biting that premium bullet is almost certainly worth it. Just try finding another.
Aside from the well documented service records and box/papers, the watch itself has survived remarkably well. Its case is unpolished, with beautiful lugs that are lightly warn. Same story for the bracelet, just the lightest stretch. Its dial is excellent, with warm tritium tones, legible script, and brightly colored accents. I don’t know how long it would be before a comparable example popped up, but if you’re interested I wouldn’t expect it to hang around. Just please take it to a meetup where I can see it sometime.
Find this 7169/0 here from Subdial for 24850 GBP.