The vintage Tudor Ranger, prior to reissue, was hugely popular amongst a very tiny subset of Tudor scholars and enthusiasts. In fact, I wrote an article last year arguing that, with a little alcohol-induced scholarship, I couldn’t see why there was no hype surrounding it. To quote, ‘I mean, it isn’t even blipping on the hype-radar.’ That aged like me during covid, not well but still drinking. Fast forward one year and one reissue later, the terrain is a little different. You will struggle immensely to find good examples, they’re hunted like orphans by Angelina Jolie. But how can you not love a Tudor field watch in an Oyster case with its own entire vibe.
It’s not difficult to see why. The appeal was always there. The Ranger has a unique Explorer-adjacent dial, Oyster case, many naunced changes between and inter-reference, real history, and charm. Yet many may still be found today for fractions of a period 1016’s valuation, or at least they could. The Ranger dial first a-rose (get it?) in the reference 7965, an evolution of the earlier 7809 used in the British North Greenland Expedition of 1952. Not one to miss a good marketing opportunity, Hans Wilsdorf created ads titled ‘Oyster Prince roughs it in Greenland’ and circulated them widely. People started craving water resistance and a 3-6-9 configuration. The 7965 was an Oyster case with an ETA calibre, no date. All seems fairly straightforward at this point, but I promise you it isn’t. See, the Ranger is not just one specific evolution of references. Rather, it is a dial variation that surfaced in multiple references in different time periods. There are a three vintage date references alone, seven no-date references.
This 9050 was introduced in ’69 (this watch is from that first year), and ran for a relatively long stretch until ’75. It’s marked for being a date, auto, and having Prince Oysterdate text. You get a pencil minute hand, characteristic shovel hour hand, and a big old block on your seconds hand. Perhaps most notably, this one’s incredible. The tritium is deeply yellow, the dial shows no damage, and its case is rocking full lugs with wear on them. All is well in the world. While it may be a more difficult ask to hunt a great Ranger today, they do still exist. Just don’t tell Angelina.
As already mentioned, it’s all there on this one. Original Oyster bracelet too. It comes from a well-regarded California retailer.
Find this here from Oliver & Clarke available by DM on Instagram only for 7850.