Final Destination | Tudor Heritage Ranger | A Continuous Lean.

Final Destination | Tudor Heritage Ranger

Jul 2nd, 2014 | Categories: Al James, Watches | by Al James

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A little over a year ago I started thinking about watches. I know I wasn’t the only one. Fine timepieces were popping up all over – magazines, newspapers, blog posts and photo shoots – they were inescapable. My interest also grew because I was consciously moving away from being tied to my cell phone. I wanted to know the time, but not necessarily who was emailing, calling or texting while I was out for dinner with friends or fishing for steelhead before work. I bought an L.L. Bean Field Watch and a couple NATO straps and I was good to go. My time-keeping issue was more or less solved, but my curiosity with watches wasn’t going away.

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The quartz movement of the Bean Field Watch ended up being a good test run. I discovered that I very much enjoyed wearing a watch on a daily basis, but the more I talked to friends (or complete strangers) about their watches, the more I realized that I wanted one that was unique – an automatic watch that was made to last a lifetime. Like many ACL readers, I ended up at Hodinkee on a regular basis to devour beautiful photos of the latest releases and to read about the history of rare and priceless pieces. I soon decided I wanted a hands-on experience and visited Watchworks in downtown Portland, Oregon. The owner Alex Hofberg took me through the basics – he educated me on the potential pitfalls of buying vintage watches online and the costs associated with maintaining a watch properly. He whole-heartedly offered his services in tracking down a vintage Omega Railmaster that I thought I wanted, but suggested a modern watch might make a great first purchase. He showed me a Hamilton Khaki Officer Auto and I nearly walked out of the shop with it, but held off to do more research. It was an extremely valuable visit with an expert. With the help of Hofberg I knew that I wasn’t ready to dive into the vintage watch world. I knew I wanted a new watch that I could wear daily, that was relatively easy to maintain, yet still had a classic look and feel.

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The hunt finally came to end with a posting on Hodinkee this Spring. Tudor was releasing the Heritage Ranger – an iconic and beautiful adventure watch with subtle modern updates. It comes on a steel bracelet, in a 41mm case (ideal for my wrist size) and it possesses the timeless style that I had been searching for. A month later Hodinkee published live pictures and gave a detailed review. Game over. I sought one out, pulled the trigger and it arrived last week.

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I honestly couldn’t be more thrilled with my Tudor Heritage Ranger. The fit and finish is perfect – beyond description really. It’s rugged and elegant. With the steel bracelet it dresses up or down. (i.e. it looks great with a t-shirt or a sport jacket). Its minimal, hand-painted dial and explorer-style face offer just the right amount of traditional styling. I love wearing it. Will I become a collector? Time will tell, but I’m good for quite awhile. I have my go-to watch. My daily driver. I did the research, I saved the money and landed at my final destination and so far, every day I enjoy it more and more. —AJ

Comments: 7

7 Comments to “Final Destination | Tudor Heritage Ranger”

  1. Russell
    on Jul 2nd, 2014
    @ 10:53 PM

    BOOM!

  2. Footballer
    on Jul 3rd, 2014
    @ 12:59 AM

    The problem is which do you wear the camo NATO strap that comes with it or the steel bracelet? Not using the other would be a waste!

  3. watchmywrist
    on Jul 3rd, 2014
    @ 12:18 PM

    “Will I become a collector? Time will tell, but I’m good for quite awhile.”

    Nice sentiment, but time will show how wrong this statement is.The length between purchases is directly inverse to quantity of watch purchases.

  4. szajic
    on Jul 3rd, 2014
    @ 3:55 PM

    I’m not someone who (barring a lottery win, and maybe not even then) will ever drop four figures on a watch, but still: nice choice! It’s a beauty. And extremely functional, too.

    I use a watch for actual time-keeping every day: I commute by train, during which minutes (sometimes even seconds) matter, and my hands are often full, so a phone doesn’t cut it. At work, I attend meetings where it’d be inappropriate to pull out my phone, but I still need to know the time. And I have a one year old, which entails a lot of time checks, too, again often with hands full.

    This watch has a few features which are super useful for situations like those noted above, but that many (even expensive) watches neglect. 1. A minute hand that extends all the way to the minute markers, so you can quickly tell precisely what time it is. 2. An uncluttered design. Even the relatively minimalist L.L. Bean watch has the 13-24 numbers, which are unnecessary in the U.S. and busy up the dial, distracting the eye. 3. It’s not mentioned, but it’s WR 150m – enough to handle just about any wet task you can throw at it, or even a swim (though I’m not sure I’d swim in a watch that costs what this one costs).

  5. Al James
    on Jul 4th, 2014
    @ 3:26 PM

    @footballer – I neglected to write about the camo strap. It’s one-of-a-kind and really looks good. The Hodinkee review has some great photos.

    @watchmywrist – If my fly rod collection is any indication you may be right.

    @szajic – Agree with everything you mention in your comment. The Omega Railmaster I was originally interested in has a similar uncluttered dial for accuracy. Also I love not glancing at a phone in a meeting – it just feels better.

    Al

  6. nostick
    on Jul 14th, 2014
    @ 7:54 PM

    I just ordered a made-in-Japan Seiko SNZJ15 that’s more my speed. If you’re looking for simplicity and good looks (plus automatic movement and a cool pedigree with the Seiko 5 line) and aren’t ready to break the bank, you could do much worse.

  7. nostick
    on Jul 14th, 2014
    @ 7:56 PM

    Sorry, SNZG15!

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