The Tudor “Monte Carlo” is undoubtedly a very cool looking chronograph, with a funky color scheme that you would not have expected from Manufacture Rolex – also the owner of Tudor. The successive iterations of the Oysterdate Chronograph – its less poetic technical name – are therefore highly sought after, but you should run away from one example that you can currently find for quite cheap on ebay. It is conspicuously wrong, in many ways. Let’s now play Spot The Differences between this Monte Carlo and some correct examples.
An Incorrect Red Hand
A quick and easy thing to spot first is that the chronograph seconds hand seen on the ebay example – on the left here – simply does not fit aesthetically. Part of the charm of the Monte Carlo line comes from the many touches of orange, including this hand, which in the one offered on ebay is too short and too red. It is of course orange for the Monte Carlo seen at Tudor’s headquarters, featured on the right. On the ebay listing, the hands in the sub-registers are no better; they’re incorrect both in shape and color. They should indeed be fatter, pointier, and not fully covered with white paint.
The Wrong Bezel
As with most Rolex-produced watches, you can find the reference number between the upper lugs and the serial number engraved between the lower lugs. Here, it reads reference 7159, so it should have a stainless-steel bezel, shown at right above. The fixed blue bakelite insert was actually mounted on the sister reference 7149. Well, it would have been better for our ebay example on the left if its insert was a genuine one – the short spacing between the “Units” and “Per Hour” there clearly indicates that it is not.
Floating Indexes And Doubtful Tracks On The Dial
On every single reference of the Monte Carlo the indexes touch the second track, while on the watch from ebay on the left they are clearly separated. In addition, those indexes should not exhibit any inner dark blue border when adjacent to a sub-dial. The second track should not have the wide blue margin at the end of the white markers – you can see none of that on the correct dial on the right side. Also, the correct sub-register should have orange dashes between 15 and 30 minutes, not white as on the ebay example. Note that the running seconds sub-dial presents issues too, mostly related to the tip of the five-second markers, which should exhibit a bigger white part as seen below. Finally, the area around the sub-registers should be darker on a genuine Tudor reference 7159; again the correct dial is shown on the right.
Another inconsistency was actually highlighted on The Vintage Rolex Forum, where this listing has been discussed: the “Tudor Oysterdate” (written with a strange font, just look at the letter R) sits too low on the dial from the ebay listing on the left. You can see that those lines are further apart from the applied Tudor logo – incorrectly shaped too – and lower than an imaginary line drawn from the upper corners of the 2 and 10 o’clock indexes, as in the correct dial. This does get geeky, but by now the suspense is over – you are dealing here with a badly faked dial. A couple of additional signs confirm the diagnosis, including the incorrectly labeled T-Swiss Made-T at the bottom of the dial, and the wrong font for every number on the dial (mostly appearing too fat). Again, the comparison with a correct dial on the right side is conclusive.
Wrong Engravings On The Case
If further proof was required, the engravings for the reference number are absolutely wrong, as the digits do not exhibit the correct shape. One simple way to spot this: compare the curve of the reference numbers from the ebay example on the left to a correct case on the right. Once again, nothing matches (the genuine engravings from Tudor are much rounder) – not good news for the potential authenticity of the ebay-listed case. The engravings on the main bridge of the movement seem correct, at least.
In summary, right now you can get a Franken-Tudor, with an after-market bezel, fake dial, wrong hands, and many more issues, for only $5,000 here. There are more than enough reasons to pass on this unfortunate listing; it was also reported to ebay with a link to this article. To finish on a happy note, below you can see how nice a perfectly correct Tudor Monte Carlo reference 7159 looks on the wrist.
Source: The Indispensable Tudor Anthology, available in the HODINKEE Shop here.
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