Tudor Heritage Advisor ReviewThe Tudor Heritage Advisor is, from historical, horological and aesthetic perspectives, perhaps the most interesting watch the brand has ever made. It's also, not coincidentally, the only alarm watch that Tudor has ever produced.
I've been pretty open about my love for the rather underappreciated Advisor for some time now. The Advisor is precisely my kind of watch because it's so interesting from every angle you can look at a watch. It's got an interesting history, it's got an interesting movement, and it's got an interesting design.
Quite obviously, this is the most complicated dial that Tudor makes. For that matter, it's the most complicated dial Tudor has ever made, even including the original Advisors. That's mostly because it's the only watch with an alarm complication that Tudor makes, and much of the complexity of the dial is dedicated to that function.
Before I jump into the alarm complication and the design of the watch, it's worth noting the historic importance of the Tudor Advisor. The Advisor was, and is, the only alarm watch that Tudor has ever made, which is significant enough by itself, but it's important to remember that, in 1957, Tudor was nearly an identical clone of Rolex, albeit at more affordable price points. The Advisor was one of two early watches (the other being the Ranger) that brought Tudor out of Rolex's shadow because it was the first watch that Tudor made with no Rolex equivalent whatsoever, which remains true today.
Here we can examine an unusual element to the alarm complication. You might guess, as I think most experienced watch collectors will, that this is the power reserve of the watch, but this is actually dedicated exclusively to the power reserve of the alarm complication, which has its own crown to both set and wind. Winding the alarm is manual, as is typical in the genre.
Here we can see a very straightforward on/off mode selector. This has two uses, the first of which is obviously to disable the alarm. It's also useful in setting the alarm because in the fairly likely event the alarm hand crosses the hour hand, the alarm will sound unless it was disabled beforehand.
Here we can see the pusher that controls the on/off switch. This is oversized and very thoughtfully placed to be easily accessible while the watch is on your wrist.
Now we can take a look at the simple, and classic, dauphine hands, as well as the alarm hand. The red alarm hand, which many will guess is a GMT hand, is very straightforward, although oddly, it can only be set counterclockwise. One minor criticism I have is that I feel the alarm hand should also have some lume, as I can definitely see someone wanting to know what their alarm is set for in the middle of the night.
Here we can see the dual crowns, one with the rose emblem and the other emblazoned with Advisor. The lower crown is basically a conventional crown and is used to set the time and date, as well as to wind the mainspring if you want to (the watch is automatic, so this isn't necessary). The upper crown winds and sets the alarm. This works well enough, but I wish I could wind the alarm complication without pulling it out to the first step, and it's not clear to me why this wasn't done, as neither crown screws down.
Tudor has also opted for a pointer date subdial, which looks terrifically classical and fits with the overall theme nicely. Ironically, this vintage touch is entirely modern as the original Advisor simply had no date.
As was the case with the Tangente Sport I recently reviewed, I was surprised how bright the deceptively tiny application of lume was. The Advisor certainly doesn't wow anyone with the intensity of its lume, but in a genre of watches that often has no lume at all, finding a useful amount like this is a very nice touch. Again, I would advise (get it?) Tudor to consider putting a luminescent triangle on the alarm hand to make this complication visible at night.
So how does it sound? It's surprisingly loud and has a pleasant bell quality to it. There's quite a bit of vibration too, which may make it useful in noisy environments or, for those who sleep with their watch on, in waking its wearer up. All in all, it's much more powerful than I expected and I believe this would reliably wake people up and certainly get your attention that it's time to leave for a dinner engagement.
The 42mm case is quite interesting, from the sense of pushers and crowns, but it's also interesting in terms of composition. While the bezel is steel, the back and central case are apparently made from titanium, which is said to have superior acoustic properties for applications like this or perhaps minute repeaters. The steel bezel will assist in scratch resistance, although looking closely at the watch, it's surprisingly difficult to see a color difference between steel and titanium components, making it hard to tell which is which. This is a bit unusual as titanium is typically a darker gray, but custom alloys have reduced that appearance in other watches, like Grand Seikos, so perhaps Tudor has used a similar approach here.
Another area that distinguishes the Advisor is the movement. While Tudor is now quite well known for its in-house movements in the North Flag, Pelagos and recently the Black Bay, the Advisor is actually Tudor's first serious foray into movement design. The alarm complication, which is far more sophisticated than something like a date, moon phase or GMT complication, was developed entirely by Tudor. Thus, this movement, which is based on the excellent ETA 2892, has a substantial in-house character to it. While it remains exclusive even within Tudor, it can also be seen from the historical perspective as the beginning of Tudor as a manufacture, which it appears to be transitioning to.
For all of these wonderful historical and horological traits, my favorite aspect of the watch is simply how it looks. As I've said before, I like basically two kinds of watches: the super clean designs, as typified by Nomos or Grand Seiko, or the crazy complex ones, like you might find in my recent Zenith Chronomaster review. The Advisor obviously falls into the latter, albeit in a very reserved and subtle way. Yes, it's a dial brimming with features, but it doesn't overwhelm you in the way other busy watches might. It's a crazy complex watch that is intended to be worn every day. In fact, after my own North Flag, I'd say the Advisor is my favorite Tudor watch. Few other models within Tudor, or in the watch market generally, can be so compelling from this many different angles.