Tudor released an updated Ranger model, and it’s very different from the previous Tudor Heritage Ranger model. In the words of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, it’s not a stranger danger, it’s a stranger danger Ranger.

Tudor, in your choice of straps

How it is different

The old Heritage Ranger model was launched in 2014, and discontinued in 2020. Here’s how it differs from the new one.

Tudor Heritage Ranger

Introduced 2014

41mm, 48mm lug to lug, 12mm thin

ETA 2824-2

Stainless bracelet with straight end links, Fabric straps

2700 on straps, 2800 on bracelet

Dial with Tudor rose

Tudor Ranger

Introduced 2022

39mm, 12mm thin

Kenissi MT5402

Stainless bracelet with T-Fit quick adjustment, and fabric straps

2725 on straps, 3050 on bracelet

Dial with Tudor shield

Should you get the new Tudor Ranger?

The original Tudor Ranger was a 34mm watch. Rolex Explorer was initially a 36mm watch that grew to 39mm, and went back to 36mm in 2021.

If you think a 36mm watch is too small, and you missed out on the chance to own a 39mm Rolex Explorer, the Tudor Ranger might be for you.

the 34mm classic next to the new 39mm Ranger

How’s it different from a 39mm Explorer?

The 214270 39mm Rolex Explorer ended production in 2021. It had curved polished sides to the case, lugs that tapered in thickness toward the pointed ends of the lugs, a smaller 6mm crown, and a bracelet without a quick-adjust clasp. (Rolex would have used either a glide-lock or easy-link clasp if they had given it a quick adjustable clasp.)

The 39mm 79950 Tudor Ranger has flat slab sides, a larger crown, and lugs that remain mostly flat until curving to become the pointed ends of the lugs. The bracelet uses the Tudor T-Fit adjustable clasp system that was used on the Black Bay Bronze and Black Bay Pro GMT watches.

Flat brushed sides that are tall with a short taper for the point of the lug

The 39mm Explorer isn’t made anymore. If you want one, and that’s your size, Tudor hopes you’ll consider this watch. If you want the 36mm and aren’t going for the new Explorer, They’d like you to look at the Black Bay 36. In either case, as far as Tudor’s concerned, they have a watch that should meet your needs.

Where Tudor goes astray

It’s time to talk about Tudor’s use of typography. Fonts can make or break a dial. For example, It’s easy to tell when Roger Dubuis uses Times New Roman on a 18,000 USD watch.

It’s easy to see it when Jaeger LeCoultre does the same on their moonphase watch. And once you see it, you can’t un-see it.

The fonts you choose when making a dial contribute to the quality of the dial. They can make or break the design. Many old watch fonts were custom made, and weren’t even internally consistent, having different forms for J or G, different 3 depending on whether it’s large or small, and all kinds of variations besides.

What does Tudor use? The brand name is set in a serif font. The rest of the text? Arial. Arial was the knock-off clone that Microsoft made when they didn’t want to license Helvetica from Linotype. Helvetica was a very clean Swiss font developed by Haas Foundry in the 50s. It dominated design in the 70s.

I made this handy image. You can see that the R extends from closer to the spine in Arial.

Here’s how the R looks on a 1978 Tudor 90800.

1978 Tudor 90800 – ROTOR is more Helvetica-like

Arial is generally regarded as a cheap knock-off Helvetica. It’s used for GENEVE, RANGER, and SWISS MADE on the dial. It is more than a little sad that a brand that prizes itself on authenticity uses Microsoft’s standard system font from Windows 3.1 in 1992.

In Ranger, you can see that the R and G are Arial-like

Should they have used Helvetica? Not necessarily. Old watch fonts tended to be internally inconsistent, using different forms of G or J even on the same dial, and different forms of S (curved or a backwards Z that I like to call “snake S”. Sometimes, the S in small type would have a diagonal cut to the ends instead of the horizontal cut that Helvetica and Arial both give it. Don’t use system fonts.

This isn’t the only way to do things: Even older Tudor had serif fonts that were lovely.

Look at these lovely serifs!

The goal of typography here should be not to copy what was done in the past, but to make a modern Tudor that pays homage to the past while using the greater precision and quality available today.

My greater point is, this is a Tudor. It should be better. Tudor, if you’re listening, I am available for hire.

Should you get the Tudor Ranger?

If you like the look of it, the size feels right to you, and you’re already planning on spending about 3000 USD, this could be your watch. Without a doubt, the Ranger has history, and is a watch worth wearing. Find out more at http://tudorwatch.com

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