Editor’s note: This Hands-on Review of the Tudor Ranger 2022 has been photographed with the assistance of the Tudor Boutique by The Hour Glass in Sydney. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is not a sponsored post.
What is it
The new Tudor Ranger 2022 features a 39mm diameter and 11.8mm thick steel case that houses the Manufacture Calibre MT5402. This new reference 79950 Ranger is an evolution of the classic Ranger models, all featuring similar 3-6-9-12 or 3-6-9 dial layouts. It also features similar aesthetics to the now discontinued ref. 79910 Heritage Ranger but offer an upgrade in pretty much every aspect.
The Tudor Ranger gets an update this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the British North Greenland Expedition. It also fills in the void left by Rolex’s 39mm Explorer being discontinued last year.
Tudor Boutique by The Hour Glass, 147 King St, Sydney, (02) 8608 2288
Who Is The Tudor Ranger 2022 For
The entry level model is only 3’730 AUD (with the steel bracelet version we are reviewing today retailing for 4’150). The Tudor Ranger 2022 is powered by the same movement that the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is supercharged by. The entry price for that model is 4’730 AUD. That’a 1k premium for a diver instead of a field watch. The Tudor Ranger 2022 is best for anyone interested in getting into Swiss watches, is not interested in divers or dress watches, and wants a watch that will last them a long time, can take the beating, is very legible, and is under-the-radar luxury.
Basic Specs Of The Tudor Ranger 2022
The 79950 Tudor Ranger 2022 features the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 which is the same movement by Kenissi found in the Tudor BB58 watches. This 26mm diameter and 4.99mm thick movement features a variable inertia balance, a non-magnetic silicon balance spring, an open-worked (with satin-brushed and sand-blasted details) tungsten monobloc rotor, and bridges and mainplate with alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations. It beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), comprises 27 jewels, and offers an impressive 70-hour power reserve.
Beyond The Obvious
The late 1960s saw the watch market receive a lower-price alternative to the Rolex Explorer that was launched in 1953. The Tudor Ranger was simply a more affordable option to the premium tool field watch from a leading luxury brand. Through various iterations, the Tudor Ranger continued to be diversified within the catalogue. The late 80s saw the end of this run, but post-Tudor’s success and re-entry of sorts with the Black Bay line in 2014, the collection was revived with the Tudor Heritage Ranger. This larger 41mm version saw daylight for a few years, then got discontinued in 2020 to pave the way for the new Tudor Ranger 2022.
On the surface, both these references from 2014 and 2022 are black dialled watches with 3-6-9-12 printed dials and military-field vibes. Plain, simple, straightforward. No fluff, just business. But look closely, and mirroring the ethos of the older brother Rolex, the new Tudor Ranger 2022 is a very welcome evolution (and not a revolution) of the concept.
The 79910 Heritage Ranger featured a 41mm diameter and slightly thicker 12mm steel case with 48mm lug-to-lug spacing and 22mm lug interhorn spacing. It was powered by the ETA 2824 and the watch had 150m water resistance. The fairly thin lugs that had been on a diet gone wrong and the big 22mm spacing meant that the dial wore much bigger. It was after all a product of the 2000s when the bigger-the-better trend was booming.
In the recent couple of years, watches have started to taper down in sizing, and the immense success of the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight range with its 39mm diameter and Manufacture movements has played a great part in this. Enter the new 79950 Tudor Ranger 2022, which features a smaller 39mm diameter, smaller 47mm lug-to-lug spacing, minutely thinner 11.8mm case, and a more proportionate 20mm lug interhorn spacing.
As is proven with the Tudor BB58’s 39 x 12.5 x 47.2 x 20mm dimensions, the Tudor Ranger 2022 falls under the slim to medium wrist-friendly haven of watches that can be worn comfortably by a larger audience with varying wrist sizes. On my 16.25cm wrist, the Tudor Ranger 2022 sits very nicely, boldly enough to reveal the time under any lighting conditions but also not overpowering that someone can see a monster-truck strapped on my wrist from a distance.
Care to venture beyond the obvious, and there are a few more subtle changes to the new Tudor Ranger 2022 that elevate the wearability even more. The treatment of the lume is different – the Tudor Ranger 2022 is more flat, whereas the previous one had raised lume pips that in a way dated the timepiece. Many would argue that the older 79910 Heritage Ranger featured a very prominent red second’s hand along with smiley dial text at 6’o clock that brought in ‘more’ to the dial.
Personally, I appreciate the reduction of the text and the inclusion of the colour red only on the tip of the second’s hand. The dial of the 79950 Tudor Ranger 2022 is more understated, more minimalistic, and more in time with what Tudor wants to offer. The rose logo from the 2014 version is gone, making the new Tudor Ranger 2022 more in sync with their other modern releases. The bezel is now thicker, and the peripheral track is closer to the edge of the dial removing any negative spacing. The dial is also a slightly less dark matt black base on which the almost yellowish fauxtina indices sit very legibly. The case architecture and especially the lug design have also changed. So has the bracelet, and the T-clasp with micro-adjustment is very welcome.
If they were to include raised appliqué numerals and more text, it would in this reviewer’s opinion remove the field personality and begin to encroach on the Rolex Explorer territory. And that’s one thing I believe Rolex and Tudor won’t want. The 79950 Tudor Ranger 2022 is a well-evolved model that knows its place in the order of things, exhibiting subtle improvements and providing those with slim to medium-sized wrists with exceptional value for money — the more generic ETA 2824 is replaced with the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 which provides a better power reserve, and there is also COSC-certification with -2 and +4 seconds variation in its running when it is completely assembled — daily wearer.
Perfect Part Of The Jigsaw
I believe that the 79910 Heritage Ranger’s discontinuation two years ago was part of the bigger puzzle and a well-thought-out move by both brands.
Recently I stumbled upon a Tudor video on Youtube, by Kevin O’Leary and Teddy Baldassarre where they discuss Tudor’s new watches. I also read a lot of comments on forums saying that Tudor is no longer associated with Rolex besides the parent company connection and history. I would have to respectfully disagree with this sentiment. I think both brands are now even more intertwined than ever before. True, Tudor is no longer lurking in the shadows of its elder sibling and is a great brand in its own right. But long-term thinking and strategy have defined Rolex’s (and now Tudor’s) success for years. The move to discontinue the 39mm Rolex Explorer and launch the traditional 36mm version and then give fans a 39mm version the very next year but in their Tudor lineup with affordable (and attainable) pricing is sheer brilliance.
Take for instance a lot of the last couple of years’ releases, and look at them in conjunction with each other: we received a 36mm Datejust (dress watch), a 36mm Explorer (tool watch), a 36mm Explorer Two-tone (tool + elegant), a 39mm BB58 (tool watch filling in the size gap in Rolex’s catalogue), a 40mm Daytona, a 42mm Explorer II (bigger tool watch), a 39mm Tudor Ranger, and a 42mm Tudor GMT to counter Rolex’s 40mm Root-Beer.
This way diameters from 36 to 42 are covered, and those complaining about Rolex waitlists have suitable alternatives. And I admire this strategy: to provide something for every sort of watch enthusiast and collector. And this is what I respect about Tudor and Rolex the most; their consistency as a whole. If you treat them as a watch group, then compared to others — Richemont, Swatch, LVMH — they manage to out perform because of their well-defined strategies. Their designs are released to complement, not contradict.
Now that the 39mm Explorer is cancelled, the 79950 Tudor Ranger 2022 helps bridge that niche. This is what Tudor does really well, by working in sync with the Rolex catalogue. Tudor is no longer as much as a poor man’s Rolex but rather a perfect part of the jigsaw that completes the brands’ — both Rolex and Tudor — offerings. Both brands have the ability to work together forming a cohesive whole. They are now part of the same puzzle, the success of which eludes other brand groups.
Another thing Tudor does well is that it knows where to operate best in the market. It doesn’t try to punch above its weight, and never under-delivers. This idea of giving the customers what they want and expect is praiseworthy. They are currently ruling the under 5K AUD market, and despite Omega going up with their prices and Longines trying to catch up, Tudor presents itself as a formidable force to compete with both, leaving Rolex to continue its reign at the top of the sports watch market. Tudor buyers know that their money is well spent, and that they know what they are getting. The new Tudor Ranger 2022 starting at only 3’730 AUD subsequently becomes an excellent offering.
Tudor Ranger 2022 Value For Money – The Competitive Landscape
The 79950 Tudor Ranger 2022 sits quite uniquely, in terms of what it’s offering for the price it’s offering it at. On the lower end of the spectrum, the Hamilton Khaki Field watches are a very solid entry point for anyone interested in Swiss-made field watches. But the clean, clutter-free dial layout of 3-6-9-12 and nothing else is missing. So is the Rolex and Tudor branding.
One of the main alternatives I can think of are some of Sinn’s options: the Sinn 556A with similar measurements of 38.5mm x 11mm x 46mm retails for AUD 1’790. Sinn is a brand that I have a lot of respect for, and the Sinn 556A is a great offering, but why on earth would they ruin the dial symmetry with a date window at 4.30 is beyond me. Looks can be subjective, but it also does use the more generic Sellita SW200-1, that offers a much lower power reserve and is not COSC-certified. Then there is also the 2-year warranty versus the 5-year Tudor transferable guarantee (with no registration or periodic maintenance checks required). At less than half the price on a metal bracelet, the Sinn is an excellent alternative. But like not all things are equal, I wouldn’t call it the same as the Tudor Ranger 2022.
The Sinn 856 would be a closer match with 40mm x 11mm x 47.5mm x 20mm interhorn measurements and 2’980 AUD price tag. Like the Sinn 556A it again has a Sellita movement (SW300-1), a lower 3-year warranty, and that 4’o clock date window still looms like the grim reaper holding a chainsaw on my design sensibilities.
Another option could be the Bell & Ross V2-92 Black that retails for a higher 4’900 AUD. But that more competes with the Tudor BB58. There is also the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 retailing for 4’800 AUD but at 42mm and a square design, it wears way too big. And it still has the date window at 4.30. There is also the discontinued Bell & Ross BR V1-92 that retailed for 2’600 AUD with 38.5mm diameter case (11mm thickness and 46mm lug-to-lug spacing). This would the the closet B&R alternative to Tudor Ranger 2022, but it has the same Sellita SW300-1 movement as the Sinn 856.
Longines has some exceptional pilot’s watches which are tool watches alright but not quite field watches, and don’t offer the same aesthetic of 3-6-9-12. They are more pilot’s watches if I am being pedantic about it. The Longines Conquest L3.7188.8.131.52 retailing for only 1’900 AUD would be a great alternative with calibre L888 offering the similar 72-hour power reserve, but in person feels very different to the Tudor offering (measuring 41mm x 11.7mm). There are also the Longines Spirit 37 watches that are another great alternative, retailing for 3’600 AUD on a bracelet or 3’200 AUD on a leather strap and feature the same 100m water-resistance, smaller 37mm diameter and 11.7mm thick steel case with a lug-to-lug spacing of about 47mm and interhorn spacing of 19mm.
Towards the higher end offerings for tool field watches, there are the 40mm Omega Railmaster options or even some 36mm IWC watches (IW324010 with 36mm diameter costs 8’600 AUD). And these are all more pricey. My personal Audemars Piguet Millenary 15016ST is similar in aesthetics too, but is again expensive. The one watch I do feel beats the Tudor Ranger 2022 in most aspects is the limited edition 1957 Trilogy Omega Railmaster ref. 184.108.40.206.01.002. For slim wristed individuals, this was a beautiful offering. It featured a 38mm diameter, 12.7mm thickness, and 19mm lug interhorn spacing. But it cost a whopping 10’400 AUD, and when you factor in the price difference, the 79950 Tudor Ranger 2022 offering is exceptional value for money again.
That’s All Folks!
Tudor has a knack for getting things right. Case in point: the Tudor Ranger 2022. On the surface things may seem obviously straightforward, aka a 3-hander with 12, 3, 6, 9 marked on a plain ol’ black dial. Peel the layers and things get interesting.
The Tudor Ranger 2022 is a great value for money offering that is the perfect part of the bigger picture and ventures beyond the obvious horizon.
To find out more about the Tudor Ranger 2022 and other Tudor timepieces, please head to their website here, or visit the Tudor Boutique by The Hour Glass in Sydney. All images unless otherwise stated are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.