Founded in 1926, Tudor began life as a passion project of Hans Wilsdorf, one of the co-founders of Rolex. While Rolex had begun to grow in desirability, prestige, and price, it began to bother Wilsdorf that his watches were becoming inaccessible. To alleviate this problem, he devised a solution. By creating a sister brand that could pair Rolex externals with off-the-shelf internals, Wilsdorf created what was effectively a Rolex but with a more affordable price. With this mission to produce watches for the everyday man, Tudor continued to grow alongside Rolex and offer watches closely linked to Rolex's offering.
Following the adoption of Rolex's Oyster case and automatic movements during the '40s, Tudor began to venture into tool watch territory like dive watches - where they found great success, and eventually chronographs, just like the Monte Carlo “Homeplate” ref. 7032 that we have here. Launched in the early 1970s as Tudor’s first chronograph, the Tudor Monte Carlo has evolved into one of Tudor's most recognizable models thanks to its unique aesthetic and similarities to its older sibling, the Rolex Daytona. With Tudor becoming an increasingly independent brand, these vintage models have experienced a surge in popularity over the last few years as collectors begin to appreciate them for what they are as unique timepieces that deserve to be enjoyed without comparison to their big brother brand.
Built from Rolex parts, it is no surprise that the Monte Carlo ref. 7032 is an incredibly robust timepiece, even considering its age - with some modern creature comforts built into its design. Featuring a trip-lock Rolex crown, substantial squared-off crown guards, screw-down pushers, and stainless steel tachymeter-engraved bezel, the Monte Carlo can withstand daily wear and tear much unlike the fragile chronographs from its period. Featuring a 39mm stainless steel case, it carries the wrist presence and substance to fit modern tastes perfectly. However, thanks to its aesthetic, it features a vintage charm often searched for by brands and collectors alike, as demonstrated by the success of the countless re-editions we have had in recent years.
With value at the heart of Tudor's mission, the Monte Carlo ref. 7032, much like every other Tudor, features a third-party movement, the manual-wind Valjoux cal. 7734. Featuring a running seconds subdial at 9 o'clock and a 45-minute subdial at 3 o'clock, this robust cam-level chronograph movement provided utility and a visual break from the Daytona's triple register design. Furthermore, with a date aperture at 6 o'clock as highlighted by its cyclops lens, the Monte Carlo forges its own identity on the wrist rather confidently, highlighting its bold aesthetic and unique design.
Perhaps the Monte Carlo's most unique aspect is its dial; with its "Monte Carlo" nickname inspired by its visual similarities to a roulette wheel, the Monte Carlo's dial injects personality and color into the timepiece with precision and accuracy. A calculated aesthetic, the Monte Carlo's dial uses color in a helpful fashion while also providing a unique character to the timepiece overall. While the Monte Carlo’s nickname is used throughout the entire collection, the “Homeplate” nickname used for the ref. 7032 is exclusive to it, and the ref. 7031 due to their baseball homeplate-shaped hour markers.
Offered in exquisite condition, the example we have here is the rare black dial variant. Tudor experimented with both black and grey dials during early production before deciding on grey for the rest of Monte Carlo’s production. As such, black dial examples are incredibly scarce. With its original oyster bracelet, beautiful black dial, and stunning steel bezel, this Tudor Monte Carlo “Homeplate” ref. 7032 will make for an excellent addition to any discerning timepiece enthusiast’s collection.