Disclaimer: This article is in no way sponsored by Tudor or any other entity. All opinions here are my own.
I picked this watch primarily because of how much I liked the ivory dial and the hint of red on this ‘special’ Tiger edition. I got into reading about the Hydronaut I by accident and the more I looked at it, the more I liked it – all its quirky design elements included.
The Hydronaut I or Ref. 89190 is a strange beast. This design roughly dates back to the late 90s/early 2000s right before Tudor briefly left the US market. This design was the successor to the Tudor Submariner, but didn’t really catch on like the Submariner did. Perhaps because there were plenty of Tudor Submariners available at that time for throw-away prices. But the Submariner case DNA is obvious in the Hydronaut I, and feels like an improvement in some ways. I love the lower center of mass on this watch because of its flat case back, and the recessed bezel is a great design choice too.
Tim Mosso reviewed one of these a few years ago and said that the bezel and crown action were similar to that of a modern Rolex Submariner.. and that got me excited! Those two aspects of the Submariner are what I believe Rolex does that most other brands cannot. And he wasn’t wrong. The Hydronaut has a Triplock crown, and a fantastic bezel experience that definitely feels like a modern Sub. Not identical, but almost all the way there.
These watches were released with many different dial and bezel combinations, and were offered on rubber strap and bracelet. And currently untouched by the insanity of the watch market, these watches still deliver an excellent experience for the money.
Tudor Hydronaut-I Tiger 89190:
- Price: $2500
- Movement: ETA2824-2
- WR: 200m
- Dimensions: 40.5mm (width) x 46.5mm (l2l) x 10.8mm (height)
- Bracelet: Included