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03/29/2022
 2 minutes

Tudor: The Poor Man’s Rolex or a Respected Watch Brand?

By Thomas Hendricks
03-Tudor-Magazin 2-1
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In 1946, Rolex’s founder Hans Wilsdorf wanted to make a more accessible version of the crown brand and, thus, Tudor was born. Today, Tudor has earned a devoted following of its own and is known for offering a high level of build quality at a more accessible price point. You can recognize Tudor diving watches by the brand’s signature “snowflake” hour hand. These watches were once even the timepiece of choice of the French Navy. 

Does Tudor use in-house or Rolex movements?

Unlike Rolex, Tudor movements are made primarily by third-party suppliers, such as ETA. Over the years, Tudor has developed more in-house calibers and has experimented with new materials like titanium for their incredibly durable Tudor Pelagos line. The movements are made by the Rolex group but are specifically for Tudor. So, that means you’re getting a Rolex-quality movement but a slightly more basic version. New Tudor watches are often some of the most highly-anticipated releases each year, and you can have them serviced by an authorized Rolex dealer.

The Tudor Pelagos is known for its high-quality movement.

Tudor: The Most Iconic Models

In recent years, one of the most widely-loved watches is the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight with its vintage aesthetics, 39-mm case, and in-house movement. What the Tudor BB58 offers in form, the Tudor Pelagos brings in function. Its titanium case makes the Pelagos surprisingly light for a watch with 500 m (1,640 ft) of water resistance.

On the vintage side, Tudor is famous for the Advisor model with a built-in alarm function, the Monte Carlo chronograph that sells for tens of thousands of dollars, and, of course, the Tudor Submariner with its rich military connections. If you’ve ever seen Mad Men, you’ll recognize the Tudor Oyster Prince “Tuxedo” from Roger Sterling’s wrist.

Is Tudor respected in the watch community?

True to its mission, Tudor watches sell for a few thousand dollars but last a lifetime. If you’re a watch enthusiast looking for a daily driver that doesn’t cost the price of a car, Tudor should be on your list. Select vintage models like the Tudor Monte Carlo or the Tudor Submariner sell for five-figure sums. Still, Tudor also offers modern equivalents of these watches at approachable prices for everyday collectors.  

The Tudor Submariner: An affordable alternative to the Rolex Submariner.

If you like tool watches, then I’m willing to bet you’d like Tudor. As its sister company Rolex grows more luxurious, Tudor is focused on delivering function-first timepieces that can take a beating. The brand has nurtured a strong following by offering a Rolex-level obsession with build quality for only a few thousand dollars. The watch community can be a cynical bunch, but Tudor is respected through and through.


About the Author

Thomas Hendricks

I didn’t grow up a watch guy, but a few years after graduating from university, I landed a job at the online publication Watchonista as a writer and marketer. “Welcome to the watch world,” my colleagues told me half-jokingly, “no one ever leaves!” Now at Chrono24, I work as a private client advisor, helping people find the perfect watch for major life moments.

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