Tudor, Tudor, and Tudor again. Everywhere the name can be found from this Rolex offshoot. It is the second sprout rising out of Wilsdorf’s creative empire. Hardly any other manufacturers tactfully succeed in capturing the essence of days long past while delicately transfer it to the present day. Especially, without appearing to be old fashioned. Even Oyster models with simpler movements sell like hotcakes. Just as in the beginning, the product portfolio is rather thin and designs are retro-inspired. It dominates with only a handful of models e.g. The Heritage Black Bay, the Pelagos, the Grantour, and the Heritage Chrono. Tudor’s motto is therefore: Oeuvre from Rolex, interpret anew. Tudor places a profound significance on continuity, while they often choose a very direct, almost personal approach. Today, the model line-up no longer carries the names of Submariner or Oyster, conveying that the brand Tudor stepped out of Rolex’s shadow a long time ago. That’s not all either. In 2015, the first in-house developed calibre began its service. From this point forward, it has been equipped in the Pelagos and the new North Flag.
Heritage Black Bay
The Black Bay is a genuine success story and influences the vintage inspired designs of other manufacturers. The original version with a Bordeaux red bezel is further complemented by a dark blue colour style. All models also have a goodie in every delivery taking on the form of an additional NATO armband made out of textile.
Named after the Greek word for ocean, the Pelagos is, alongside the Black Bay, the second diver’s watch that pays homage to Rolex’ and Tudor’s water sports heritage. In comparison with the Black Bay, it is yet more of a tool watch, as it features a helium exhaust valve and can withstand a maximal depth of up to 500 metres.
The Grantour with its thin indexes and a more reserved black colour regiment is a classic timepiece in Tudor’s program. At the same time, the Grantour has more flavour of the modern times and less of the retro than some of its contemporaries. The Grantour is available as a three handed and chronograph watch. A Fly-Back chronograph has a great value for money, with a price tag of roughly 4,000 EUR.
With its orange coloured centralised second hand and its almost perfectly square-shaped applied indexes, the Tudor Heritage Chrono is exactly what a sporty chronograph in a 70’s design should look like. The Heritage Chrono comes in blue and black and with a secondary bracelet.
Tudor broken down in numbers
6: 6 decades savior faire for diving watches
Even more so than Rolex, Tudor principally focuses on the production of tool watches. While Rolex has an innumerable amount of models in gold or two colour variations, Tudor cases are mainly composed of steel. Next to chronographs, diving watches are also at the centre of attention. The Heritage Black Bay and the Pelagos, two of the most outstanding diver models, were eventually amalgamated into the series. Tudor can rely on six good decades of know-how in the construction of high grade diver’s watches.
4: A four sided element of design
The connection to the Submariner is also reflected in the designs of the new Tudor diving models Pelagos and Black Bay. Both the Pelagos and the Heritage tote the famous hour hand of the Tudor Submariner Snowflake. This has, in contrast to the classic lollipop pointer of the Submariner, a lume spot in a rectangular form.
70: 70 hours of power reserve
In 2015, the first Tudor inhouse movement, named MT5612, was introduced. It has a power reserve of up to 70 hours and is ready for action in the new Pelagos and North Flag pieces.
4: A fourth hand to configure the wake-up time
Tudor has added a watch to its collection, the Heritage Advisor, equipped with a mechanical alarm which is intended as an alternative to the market concurrence from Jaeger-Le Coultre and Vulcain.
2: 2 motorised wheels
In close cooperation with Ducati, Tudor created the Fastrider. The Heritage Chrono, the Grantour Chrono, as well as another chronograph model are predominantly geared towards racing enthusiasts. The casing of the Fastrider Black Shield is sealed in 100% ceramic monoblock which is remarkably surprising considering its price range.
A Chronology of Tudor
1946: Hans Wilsdorf founds Tudor as a secondary brand to Rolex that follows a price differentiated corporate strategy.
1952: The Tudor Oyster Prince comes out on the market.
1954: The Tudor Prince Submariner with a water resistance of 100 to 200 metres is launched in two variations. The Prince is later removed from the title.
1960: Tudor uses the movement ETA SA and doesn’t fall back on using in-house developed Rolex calibres anymore.
1971: Tudor constructs its own bracelets that are signed by Tudor.
1990: Tudor starts using its very own cases.
2012: The Black Bay and Pelago models are presented to the public.
2013: After a 10 year break, Tudor starts selling its watches again in the United States.
2015: Tudor presents its first movement. It is incorporated into the new generation of Pelagos and the recently launched North Flag.
2015: Tudor presents its new Black Bay with a black dial that serves as a reminder of the relationship with the Tudor Submariner in the snowflake variation.