When I think of Tudor two things immediately come to my mind. The first one being Rolex-inspired design and the iconic snowflake watch hands. This design allows the watch hands to hold more lume which results in better visibility for divers underwater. The reliability of the Tudor watches can be proved by the fact that their watches were used by US Navy and the French Navy (Marine Nationale française).
However, there are some Rolex watch fans out there who just dislike Tudor because of its Rolex-inspired design. Now if you are wondering how come Tudor watches are allowed to use Rolex designs then you are asking the right question. To answer this and many other questions pertaining to Tudor luxury Swiss watch brand, I have written this Tudor watches review guide.
Now coming to answer the question of why Tudor and Rolex share similar looks, we need to discuss the history of Tudor first. But if you already know the answer to that question then feel free to use the quick links below to jump to the next section.
Quick Links To The Specific Parts Of The Article:
- History Of Tudor Watches
- Are Tudor Watches Made By Rolex?
- Tudor Watch Series Review
- Where To Buy Tudor Watches?
- How To Service Tudor Watches?
History Of Tudor Watches
Tudor brand started in 1926 when it was registered by “Veuve de Philippe Huther” under the direction of Hans Wilsdorf. Yes, the very same person who founded Rolex. In 1936, Hans Wilsdorf took over the company but he didn’t give the name to the brand until 1946.
Now if you are wondering why would Hans Wilsdorf start another brand after creating a brand like Rolex then allow me to answer that question with his quote.
Today Tudor is owned and operated by Hans Wilsdorf Foundation. It was created by Hans Wilsdorf after the death of his wife and since he had no kids all the profits go to the foundation. Over the years, the foundation has been donating money to various charities, cultural programs, in the field of art & science, and a lot more.
Are Tudor Watches Made By Rolex?
No, but during the early days of Tudor, the brand used the off-the-shelf Rolex parts to make its own watches. And later it officially started using Rolex cases, parts, and movements to make its watches. In 1958, the brand launched its first dive watch, Tudor Submariner which offered water resistance up to 200m. Tudor’s iconic snowflake watch hands and big crown designs were introduced in the very same line-up of the watch.
However, in the early 2000s, Tudor closed its operation in the US and European markets due to heavy losses. In 2009 company re-launched itself and made some changes to the brand and its watches.
One of the most notable changes was focusing on its own designs such as snowflake watch hands and Tudor crown. The next milestone for the brand came around 2017 when it started using its in-house movement for its watches.
Being a sister company of Rolex, Tudor uses some parts like cases made by the very same suppliers of Rolex. But it is safe to assume that Tudor is not made by Rolex. In fact, an argument can be made that ever since the re-launch of Tudor, it’s trying to distance itself from Rolex and is working on changing its, “poor man’s Rolex” identity.
Today Tudor watches come with their own movement, use high-quality material, and even have their own factory for making watches. Not to mention the fact that most of their watches use customized movement from ETA SA. Let’s discuss some of the well-known watch line-ups from them.
Tudor Watch Series Review
Tudor Submariner Collection – Discontinued No Longer Available
Tudor Submariner was one of the most popular watches that Tudor produced during the early 50s and 60s. Those watches featured various commonalities with Rolex watches of the time as they used various watch parts of Rolex. The most prominent ones being Rolex cases and Mercedes watch hands.
The idea behind this watch was to create a watch that offered the same capabilities as Rolex at a reasonable price. Future models made various improvements over the first iteration, and the last Submariner was launched in 1995.
Tudor Black Bay Collection
Tudor Black Bay is considered to be a direct successor to Tudor’s Submariner watch collection by some watch enthusiasts. The watch case, bezel, and other aesthetics seem to be inspired by the Submariner watches. However, few notable changes such as Snowflake watch hands and a bigger crown give it a unique identity of its own.
Tudor Black Bay comes with the MT5602 Caliber movement made by Tudor themselves. This movement offers 70 hours of power reserve and is COSC certified for its performance. Moreover, it also meets the ISO standard for water resistance making it suitable for dive sessions.
Many other watches have been added to the collection since the launch, Black Bay Chrono, Black Bay Fifty-Eight, Black Bay Bronze, Black Bay P01, and more.
Black Bay Vs Rolex Submariner
Given that Tudor Black Bay Watches takes inspiration from the Rolex watches, some comparisons are to be expected. The most common one is the Black Bay watch vs Rolex Submariner. And, picking a winner is no easy task as while these watches may share similar looks but couldn’t be far apart from each other.
Initially, Rolex watches used to have an edge over Tudor as Rolex used its own in-house watch movement whereas Tudor sourced movement for its watches. However, that argument no longer holds water as they have started making their own watch movement. They might not be Rolex but they aren’t a slouch either.
Quality of material that is used to make Tudor watches have improved considerably. However, it’s still nowhere near close to the Rolex ceramic dial, 914L steel, and gorgeous finish that Rolex watches have. To be fair to Tudor fans, they do have an argument when they state, Tudor’s build quality is intentionally kept lower to avoid upsetting the bigger brother.
Now, why are we even comparing the brands if Rolex is arguably the better one in key areas? The reason for that is you can get a Tudor watch at almost half the price of a Rolex with similar to no performance loss. To better compete, Tudor now also offers 5 years warranty making it on par with Rolex for after-sales servicing.
To conclude, I would obviously say that Tudor can’t match the glamour Rolex offers but they can definitely be a good value for money watch. But, if you are looking for investing your money in a watch only to recoup it later then Rolex will be a better choice.
Tudor North Flag Collection
Just like Submariner, another watch made by Tudor during its early days was the Oyster Prince series. These watches featured a Rolex’s Oyster case and were very durable. That’s why they were used by British Royal Navy when they went to Greenland for research.
Tudor North Flag Collection is a more modern and sporty-looking watch collection from Tudor that takes Inspiration from the Oyster Prince watch collection. In fact, the name itself is a homage to the expedition trip to the north pole.
The watch was available for sale for a limited period of time only and is now discontinued. It featured Tudor’s in-house movement which offered a 70-hour power reserve. Along with that, you got a power reserve indicator, date function, and good looks.
Tudor Pelagos Collection
If you like luxury watches that push the envelope in terms of build quality then you are gonna love Tudor’s Pelagos collection. This watch features an all-titanium body as both the strap and the case of the watch are made of titanium. Also, technically this is the first watch from Rolex or its sister brand to feature titanium on the watch.
Besides looks, the watch delivers on the performance front as well as it’s also a dive watch. However, what sets it apart from other dive watches is the helium escape valve which gives it the ability to go up to 500m underwater.
The watch uses Tudor Calibre MT5612 which offers a 70-hour power reserve. Plus, it has a bi-directional rotator system that ensures that your watch makes the most of your hand movements.
It will be the perfect luxury watch for divers and its wide Snowflake watch would ensure legibility underwater during dive sessions.
Tudor Pelagos Vs Tudor Black Bay
Black Bay watch series is one of the most popular from Tudor so without a doubt comparisons are bound to happen with the Pelagos line-up. First and foremost, the Black Bay watch collection is very big compared to the Pelagos watch collection.
For instance, at the time of writing, there are 3 Pelagos models being sold by Tudor. On the other hand, the Black bay collection has more than 8 different subcategories under its umbrella bringing the total tally to 30 plus watches. So it isn’t wrong to say that the Pelagos is more of a tool watch for hardcore divers.
Performance-wise both the watches are the same and offer very similar performance. In fact, Black Bay Steel comes with the same watch movement MT5612 used in Pelagos watches.
One area where Pelagos beats Black Bay is the build quality. As a matter of fact, Pealgos is the first watch from Tudor that uses titanium to make the case, bezel, and strap. I am not implying that Rolex watches aren’t as good as Tudor but no watch even from Rolex to this date has been made of titanium material. So Pelagos in itself is a bold move from the brand and cements its image as a brand that is no longer content playing the second fiddle to Rolex.
Tudor Heritage Chronograph
If watches with chronograph complications are what you desire then Tudor Heritage Chronograph may interest you. These watches take inspiration from chronograph watches made by Tudor in the 70s. They have the main dial and two sub-dials for the chronograph function.
Heritage chronograph watch lineup is also available with a fabric strap and is the first model from Tudor that offered an additional fabric strap. You can check out all the models available under the Tudor Heritage collection by clicking the button below.
Where To Buy Tudor Watches?
You can get a Tudor watch for yourself from the nearest Tudor authorized retailer near you. Head on to the Tudor Website, to locate a Tudor retailer or Boutique available in your country.
Tudor’s website also provides you with the address, opening hours, and location of the store to make buying the watch more convenient. You also have an option to buy a Tudor watch from Amazon. If you do end up buying from a third-party seller from Amazon then ensure that you get all the documents with the watch.
Documents such as the original box, warranty card, and instruction manual are very important to ensure the authenticity of the watch.
How To Service Tudor Watches?
You can get your Tudor watches serviced from an authorized Tudor service center. Once experts at Tudor have serviced your watch, you will also get a 2-year service warranty with it. So a periodic servicing would ensure that you can keep the watch with you for a very long time.
Tudor has published an in-depth guide on their website which I highly recommend checking out by clicking here. The guide has all the information relating to how to service the watch, identify the authenticity of the watch, and a lot more.
You can also check out the official Tudor’s YouTube playlist to see how to maintain your watch. There are a total of 12 videos showcasing how to use the alarm, GMT, bezel, set time, clean the watch, and more. If you already own a Tudor watch then I recommend checking them out.
Hopefully, you are satisfied with all the information presented in the article and you can learn more by checking out Tudor Saga App. It is specially made by Tudor for watch enthusiasts like you and has a history of Tudor watches, models, origins of watches, and more. You can install the Tudor Saga app on both Android and iOS devices.
Are Tudor Watches Any Good?
Tudor watches offer the best price to performance ratio when it comes to being a luxury watch brand. So, yes without a doubt Tudor watches are good and definitely worth checking out.
Is Tudor Considered A Luxury Watch?
Yes, without a doubt Tudor is a luxury brand, while it might not be as expensive as Rolex but it isn't dirt cheap either. For the high price tag, you get good build quality, swiss-made movement, and gorgeous looks.
Are Tudor Watches Part Of Rolex?
Tudor is owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation which also owns the Rolex brand which makes Tudor a sister company to Rolex.
Do Tudor Watches Use Rolex's Movement?
In the early days, Tudor did use Rolex's watch movement and later switched to Swiss ETA. However, slowly Tudor has transitioned away from Swiss ETA watch movements to its own in-house developed watch movement.