Tudor: The Watch Brand You Need to Know

If you’re currently into the watch scene, you would notice that Tudor is gaining a surge in popularity – and with good reason. The brand has always been known as Rolex’s little brother (more on that later), but it has long proven itself as a forward-thinking watch brand.
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Get to know Tudor through a bit of its history and it’s very best models:
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The Rolex Connection

Tudor was founded by the same visionary that created Rolex – Hans Wilsdorf.

The name Tudor was registered under Wilsdorf as early as 1926; but their first watches, Art Deco-type in design, first hit the market in 1932. It wasn’t until 1946 that Wilsdorf created Montres Tudor S.A. with a clear vision: to offer the same quality of Rolex watches, at more modest prices.

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Tudor Submariner Vintage

Hans Wilsdorf bestowed upon Tudor two of Rolex’s exclusive and most-important elements – the Oyster case and the self-winding movement.

Wilsdorf was bent on meeting this vision, that he bestowed two very important elements of the Rolex brand to Tudor – the Oyster case and the self-winding ‘rotor’ movement.

Many of the watches they have released until the turn of the century – such as the Tudor Submariner – were actually indistinguishable aside from the logo. The only difference is that Tudor ran on movements from renowned Swiss movement manufacturer ETA SA, while Rolex ran on in-house movements.

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Tudor Comes Into Its Own
Many people still think of Tudor as simply Rolex’s less-expensive counterpart; but Tudor has its own achievements.
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  • Tudor was a brand used by military organizations. Because of its outstanding durability, Tudor became the official timepiece of the Jamaican Defense Force, Canadian Navy, and United States Navy. France’s Marine Nationale also used Tudor divers throughout the 20th century, and even assisted in its development.
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A Tudor Heritage Chronograph, featuring the “Monte Carlo” dial from the 1970s, inspired by chips of a casino roulette.
  • Tudor has grown to include adventurous designs. Compared to Rolex designs which are more conservative and evolve over many years, Tudor’s designs are more colorful, eye-catching, and unlike any other Swiss brand.
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These prove that while Tudor may have been conceived as a more attainable “Rolex”, it still comes with a very fine pedigree.
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TUDOR’S MOST POPULAR MODELS
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VINTAGE MODELS The vintage models of Tudor were obviously Rolex-inspired, but this only strengthened Hans Wildorf’s endorsement and belief in the product. While they used to be thought of as cheaper alternatives to Rolex, many collectors now seek out vintage Tudors specifically.
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Tudor Oyster Prince (1952 -) 
The Tudor Prince was launched with a groundbreaking advertisement for its time. Instead of just featuring the watch, it showed the watch being used in extreme conditions – on the wrists of miners and construction workers – to help provide proof of its durability.
Tudor Submariner
Tudor Submariner (1954 – 1999)
Launched just a few months after the Rolex Submariner, the Tudor Submariner was a cost-effective yet equally durable option to the former. It was also more diversified – it came in varying sizes, a blue dial version, and in some models, a “snowflake” hand.
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MODERN MODELS In 2009, Tudor began a major product relaunch, with new product lines that harked back to their illustrious history. These are the models that helped to finally establish Tudor as an independent watchmaker:
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Tudor Heritage Chronograph
Tudor Heritage Chronograph (2010)
This became one of the most-talked about and welcomed launches in recent years, mainly because no one expected anything new from Tudor at this point. The Heritage Chronograph is a very distinct design, with the kaleidoscopic “Monte-Carlo” dial, which pays homage to the Tudor chronographs from the 1970s.
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Tudor Heritage Black Bay
Tudor Heritage Black Bay (2012)
This is currently Tudor’s most popular model; and one that reasserted the brand’s place in the luxury sports watch arena. A tribute to the Tudor Submariners from the 1950s – 1970s, it combined several visual elements such as the “Big Crown” and snowflake hands. It first came in a burgundy color, which was often used at Tudor in the 90s, then it was followed by a black and a midnight blue version.
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Tudor Pelagos
Tudor  Pelagos (2011)
The Tudor Pelagos is a modern diver and tool watch that uses visual cues from Tudor heritage models, but is very much a new design. To date, it’s the only titanium watch in the Tudor (or even Rolex) family and is decidedly more sporty than classic.
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Tudor Fastrider
Tudor  Fastrider (2011)
In addition to their vintage-inspired pieces, Tudor also came out with this modern toolwatch. Born from a collaboration between Tudor and Italian motorcycle brand Ducati, it’s a utility-oriented chronograph with a very sporty and technical look.

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SEE MORE OF THE WATCHES IN OUR VIDEO:

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PHOTO CREDITS: Tudor Oyster Prince from ryouhinkaikannara on Instagram.
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