November 11 2018
For those that don’t know, Tudor is a sub-brand of Rolex that uses Swiss ETA movements versus in-house made Rolex movements. Of course, Tudor makes their own watches with unique designs compared to the Rolex models, but that is the principle difference and why Tudor watches are by and large less expensive. However, it is true that Rolex and Tudor components are made, for the most part, by the same people using a lot of the same machines.
Without a brand identity, it makes a lot of sense for them to extract as much value as possible out of their relationship with Rolex, given Rolex’s very high status and position in the US. Likewise, around the world, Rolex is typically held in very high regard. So, any association with Rolex is something that at least, on a salesperson-to-consumer basis, would likely be communicated as a positive feature.
Having said that, you aren’t likely to see any official Tudor advertising discussing their relationship with Rolex. The brand is more and more trying to stand on its own as a more entry-level luxury watch, rather than act in concert or as a stepping stone to a Rolex watch. The two brands are more and more trying to live side-by-side as opposed to Tudor being a “cheaper alternative to Rolex that is pretty much as good.”
Tudor strictly doesn’t need to discuss their relationship with Rolex, but what good would it do salespeople to keep silent on that? It is like if you are running for political office and your brother is the President. You personally might not state that in a speech, but you can be damn sure that everyone speaking on your behalf will. Tudor salespeople discuss the Rolex connection because it helps a larger audience of people appreciate the quality of the watches (which is very good), and because not offering the Rolex relationship detail doesn’t do any good.
Is there a risk of losing a Tudor sale to Rolex? Probably not, since Tudor watches are appreciably less expensive and feature totally unique designs at this point in their product history.