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Why does anyone buy a Tudor?

November 11 2018

Well, I will tell you why. They are very fine watches and they tell the time remarkably well just like there Rolex brothers..The Tudor line goes back to the 1920s where they were mainly sold in Canada and Europe. Rolex or Tudor watches were not sold in the USA then. It was very much later that the Rolex brand arrived for sale in the USA. Hans Wilsdorf first opened Tudor watch to world wide production in 1946. And one of the main reasons why he chose the brand name Tudor was simply to pay tribute to the Tudor history period of old England. 

The Tudor line prior to around 1990 was all Rolex except for movement. Tudor watches are made by Rolex. The major difference between a Tudor and a Rolex is that Rolex contracted the manufacturing of the movement out to a 3rd party manufacturer (ETA in 95% of them) much like Rolex did with there chrongraphs before 2000. They used ETA Valoux and Zenith movements. The ETA movements were made to Rolex's specifications and signed Tudor. This movement was then sent to Rolex where it was assembled into a watch with all Rolex remaining parts (Rolex case, bezel, strap or bracelet, dial, crystal, crown, and seals, etc.). These parts were the same parts used in the Rolex line of watches. The Tudor movements are high grade 17, 21, 25, or 26 jewel Automatic or Manual movements which when correctly cleaned, timed, and oiled, will keep time almost as well as any normal Rolex would but might need more regulation over the years.

The case screw backs were engraved original oyster case by Rolex on all the oyster models. In the gold models Tudor uses genuine solid gold Rolex bezels and crown caps, but their bracelets are normally only gold filled,to reduce the cost while Rolex uses solid gold in their bracelets.The French Navy (among others) opted for the Tudor Submariner,instead of the Rolex Sub.
The French Navy demanded rigorous testing and tested several brands These watches were tested to carefully calibrated abusive tests in an attempt to destroy them to see how much abuse it could take before losing accuracy or malfunctioning. After testing they choose the Tudor and the only thing the French navy didn't order was the Oyster bracelet. They chose a nylon strap because it would be much more easy to change, and easily replaced if broken. And today the only step down in quality with Tudor watches in general is the price. The main difference between a Rolex Sub and say a Tudor Sub is they used a top range Chronometer grade ETA a first class all in-house built movement but not Rolex made, and in watches like the Tudor Prince they used a light Oyster bracelet, on Subs they used the heavy Oyster bracelet. Today the Tudor line has quite a heritage with Hans Wilsdorf the founder of Rolex.

In today's market quite a few vintage Tudor watches command higher prices than there Rolex brothers. The same could be said for Rolex. Many of the most collectible Rolexes do not have a Rolex made movement but ones from ETA Valjoux and Zenith .The Tudor line is still made in the same, now highly automated, factory as Rolex. Tudor is still a very important part of the Rolex history and are great watches in there own right.