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Tudor – An Overview

Although the Tudor brand name was registered in 1926, it was done by a prominent jeweller and watch dealer by the name of Veuve de Philippe Hüther. The watches were created with Tudor on the dial, sometimes even Rolex, Wilsdorf’s watch company would guarantee the quality of these pieces. In those early years, Tudor created…

Although the Tudor brand name was registered in 1926, it was done by a prominent jeweller and watch dealer by the name of Veuve de Philippe Hüther. The watches were created with Tudor on the dial, sometimes even Rolex, Wilsdorf’s watch company would guarantee the quality of these pieces. In those early years, Tudor created watches for both men and women, nothing like the watches we know from today’s Tudor collection. In 1936, Hans Wilsdorf received the brand name Tudor on his name from Veuve de Philippe Hüther but it isn’t until 1946 when he creates the ‘Montres Tudor S.A.’ company. A watch company on its own, to fulfil the need of watches with the same distribution and after-sales service as Rolex, but offered for a lower price. In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Tudor creates the Ranger (alternative for the Rolex Explorer), the Submariners and the chronograph models, often using the same cases, crowns and bracelets as the more expensive Rolex watches.

 

Reset

After a while, Tudor disappeared in a number of countries, and it wasn’t until a few years ago that Tudor is back on the horological map. After mainly flooding Asia with some of their more classic models, Tudor relaunched some of their successful models from the past: the Heritage Chrono, the Heritage Black Bay and the Ranger. Besides that, Tudor launched a successful modern interpretation of their diving models and called it Pelagos.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay 

With these new collections, Tudor quickly became a serious player on the watch market again. Tudor stepped out the shade of its big brother Rolex and has some very interesting value propositions. Using modern materials and, since the introduction of the North Flag collection, an in-house movement.

 

Manufacture Tudor Movements

Since 2015, Tudor introduced four different in-house calibres. The North Flag was introduced with Tudor’s MT5621, a self-winding movement with 70 hours of power reserve, quick set date and a power reserve indicator. Another date-feature movement is their MT5612 as used in the Tudor Pelagos. Time-only movements can be found in the Tudor Heritage Black Bay variations. The MT5602 is fitted to the Heritage Black Bay and Heritage Black Bay Dark while the MT5601 is used in the Heritage Black Bay Bronze (as it is slightly larger).

All movements have a frequency of 28,800 VPN and have a silicon balance spring. The variable inertia oscillator and balance spring are held in place by a double bridge (like Rolex movements have), to ensure its robustness and solid performance. Tudor can’t be part of Rolex when there is no attention for accuracy, so all movements have been chronometer-certified by the COSC (the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute).

 

Materials

Unlike Rolex, who relies on the conventional materials like stainless steel, gold, platinum or a combination of these materials, Tudor uses – besides stainless steel – also bronze, titanium and PVD coating.

Bronze

The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze is a 43mm divers piece that is slightly larger than its 41mm sister models in stainless steel and PVD coated steel. Bronze has been used by various other brands before, like Panerai, Anonimo and the Gérald Genta Gefica for example. In the same year when Oris introduced their Sixty-Five diver in bronze, Tudor also released their top selling Heritage Black Bay in bronze. Bronze is the material that reminds us of the diving helmets for example and has the tendency to quickly gain patina when wearing it on the wrist. However, due to the alloy with a high percentage of aluminium, the patina will only appear very subtle on your watch.

 Titanium

Originally from the aerospace and aircraft industry, titanium has been used for different purposes over the last decades. One of them is in luxury watches. Titanium is lightweight and stronger than stainless steel. It does scratch (and these are more difficult to remove from titanium than from steel), but you could say that this will add only character to the watch. The Pelagos is the first Tudor watch to be made of titanium. Rolex has been using titanium for the case back of the Deepsea Sea-Dweller for example but never made a full watch out of titanium.

The Tudor Pelagos Titanium – 25600TN

PVD Coating

There are different methods to create a black watch. There’s ceramics, carbon, DLC and PVD for example. DLC and PVD are treatments on stainless steel (or another metal) where carbon and ceramics are created entirely different. That doesn’t mean PVD and DLC aren’t strong or scratch resistant. If you look into your toolbox in the shed, you might find your screwdrivers and other sharp tools being (black) coated by PVD. It is that hard! The Heritage Black Bay Dark is completely black, including the bracelet, case and winding crown.

Ceramics

Tudor also uses ceramics, but not for their Heritage collection (yet). In one of their other collections, ceramics is being used for the Fastrider Black Shield chronographs. Created from one solid piece of ceramic, the Fastrider Black Shield chronographs features entirely matt finishes.

 

Straps and bracelets

Tudor was one of the first brands to deliver NATO-like straps with their watches. Not the cheap 10GBP straps you can find about anywhere, but high-quality hand-woven fabric straps. Not to be confused with the real NATO straps, as these Tudor fabric straps are fitted with regular straps. So no thick and bulky unit on your wrist as there is no double layer needed due to the spring bars that actually go through the fabric strap. These straps are among the best out there. The fabric straps are produced according to a traditional technique called “Jacquard” and are produced by a century-old family business located in the St-Etienne region of France.

Tudor also delivers leather straps with their watches, with a vintage look and feel by using stressed leather – thick high-quality straps that perfectly match the Heritage collection.

In the past, Tudor used Rolex Oyster bracelets for their watches. They don’t do that anymore, but the new Oyster-like bracelets by Tudor are very comfortable and well-made. For their Heritage Black Bay, they recently introduced a bracelet that comes even closer to the original 1950s and 1960s bracelets, due to the use of rivets.

As a luxury watch shop, we can source for you any Tudor watch and watches from many other luxury brands. You can always check if we have the watch you want in stock, or let us order it for you, so you could get it at the best possible price.