They say accessories are the unspoken statement of one’s personality. Whether it is a pair of shades, a great hat, or a beautiful watch, people often look at these things first to get an idea of who you are.
If you’re the kind of person who takes pride in your timepieces, then you know that a watch is so much more than just a fashion statement; it’s an investment.
If you’re an avid fan of luxury timepieces, you’ve probably heard of the “budget Rolex,” or Tudor watches. Tudor watches are named budget Rolex because they are more affordable than their Rolex counterparts but share many of the same high-end features, and the Tudor brand itself is actually owned by Rolex.
Tudor watches are a great addition to any watch collection, whether you’re just starting out or have been collecting for years. If you’re looking for more elegant pieces to add to your collection, then Tudor watches should definitely be on your radar.
About Tudor Watches
Hailing from Geneva, Switzerland, Tudor became one of the highest-grossing watch brands globally. Competing with its sister brand, Rolex and Tudor came from the same watchmaker, Hans Wilsdorf. Wilsdorf has long thought of making first-class watches with a more modest price range compared to Rolex.
The history of Rolex goes all the way back to 1926, when Wilsdorf earned the right to use the brand name. Fast forward to 1932, the company released its very first watch, which is a simple rectangular dial watch with “Tudor” engravings on the face of the dial.
Some vintage Tudor pieces contain the word “Rolex,” which proves to be an effective marketing method. Rolex fans are surprised to see the famous brand in a less expensive wristwatch. However, following Tudor’s relaunch in the modern era, you won’t find any “Rolex” markings on any of its watches.
Throughout time, Tudor became a staple brand for many people. Initially, the brand marketed its watches to the military, professional divers, marines, US Navy SEALs, and the French Marine Nationale. Today, the market landscape changed for Tudor and has become widely available to the general market.
Is It Worth Investing in Tudor Watches?
As one of the biggest names in the watchmaking industry, investing in Tudor watches is always an excellent idea. Collectors of Tudor watches are always looking to buy rare and vintage Tudor timepieces. If you’re holding on to a vintage Tudor watch that you want to sell, you might get a pretty penny for it.
Here are some factors why you should consider buying and investing in vintage Tudor watches:
The market price for Tudor watches has increased significantly over the years. In addition, the resale value of Tudor wristwatches is also skyrocketing, making them an excellent investment for avid watch collectors.
Many people consider Tudor as an affordable option for Rolex. Although Tudor is not exactly cheap, the price point is still relatively lower compared to its sister brand. Because of this, Tudor watches are becoming increasingly popular among fans of luxury watches. This popularity will likely increase the value of Tudor watches in the future, and investing today will be the best thing you can do.
Supply and Demand
Like every popular brand of watches, Tudor produced some limited edition watches that collectors highly covet. The law of supply and demand dictates that an item’s rarity will result in a higher value, which is why vintage Tudor watches are worth a lot more than their contemporary counterparts.
What Vintage Tudor Watches Should You Look Out For?
Tudor watches are available in various styles, designs, and materials. However, not all Tudor watches are created equal. Some vintage Tudor watches are rarer than others and are worth more money.
Here are some of the most valuable vintage Tudor watches that you should keep an eye out for:
Tudor Submariner 76100
The Tudor Submariner is one of the most successful models produced by the company. True to its name, the Tudor Submariner was made to withstand even the deepest water pressure. The company explicitly made this watch to market to divers, swimmers, and enthusiasts.
One of the most famous Tudor references under this model is the Tudor Submariner 76100. Fans fall in love with the simple elegance and design practicality of this model. This model stands between Tudor 94110 and Tudor 79090 and is visually similar to the later model.
The distinct feature of this model is the “lollipop” hand that is visually distinct from the more common Mercedes-style hand. The lollipop hand is a white hour hand with a disc at the end, making it easy for divers to tell time even in murky waters, although it is not uncommon to find this discontinued style of handset missing on surviving examples.
The company steadily produced Tudor Submariner models from 1969 to 1999. As the company finished making this product line, they created 20 famous references, including the Tudor Submariner 76100.
Another well-known and historic Tudor watch is the Tudor Prince Oysterdate. The Tudor Oyster Prince series was one of the first Tudor models ever made and was launched from 1952 to 1957. Initially, this was made to help Tudor establish itself as a brand by incorporating features and designs from its sister brand, Rolex.
The “Oysterdate” branding is closely similar to Rolex’s “Datejust” branding, and this is not a coincidence. Tudor wanted to show the world that their watches were on par with Rolexes in terms of quality and craftsmanship.
The Tudor Oysterdate became highly successful and helped the brand establish itself in the market. The Tudor Prince Oysterdate is a simple yet elegant watch with a self-winding perpetual rotor function. Because of its attractive features, classic design, and rich history, the vintage Tudor Oysterdate is one of the most expensive Tudor watches today.
Tudor Big Block
Adding to the list of the most iconic product lines produced by Tudor is the Tudor Big Block. The Tudor Oysterdate Big Block was initially manufactured in 1976 and was in production until 1991. The Tudor Big Block is characterized by its large case size, which is why it got its name.
At the time of its release, the Tudor Big Block was one of the biggest watches Tudor ever made. Inspired by the success of the Tudor Prince Oysterdate, Tudor recreated the perpetual self-winding feature of the model but incorporated a thicker case to accommodate and improve the self-winding mechanics of the watch.
The Tudor Big Block produced several references, such as 9430/0, 9420/0, 79160, and 79170. This watch series is one of the most iconic and well-loved Tudor watches. Its design, features, and mechanics have made it a favorite among collectors and enthusiasts.
The Tudor Heritage Chrono is one of the most successful Tudor watches in recent years, although it’s technically a modern watch with vintage styling, rather than an actual vintage model. Inspired by the design of the vintage 70’s aesthetic of Tudor wristwatches, the Tudor Heritage Chrono was released in 2010 and quickly became a bestseller.
The Tudor Heritage Chrono is a modern take on the brand’s classic 1970s “Monte Carlo” chronograph design. The modern version features a 12-hour scale bezel, an Oyster-style Bracelet, and a self-winding movement. The combination of vintage design with modern features makes the Tudor Heritage Chrono an attractive watch for many collectors.
The current-production Tudor Ranger was made to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the British North Greenland Expedition. The British North Greenland Expedition was a scientific expedition led by Commander James Simpson from July 1952 to August 1954. The team made the expedition to study the Arctic environment and radio wave propagation.
The Tudor Ranger features a matte black dial with Arabic numerals and a 39 mm satin steel-case finish, making it look more powerful yet elegant and practical. The watch Tudor Calibre MT5402, a mechanical self-winding movement, powers the wristwatch’s movement.
The company marketed the Tudor Ranger as a “tool watch” pertaining to its design, durability, and functionality. They intended to sell this to people looking for a watch that they could wear under extreme conditions, and it faithfully reimagines the design of the original Tudor Ranger watch, just in a slightly larger size and with modern materials and a new in-house movement.
Tudor Black Bay
Last on our list is the Tudor Black Bay. Just like the Tudor Heritage Chrono, the Tudor Black Bay isn’t actually a vintage watch, but rather a vintage-inspired one. It exhibits the company’s technical expertise in creating durable diving watches, and the company markets this model as an essential wrist watch for divers and swimmers.
The Tudor Black Bay boasts a waterproof quality that can withstand up to 660ft underwater. It has a unidirectional bezel that allows divers to keep track of their dive time and a luminescence-coated dial for better legibility underwater. This diving watch is powered by the Tudor caliber MT5602-1U, a COSC-certified self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of about 70 hours.