The founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf, established Tudor based on the principle that he could create the reliability and dependability of a Rolex at a lower price. As a result, Tudor watches have the essence of Rolex designs. However, over the years, Tudor has developed its own unique approach to watchmaking. Tudor watches are great for those who desire the style and reliability of a Rolex without paying the lofty price. Buying a Tudor watch is an excellent choice if you’re starting a collection. Find your next watch with our collection of exceptional used Tudor watches for sale at Crown & Caliber.
Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf established Tudor in 1946. When creating Tudor, Wilsdorf’s mission was to manufacture watches with the same integrity and standards of Rolex. However, he wanted to do so at a more affordable price point. With the brand’s first models, he did just that. The Oyster and Oyster Prince combined elements of the Rolex style and quality. However, their price points were more accessible and thus more attractive to a wider scope of customers.
Through the remainder of the 1940s and into the 1950s, Tudor began to take on a life of its own. It grew increasingly independent of the reputation behind its parent brand. 1952 was a particularly notable year for Tudor. The British ministry sent a group of scientists to the northern most point in Greenland, each armed with a Tudor.
In 1954, Tudor debuted one of its now iconic models: the Oyster Prince Submariner. They released the first edition of the model just after the Rolex 6204 Submariner. The two variations shared several common features, from its screw-down back to its crown.
Tudor also has a rich history with the military. In the late 1960s, the brand caught the attention of military forces around the globe. The U.S. Navy was looking for a watch that had supreme accuracy and that could withstand extreme diving conditions. The Tudor Submariner was the perfect fit. The French Marine Nationale began issuing Tudor timepieces to its most elite serviceman. This practice continued for over a quarter century. Their model of choice was the 7922 Tudor Submariner. The Marine Nationale even assisted in developing and testing Tudor timepieces to optimize them for diving. Other military organizations, from the Jamaican Defense Force to the Canadian Navy, have also chosen the Tudor Submariner for their servicemen because of its outstanding construction and durability.
As Tudor’s popularity continued to rise, the brand started to develop some of its signature style. In 1968, they debuted their now iconic Snowflake hour hand. This distinctive feature first debuted on a Ref. 7016/0. This design element helped differentiate Tudor from its parent brand.
Over the next few decades, the watch industry faced the quartz crisis. Still, Tudor persisted with the production of mechanical watches. They dialed back the designs and retired the once coveted Snowflake hands. By 2010, the brand resurged with one of its most groundbreaking models: the Heritage Chronograph. Shortly after, Tudor added two other new models to its catalog: the Fastrider in 2011 and the Ranger in 2014.
Since the introduction of the Heritage series, Tudor has continued to develop more daring timepieces from the inside out. In 2015, the brand introduced its first in-house movement. The Tudor North Flag was the first model to feature this in-house movement. Updated variations in the Tudor Pelagos and Tudors Heritage Black Bay models soon followed.
Another important piece of Tudor’s growth and development has been expanding into new markets. Although it might come as a surprise, Tudor first launched in the U.S. relatively recently in 2013. Their work in this area continues to this day. For instance, they just entered the Japanese market in 2018.
Tudor’s parent brand has made a name for itself by steadfastly sticking to its timeless, classic, and conservative design sense. However, Tudor has established a reputation for being more unique and experimental with its designs. From developments like their integrated cases to risks like using bold color schemes on their dials, Tudor continues to push the bounds of modern watchmaking. Today, a mix of minimalistic tool watches and eye-catching chronographs characterize Tudor’s lineup.
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