Amongst the rarities sought after by collectors in recent decades, there are the definitive vintage Tudor watches that were produced and marketed by Rolex.
Tudor’s history began in 1926 with the official registration of the brand, proudly displaying to this date, the symbol of a shield which identifies its originality. This symbol can be found on the case, crown and dial of Tudor watches, indicating their Geneva origin.
From the late 1960s to the mid 1990s, Tudor’s components, particularly its crowns and cases, were signed “by Rolex”. Rolex bracelets were only used by Tudor until 1971, after which, the first Tudor signed bracelets appeared on women’s watches.
Tudor’s relationship with Rolex, apart from being a further assurance of quality, has made Tudor vintage watches high-value timepieces, almost to the same level as the Rolex vintage watch. This statement applies both for the 1950s watches, such as the Tudor Oyster Prince “Tuxedo”, and the 1960s and 1970s watches, such as the famous chronograph Tudor Montecarlo, a true cult object and very difficult to find today, the Tudor Submariner, identical to the renowned Rolex model.
The Tudor Submariner range was released in 1950 (references 7922, 7924 and 7928) at the same time as the famous Rolex Calibre 390, a 17-ruby movement based on the Valjoux 722 automatic movement. The 7928 model used the same bezel as the Rolex 5513 Submariner, and was produced until 1966.
Despite many common features, there are differences between the Tudor and Rolex brands. For example, the newer Tudor models used “modified” ETA movements instead of Rolex movements. There are also numerous differences in fine detail, for example between the Tudor 316L case and the Rolex 904 steel case.
At the beginning of the new millennium, Tudor brand increasingly tried to assert its own personality, signalling an end to the collaboration with the giant Rolex and producing everything under its own name.
Guided by the slogan “Be anything but obvious”, Tudor continues to produce a Sports collection that includes; the Tudor Chronograph, Tudor Aeronaut, Tudor Hydronaut, Tudor Sport.
In addition to this, there is the collection of delicate and elegant designs know as Tudor Classic (including Tudor Lady Diamonds, Tudor Classic 39mm, Tudor Classic 38mm and Tudor Classic 28mm).
The new Tudor style particularly targets young and sporty customers, combining colours and different materials to produce watches which are “ a pleasure to wear and to use”. More of this company ‘makeover’ can be seen on the brand’s official website.
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