The beginnings are slightly complicated. Although Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf is the mastermind behind Tudor, the brand is registered by “Veuve de Philippe Hüther”. Wilsdorf secures the exclusive naming rights.
On the first models, the crossbar of the T in the Tudor lettering ran all the way to the R. Some rare collectors’ items also sport the name of the ‘big sister’, vouching for the quality of the younger sibling.
Hans Wilsdorf takes over Tudor completely – with the idea of establish ing a low-priced but high-quality alternative to Rolex. During this period, the rose of the British royal house of Tudor appears on the dial for the first
After World War II, Tudor becomes independent: on 6 March, Wilsdorf founds the company Montres Tudor S.A. and gives the brand its own
The “Tudor Oyster Prince” line is launched – with technical features that were otherwise exclusively reserved for Rolex: the legendary Oyster case and the self-winding mechanism with Perpetual rotor.
An important year: the “Oyster Prince Submariner” is the first Tudor diving watch to conquer the market. So impressive are its qualities that the French Marine and the US Navy also adopt it.
The new Tudor “Advisor” is the only model in Tudor’s history to feature a built-in alarm.
Tudor treats itself to a new logo (which is still valid today): the shield stands for sturdiness and technology, solidity and absolute reliability. 1969 also marks the birth of the striking Snowflake hand.
Tudor introduces its first mechanical hand-wound chronograph: the “Oysterdate” is very well received, in part because of the vivid colours and the characteristic pentagonal hour indices.
The third chronograph series includes a self-winding mechanism for the first time. Because of its size, the “Prince Oysterdate” is nicknamed the “Big Block”.
Little by little, Tudor liberates itself from its big sister’s shadow, relying on its own strengths, and in the mid-’90s prescribes itself a comprehensive rebranding, which is expressed in details such as the Tudor rose on the winding crown.
Launch of the “Tudor Heritage Chrono”, a visually and technically modified throwback to the cult models from the early 1970s.
The first “Tudor Black Bay” models are launched. They capture the spirit of the times – especially for a younger clientele. And spark a ‘modern retro’ trend in the industry.
Launch of the “Pelagos” diving watch, water- resistant to 500 metres. Unusual: there is also a version for left-handed wearers, with the winding crown on the left. In addition, Tudor begins to develop watches with its own in-house movement – which are a sensational success.
Tudor presents the “Ranger” model to mark the 70th anniversary of the British North Greenland expedition. The tool watch references the Tudor “Oyster Prince”, which was worn on the 1952 expedition.
TUDOR: BORN TO DARE
Like Rolex, Tudor is owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation. After the brand sank into oblivion in the 1990s and early noughties, the rebranding took place around 2007. True to the motto “Born to Dare”, they seem to be getting a lot right: today, Tudor is one of the fastest-growing quality brands. Vintage models in good condition are also extremely popular and are usually traded at a higher price than new models.
There are many fascinating Tudor models to choose from: the beyond team reveals its favourites.
1 RENÉ BEYER, Owner: “I’d like to travel more. The ‘Black Bay GMT’ with a second time zone at least reminds you what time it is somewhere else. With me, it usually shows New York time.” (top left)
2 PHILIPPE MEYER, Head of Marketing: “I like the ‘Pelagos Lefthander’ even though I’m right-handed. The crown on the left is unusual, and the model is timelessly sporty.” (top right)
3 ADRIAN HABLÜTZEL, Art Director: “For a long time I felt freer without a watch on my wrist. But ever since I treated myself to this ‘Oyster Prince Submariner’ Ref. 7928 from 1962, I haven’t wanted to be without it.” (buttom left)
4 MATTHIAS MÄCHLER, Editor: “I am really taken by the ‘Black Bay Chrono Silver & Gold’: the colour combination is quite bold, almost a little quirky – that’s what makes it so special.” (buttom right)