The House of Tudor
With the re-emergence of the Tudor brand and eight new lines coming to The Watch Gallery, a short history of the brand was needed. Fortunately for the luxury watch-world, this is not a history concerning six wives, a civil war and an invading armada. It is, however, well worth a read.
The brainchild of Rolex founder Hans Wildorf, Tudor was created as an economical alternative to its illustrious sister brand. To Wildorf, an accessibly priced product whose aesthetic, technical and functional qualities were guaranteed by a brand as esteemed as Rolex presented a real opportunity. To this end, as early as 1947, Tudor began developing lines that would help define the brand’s image with the creation of the Oyster and Oyster Prince collections.
Such qualities made the brand a prudent choice for professionals working in adverse conditions. During the 1950s, the Tudor Oyster Prince was the timepiece of choice for the Royal Navy’s polar expeditions, consolidating the connection between Tudor and high-performance timepieces.
1960s & 70s
Later incarnations built upon the robust success of their predecessors. The 1960s and 1970s Tudor Prince Submariner models were utilised by the US and French Navies respectively.
The period was also notable for Tudor creating a more autonomous identity in regard to design. Where early models had been closely comparable to Rolex watches in regard to style, models such as the Tudor Oysterdate Chronograph marked Tudor out as a truly individual brand.
1980s till the present day
Towards the end of the century, Tudor revelled in its liberty, continuing to produce outstanding timepieces such as the “Big Block.”
The qualities of reliability, resistance and precision that made Tudor so successful in the past are still readily apparent within today’s collections. Standing as an autonomous power in the demanding world of luxury watches, the similarities of design between Tudor and Rolex are apparent, but more subtle, whilst the major difference- the price-point – is an all important factor that should ensure the brand’s longevity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry McIntosh is a Copywriter for The Watch Gallery. His favourite brands include Bremont, Breitling and TAG Heuer.