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tudor vs tag heuer watches

It’s safe to say that in today’s watch world, we have more access to more brands than ever before. But, somehow, in the sea of microbrands, revival brands, and options, we, as enthusiasts, are still drawn to the offerings from manufacturers who have provided the consumer with quality timepieces for decades.

So, it is no surprise, when discussing watches, even with the most freshman of enthusiasts, that Tudor and TAG Heuer are generally in the discussion. For many, Tudor and TAG (as I’ll be referring to it moving forward) are the perfect entry point into the luxury watch “hobby”.

While some collectors might find these brands boring, even predictable, they are still powerhouses in the world of watches and offer us, the consumer, an incredible product that we can be proud to own. So, let’s dive into the world of Tudor and TAG and figure out which iconic brand is right for you.

About Tudor (The Watches, Not the English Royal Dynasty of Welsh Origin)

For those new to the “hobby”, Tudor has quite an interesting history, one steeped in mystery, intrigue, and an attempt to take over the watch world!

Just kidding. The Tudor trademark was originally registered in 1926 for Hans Wilsdorf by Veuve de Philippe Hüther, a Swiss watch dealer. If the name Hans Wilsdorf sounds familiar, it’s probably because you know him as the founder of one of the most recognizable brands in not only the watch but the entire world, Rolex.

In 1936, Wilsdorf took over the Tudor name, creating, for all intents and purposes, a more affordable alternative to its big brother, Rolex. But, it wasn’t until 1946 that the “Montres TUDOR S.A” name was established as a way to enter new market segments with the backing and guarantee of the Rolex name.

The idea that Tudor, for the longest time, seemed to live in the shadow of its big brother was one reason the company decided to remove all Rolex-branded components from their watches. So, in 1996 and in honor of their 50th anniversary, they did just that.

The remainder of the ’90s and early 2000s saw a decline in sales. So much so that in 2004, Tudor stopped selling watches in the US market. While this was certainly a hit to Tudor’s market share, it wasn’t long until Tudor would make its comeback stateside.

In 2013, a refreshed and rebranded Tudor re-entered the US market, focusing on the brand’s illustrious history as a tool watch manufacturer, taking many of their design cues from the Tudor archives.

With the use of both in-house and off-the-shelf movements, Tudor had certainly made a splash in the watch scene as it made its way back to the US, proving once again that they could still turn heads with great classic designs that never go out of style.

So, it’s no surprise that for their almost 100-year history, the Tudor name, regardless of Rolex, has been synonymous, for most enthusiasts, as a highly capable and historically proven tool watch manufacturer.

Some of the best examples of tool watch excellence in the Tudor archives are the Milspec Tudor “Snowflake” timepieces made for the Marine Nationale and many other military forces around the world, including the USA and UK forces.

But the modern Tudor lineup offers many excellent tool and casual watches that are sure to be a mainstay in your collection for years to come.

TAG You’re It (Time for a History Lesson)

While the Tudor name is a relatively new name (comparatively) to some watch brands, the TAG Heuer name is much older.

Founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer under the name Heuer Watchmaking Inc in St. Imier, Switzerland, the Heuer name has always been the embodiment of innovation, a bold style, and a unique design language that really became a signature for the brand during the middle of the 20th century.

In 1933, Heuer produced a new kind of dash counter for cars, boats, and airplanes. This new device, called the Autavia, would be the precursor to the chronographs that would adorn the wrists of pilots and drivers in the decades to come.

During the years leading up to WWII and the decades that followed, Heuer would focus on Chronography and aim to create the most accurate chronographs the watch world had ever seen.

1958 was a big year for Heuer. It was the year that Jack Heuer would join the company and begin a legacy that endures to this day, with the creation of some of Heuer’s most iconic timepieces like the Autavia, Monaco, and Carrera.

In fact, it was Jack Heuer who made the name Heuer synonymous with motorsports. While cars and watches have always gone together like Richard Mille and compensating for something (just kidding!), Heuer would bring together some of the most famous racers and watch relationships in the racing world.

While the ’60s and ‘70s were the golden eras for motorsports, it was in 1973 when Jack Heuer inked a deal with the biggest name in motorsports history, Enzo Ferrari, making Heuer the official timekeeper of the Ferrari Race Team.

Heuer would go through its ups and downs through the later part of the century and would eventually be acquired by TAG (Techniques d’Avant Garde) in 1985, forming what we now know as TAG Heuer.

TAG has always been at the forefront of design and innovation and, to this day, offers enthusiasts everything from entry-level Swiss quartz models to models worn on the wrists of Hollywood royalty like Steve McQueen.

So, if you are looking for a timepiece whose history has a definite cool factor, one that will make you feel like a Formula 1 playboy (or girl), TAG will always have something to adorn your wrist.

Tudor vs TAG: Battle of the Icons

I think as a consumer, when it comes to purchasing a luxury watch, it is important to be informed so you have the information you need when making a decision, especially one that involves more times than not a hefty price tag.

With that said, I want to take some time to compare Tudor and TAG. We will be discussing brand recognition, model variety, build quality & durability (materials, water resistance, etc.), movements, and price/availability/resale value.

Brand Recognition

Firstly, I think it is important to understand what brand recognition is. Brand recognition is the ability of consumers to recognize an identifying characteristic of one company versus a competitor.

With that said, I think both brands have rich histories and accomplishments that rival any other brand in the watch industry. 

Tudor has its brand recognition in the world of tool watches and milspec divers, while TAG has its brand recognition in the world of motorsports. While yes, I understand that both brands are known for so much more, I think we can distill it down to these two worlds in regard to what Tudor and TAG are most famous for.

While both Tudor and TAG won’t carry the same recognition as, say, Rolex, AP, or Patek, I still believe that from a brand recognition standpoint, you can go anywhere in the world and find someone who knows these two brands. Which depending on where you are in the world, could be a good or a bad thing.

Regardless, both brands offer name recognition to watch nerds and common folk alike. With beautiful designs, both are sure to impress and turn heads no matter where you might go. 

Model Variety

When purchasing a timepiece from iconic brands, you will likely have certain expectations. One of those expectations being variety. I don’t think it is unfair as a consumer to want options, and when we look at both the Tudor and TAG catalog, we have plenty.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Tudor really only invests its time and efforts into the Black Bay collection, and TAG really only focuses its efforts on the heritage lines. While you aren’t necessarily wrong, both brands offer an array of collections that is sure to appeal to all sorts of enthusiasts.

I urge you to go into both the Tudor and TAG catalog and look at options outside what the brands are most known for. For example, while doing some research for this article, I found myself rediscovering the unique beauty that is the TAG Link and the brutalist design that is the Tudor P01.

Both unique in their own right and far from the popular kid in class, these two examples show that the variety is there; you might just need to expand your horizons a little. 

Build Quality & Durability

I believe as a consumer, build quality and durability should be a major deciding factor when choosing the right timepiece for you. Especially depending on the application in which you will be utilizing your watch. Are you a shirt-and-tie office guy, a delivery driver, or a construction worker?

Different professions will put you and your watch in different scenarios. With that said, depending on your day-to-day, it is important to make sure you have a good durable, and reliable timepiece. It goes without saying that both Tudor and TAG make incredibly durable watches.

Being that we are discussing “modern” Tudor and TAG, many of their collections tend to lean into the tool watch category, which means their robust build quality offers the owner assurance that it can take a few bumps and drops.

This is due to their use of modern materials, like sapphire crystals and more refined case materials, which ensure proper water resistance and anti-magnetic properties.

For what it’s worth, I believe that with their use of more unique case materials like carbon, ceramic, and titanium, just to name a few, TAG gives the consumer more options when searching for something different and/or unique.


If you ask me, the battle of in-house vs. none-in-house movements has gotten a little out of control over the last decade or so.

Some will argue that a lot of what you’re paying for is the movement, which makes consumers a little angry when they end up paying a premium for an off-the-shelf movement because of the name on the dial, hence the reason for wanting an in-house movement for their money.

But, while I understand that sentiment, I’d argue that the movement inside, while obviously playing a very big factor in the watch, being the beating heart and all, needs to do one thing, keep accurate time.

So, whether it is an in-house movement or off the shelf if it is performing the way it should, there shouldn’t be an argument. Luckily, for those of us who are impartial to the argument, both Tudor and TAG offer timepieces with in-house movements and off-the-shelf ETA movements, both with COSC-certified options.

The two in-house movements that have proven to be reliable, accurate, and durable are Tudor’s MT5602 seen in the Black Bay line, and TAG’s venerable Caliber 11 seen in the Monaco.

Price, Availability, and Resale Value

Both Tudor and TAG offer tons of options under $5,000, which seems to be the top end of the budget for many new enthusiasts trying to find their first luxury watch. While both brands have watches above that threshold, they still very much play ball within that ballpark.

When discussing availability, you’ll be happy to hear that both Tudor and TAG have boutiques in many cities and are also sold in major jewelers, depending on where you live. This means that the availability is there but with a few caveats. One of those being when new models are released. 

Generally speaking, when the new hype comes out, there is definitely a wait but worry not, you won’t be waiting around for the better part of your formative watch collecting years for a one *cough cough* Rolex.

The second being rare models. There are some limited editions for both Tudor and TAG that will always be more difficult to find.

The watch community is funny. I think collectors fall into two categories, those who genuinely love their collection and rarely part ways with any of it and those who are always on the hunt for the next timepiece. While they might not be considered a flipper per se, they are in love with hunting and the rush of finding a new timepiece. 

This ultimately leads them to research the resale value of the timepieces they are buying. Good and bad news for that type of enthusiast. Both Tudor and TAG offer amazing timepieces that, depending on the model, will retain most of their value. That said, with the exception of rare models, very few accrue value, especially in the volatile market that is timepieces.

Tudor vs TAG: Top Model Comparison

In this next section, we are going to break down some of Tudor and TAG’s top models, compare them, and give you a chance to see how they stack up to one another. We will be discussing a chronograph, a diver, and a simple three-hand timepiece.

 Model   Tudor Black Bay Chrono TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 
  Case Size Diameter: 41mmThickness: 14.6mmLug-to-Lug: 50.1mm  Diameter: 44mmThickness: 15.27mmLug-to-Lug: 51mm
  Materials Stainless Steel case with fixed 316L steel bezel and a matte black anodized aluminum insert  Stainless Steel case with a black ceramic bezel
 Water Resistance  200m/660ft 100m/330ft
  Movement In-house Calibre MT5813 (COSC) with a 70-hour power reserve.Beat Rate of 28’800 (4 Hz)  In-house Calibre HEUER02 Automatic with an 80-hour power reserve.Beat Rate of 28’800 (4 Hz)
 Strap Options  Available on a steel bracelet, fabric strap, leather strap  Steel Bracelet
 Additional Features  Faux-rivet style bracelet for the vintage enthusiast and Panda/Reverse Panda dial options  Black, Blue, and Green dial variants.There is also a guild-dialed variant on a leather strap.
 MSRP  $5,450 $6,400
 Model  Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date 
  Case Size Diameter: 39mmThickness: 11.9mmLug-to-Lug: 48mm  Diameter: 40mmThickness: 11.54mmLug-to-Lug: 47mm
  Materials Stainless Steel case with unidirectional dive bezel in steel with matte black anodized aluminum insert  Stainless Steel case with a brushed steel unidirectional dive bezel
 Water Resistance  200m/660ft 200m/660ft
  Movement In-house Calibre MT5402 (COSC) with a 70-hour power reserve.Beat Rate of 28’800 (4 Hz) Calibre 5 Automatic (Non-In-House, ETA 2824-2) with a. 38-hour power reserve.Beat Rate of 28’800 (4 Hz)
 Strap Options  Available on a steel bracelet, fabric strap, leather strap  Stainless Steel bracelet with folding push button clasp
   Additional Features Comes in 10 different variations.Yellow Gold and Sterling Silver case options available The Aquaracer men’s line comes in 30 different variants. Sized at 40mm, 43mm, and 45mm. Available in GMT and Chronograph variants. 
 MSRP  $3,950 $2,850
 Model  Tudor Black Bay  TAG Heuer Carrera Date  
  Case Size  Diameter: 31/36/39/41mm  Diameter: 39mmThickness: 11.5mmLug-to-Lug: 47.3mm 
  Materials Stainless Steel Case with Polished and Satin Finish a Stainless Steel Bezel Brushed and Polished Stainless Steel Case with Polished Stainless Steel Bezel 
 Water Resistance  100m/330ft 100m/330ft
  Movement In-house Calibre MT5602 (COSC) with a 70-hour power reserve.Beat Rate of 28’800 (4 Hz)  Calibre 5 Automatic (Non-In-House, ETA 2824-2) with a. 38-hour power reserve.Beat Rate of 28’800 (4 Hz)
  Strap Stainless steel bracelet, polished and satin finish, with “T-fit” folding clasp and safety catch  Black Leather Strap with Stainless Steel Folding Push Button Clasp
  Additional Features Comes in four case diameter variants with three dial color options, blue, anthracite, champagne.  Slim design with 6 o’clock date and lume at the hour indices and hands
 MSRP  $3,950 $3,050

Tudor vs TAG Heuer Watches: A Final Take

After falling down the Tudor and TAG rabbit hole while researching for this article, I became an even bigger fan of both brands.

Not only do they both manufacture some unbelievably great timepieces, but they’ve also been doing it long enough to know what works and what doesn’t, giving us the enthusiast options that will always feel at home on your wrist.

So, if you’re looking for your next timepiece and can’t decide between the two, take a minute to look through the catalogs and find one that calls to you. 

Maybe you’re looking for a funky and chunky tool watch that will help you stand out from the crowd (hint: BB P01), or maybe like me; you think it’s hip to be square (hint: TAG Monaco in Titanium) and want to feel like your Hollywood hero.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, Tudor and TAG will make you smile every time you look down to check the time because these two iconic watch brands will always find a way to make us remember what it is that drew us to the world of watches.

All About tudor snowflake

Tudor is famously heralded as the sister brand of Rolex; following its takeover in 1936 by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf, the brand would contribute to achieving economies of scale and target a price-conscious market segment. To achieve this, Tudor would use third-party movements; but would hugely benefit from the sharing of technology, technical, aesthetic, and functional characteristics under the same roof as its hugely successful counterpart.

Fundamental to Tudors dive watch history was the introduction of the Tudor Oyster in 1947. The “Oyster” nameplate was first seen on Rolex models in 1926 to denote its water resistance. It was the first truly waterproof case, one of the most important milestones in watchmaking history, and a precursor to the purpose-built dive watch that would be released in 1953.

The first Tudor dive watch would follow the footsteps of the legendary Rolex Submariner, released in 1953, with the release of the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7922 a year later to be the more affordable Submariner. This would mark the initial era of its dive watch lineup inspired by the 6204 and 6205 Rolex Submariner, mirroring its aesthetics, most notably the dial layout of the 6205.

The second era of Tudor Submariners began in 1969, with the brand finding its own identity in aesthetics to make for an equally iconic dial layout to the “OG” Rolex Submariner, also developed for the explicit needs of diving. It would utilize square hour markers with matching hands and would be recognized by collectors as “Snowflakes”.

About the Tudor Submariner (the Predecessor to the Snowflake)

Ready to capitalize on the winning formula of the very first Rolex submariner, the first dive watch from Tudor, the Oyster Prince 7922, was released in 1954. It was intended to be a budget-focused counterpart of the exceptional Submariner released the previous year, mirroring its design aesthetics, features, and robust characteristics.

Like the Rolex Submariner, it utilized a 37mm Oyster-case with a screw-down case-back and crown to reach a guaranteed depth of 100 meters. 

It took inspiration from the 1954 Submariner 6205 reference dial layout that rewrote the book on legibility with its usage of lumed triangular, circular, and rectangular plots for hour indexes, with a lumed Mercedes hour hand, pencil-shaped minute hand, and seconds hand with a straight tip after the lollipop on a contrasting domed black dial with gilt logo/inscriptions and minute track, viewable under domed plexiglass commonly used in this era. 

To precisely measure dive times and adjust decompression stages, it came equipped with a bi-directional rotatable bezel graduated in 5-minute intervals and a lume-pip at zero. All Tudor Submariners would use reliable third-party movements to cut down on costs to the end consumer, and the 7922 would be equipped with the self-winding Calibre 390 with 18,000 beats per hour.

Common to all Tudor Submariners, it shared components with its sister brand, such as its Oyster-case, screw-down crown, and Oyster-style riveted bracelet, all signed with the Rolex logo. All iterations of the 7900 series would follow the trend of piggybacking off Rolex’s proven back catalog and would only house a Calibre 390 movement.

The 7923 in 1955 would be a brief departure from this path, as it was the only reference to feature a manually wound movement (ETA Calibre 1182). It also featured a less legible pencil hour hand instead of the Mercedes hand and two cylindrical bars replacing the curved links that attached the Oyster-style bracelet to its case.

In 1958 the 7924 appeared, following the path of the Rolex Submariner 6200 from 1955, reverting to the characteristic Submariner hands and bracelet and offering 200 meters of water resistance with the use of a larger 8mm “Big-crown”, a thicker Plexiglas, and a thicker case.

In 1959, the 7928 reference followed and would be the most diverse reference in Tudor’s lineup being in production for nearly 10 years. Major changes in this reference were the adoption of a larger case size from 37mm to 39mm and the introduction of crown guards influenced by the needs of the French Navy. 

With the usage of a smaller 6mm crown, it first had square crown guards; pointed crown guards followed in 1961, and later a refined rounded shape that would be retained for future models. The 7298 also saw many dial variations, with the shift from gilt text to silver, and finally white text, the usage of a closed to an open chapter ring, and gilt hands to silver hands.

History & Origin of the Tudor “Snowflake”

The 7928 and its adoption of a more “Professional” crown guard equipped 39mm case developed in conjunction with the needs of the French Navy was hence supplied to the French Navy and the U.S Navy for its professional use.

This signaled the direction for the next generation of Submariners from Tudor, departing from the Rolex aesthetic that defined the 7900 series. A quote by Mark Twain, ”There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope”.

This could not be truer for the impact the characteristic Rolex Submariner aesthetic has had on the 7900 series Tudors and for any dive watch that would follow its huge success and legendary status. Under the roof of the Crown, with the motive to differentiate its second generation of Submariners, did Tudor execute a new idea?

In 1969, Tudor presented a new face for its Submariner, but was it better than the iconic one it replaced?  It used square indexes reminiscent of the 70s approach to design instead of the symmetrical and attractive round indexes.

 These Submariners would be nicknamed “Snowflakes” due to the form of their indexes. With less negative space on the dial and more surface area for luminescence, it proved to be more functional and utilitarian than the rounded indexes of before. As a result, Snowflakes have been hugely praised by collectors as potentially the cooler, more professional, and less mainstream alternative to its iconic sibling.

The Tudor “Snowflake” Submariner 7016 & 7021

Developed for the explicit needs of divers, known to be specifically designed with the feedback of the Marine Nationale (to be more legible in low light conditions), the majorly changed Snowflake Submariners, the 7016 and 7021, were released in 1969. With them began the second generation of Tudor Divers.

The 7016 and 7021 were the first Submariners from Rolex or Tudor to be offered in blue (in addition to the standard black), a highlight of this and the models to follow, as even today, the Rolex Submariner range does not offer a blue dial variant for its steel models. It also finally did away with the Calibre 390 movement for ETA movements, which would prove to be easier to service.

The 7016 was equipped with a 39mm case, a 60-minute bidirectional rotatable bezel, rounded crown guards, and 200m of water resistance, unchanged to that of its predecessor. Still features Rolex signed parts, such as its case, crown, and new Oyster Style non-riveted bracelet.

Its new Snowflake dial replaced the rose logo with a shield logo (a symbol of resistance and reliability) and featured square indexes that reciprocate with rectangular indexes at 15, 30, and 45, paired with a square on the hour hand and seconds hand (nicknamed “snowflake hands”). Visible under a no longer domed but flat Plexiglass crystal. 

With the new reference followed a new caliber, the ETA 2483, with a frequency of 18,000 beats per hour, the same as the one it replaced. From the learnings of the Rolex Submariner Date 1680 arrived a date variation of the Snowflake, the 7021. It shared the exact specifications with its no-date counterpart, besides its date complication and, therefore, its ETA 2484 movement.

What is familiar is the usage of a Cyclops-type Plexiglass crystal, the same as that of its contemporary 1680, with a magnifying lens placed over the date aperture at 3 o’clock for easier reading. Seen for the first time was the usage of a roulette date disc, with black for uneven numbers and red for even numbers.

The Next Generation Tudor “Snowflake” Submariner 9401 & 9411

The 7016 and 7021 continued production untill the mid-70s, at which point they were subsequently replaced with the 9401 and 9411. These new references were offered simultaneously with a snowflake dial in black or blue (till circa 1983) or with the characteristic Submariner dial layout in either black or blue. 

The 9401 and 9411 “new generation Snowflakes”, would share the same case lines and aesthetics with its predecessors. Its most important update for the time was the change to higher performance movements, being the modified ETA 2766 for the non-date version and 2784 (2783 in some cases) for the date version. 

The new caliber would feature a hacking seconds function for precise time setting, the quickest date for date models (discontinuing the beloved roulette date wheel), 28,800 beats per hour, and a 42-hour power reserve to make for a very modern specification caliber, even today.

Another useful update would be the availability of different bracelets, one with Rolex oyster reference 7836/0 with a classic folding clasp or the 9315/0 with a “Fliplock” folding clasp and an extension link system to be used over a wet suit.

The “Blue Snowflakes” of this era are known to be the most collectible and definitive “Snowflakes” amongst collectors, as they are currently easier to source in good condition compared to their predecessors. This is due to early examples experiencing rotting or bubbling on their dials caused by a defect in the paint or water ingress. It is rumored that this was mitigated by the mid-1970s. 

The blue colorway was made more available with the modern Snowflakes. The color is favored for embracing the spirit of diving better than black, better complimenting the patina created through time on its hands, indexes, and pearl on its bezel. 

The “Black Snowflakes”, on the other hand, share a much closer resemblance to its contemporary Rolex Submariner; for that, they can be argued to be a little less interesting. These last Snowflake references also offer collectors the best of both worlds in usage, with vintage aesthetics and modern calibers underneath.

When was the Tudor “Snowflake” Discontinued

The Tudor Snowflake was discontinued in the middle of the 1980s, with the Submariner range continuing to be produced until 1999. When Tudor celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1996, it marked an end of an era as a sub-Rolex brand sharing components (cases, crowns, and bracelets) from the same parts bin.

Due to their storied heritage and unique history parallel to the most iconic divers watch ever, good examples of Snowflakes have become increasingly difficult to source. Also, since many of these examples were “budget Rolexes”, they were actually used as tools for their intended purpose and not babied like their contemporaries, many of which had seen life in a safe.

Currently, there are limited offerings online, with the blue Snowflakes having higher premiums than the black variants. Additionally, condition, age, delivery contents, maintenance history, and provenance are all points of consideration that will reflect on the end price. 

Pricing currently ranges between $9,000 to as high as $30,000 or more for a perfect example or mil-spec variant. In some cases, they can even be priceless due to the Snowflakes’ iconic history. 

At the time of writing this, I was able to find a listing online for a 9401/0 black (naked) without box and papers priced at $10,000 and a totally original blue 9411/0 with box and papers priced at $18,000. A 1680 Rolex Submariner of equal condition would be approximately double this value, so in comparison, vintage Tudors offer a lower entry point as a gateway to collecting them today.

Return of the Snowflake?

The Snowflake configuration that has been iconic to Tudors history was finally reintroduced to its collection at Baselworld 2012 with the combined launch of the Black Bay and Pelagos models.

Since then, the usage of Snowflake hands and dials in different variations of its tool watch lineup has become identifiable with Tudor in the modern day as it draws inspiration from its past while offering modern specifications with in-house movements, cementing the value it offers in the luxury tool watch segment.

Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue

Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue

The Black Bay models that have proven to be most popular in the modern chapter of Tudor, bringing back the characteristic Snowflake hands in 2012. This is paired with the aesthetics of the rounded indexes used in the 1958 7294 “Big Crown” Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner, a model that inspired the “big crown” remastered Black Bay and Black Bay 58 with vintage cues like domed sapphires, and faux rivet bracelets. 

In 2019, Tudor would surprise lockdown-tired enthusiasts when they released a “blue” Black Bay 58. This would further tie the modern watch with the history of the original Snowflake as it was identical in color to the iconic “Snowflake Blue” of old, with a 39mm case sized similar to that of the vintage Snowflakes; this stands as a worthy modern successor that reminds us of the original.

Tudor Pelagos 42

Tudor Pelagos 42

In 2012, Tudor wowed us with the release of the Pelagos 42mm, a modern specification titanium, 500m water resistant, helium escape valve equipped professional dive watch that drew inspiration from vintage Snowflakes, bringing back a full Snowflake dial.

It seemed appropriate that the utilitarian-focused Pelagos 42 would bring back the legible layout created specifically for the needs of the professional diver. Its host of features includes a fully lumed stepped snowflake dial (with a date window at 3 ’o clock), snowflake hands, a fully lumed uni-directional ceramic bezel for ultimate legibility, and a 42mm titanium case with unique pointed crown guards attached to a titanium bracelet with a bracelet extension equipped clasp.

It comes offered with a black dial and bezel, a bright blue dial and bezel, or as an LHD variant with a black dial and bezel and the return of the unique roulette date wheel seen on vintage Submariner Snowflake 7021s.

Tudor Pelagos 39

Tudor Pelagos 39

After the release of the Pelagos 42 (42mm) and the consequent release of the Black Bay 58 (39mm), enthusiasts knew that it would be within Tudor’s capability to give us a 39mm (toned down) Pelagos which would share the closest resemblance in sizing and wearability to the original 39mm Snowflakes. In 2022, Tudor finally gave us the modern-day equivalent of the Snowflake that we had all been waiting for. 

A Pelagos 39 with a 200m water-resistant titanium crown guard equipped case, attached to a titanium bracelet with a t-fit clasp, sporting a cleanly executed no date sunburst black full Snowflake dial (with red Pelagos text), paired with a sunburst black ceramic full lume unidirectional dive-bezel.

While the materials used in comparison to the original Snowflakes have been modernized through the usage of titanium and ceramic instead of steel and aluminum, its elegant proportions and shared aesthetics offer a familiar experience.

Tudor Pelagos FXD

Tudor Pelagos FXD

In 2021 Tudor gave us a military specification diver with the release of the Pelagos FXD. The brand would come full circle with its Marine Nationale history, with the new release drawing inspiration from the original Snowflakes through the usage of the highly legible Snowflake dial (originally created with feedback from the Marine Nationale). 

Unlike its counterparts that were simply references listed in the catalog supplied to the military, the Pelagos FXD would be specifically designed with their preferences in mind making it the most hardcore and purposeful Snowflake to date. 

It would feature a 42mm (200m water resistant) crown guard equipped titanium case with fixed lugs, a fully lumed full snowflake dial in navy blue, a matching navy blue fully graduated and fully lumed ceramic bezel (bi-directional for navigation) with deeper knurling, and would only be offered on a nato and a rubber strap. Like the vintage MN/year stamped caseback Submariners, the FXD would also see the continuation of the engraving offering a unique aspect of collectability to the modern-day collector.


Today, Tudor stands as an independent brand from Rolex with the freedom to draw inspiration from its past while fulfilling the requirements of delivering a modern specification tool watch; it has been celebrated for its value proposition by dive watch enthusiasts of the highest caliber.

The unique history of the original Oyster Prince Submariner Snowflakes made under the same roof as its sister brand Rolex, sharing components like cases, bracelets, winding crowns, and using more affordable movements, has made the Snowflake an icon of its own. 

To further strengthen its significance, the Snowflake Submariners had a parallel path to that of the most iconic diver watch ever, with the adaptation of the Snowflake dial that was created through military feedback, making it essentially a version 2 of the characteristic Submariner layout. 

In a parallel universe, perhaps Rolex would have loved the Snowflake layout for themselves, as it could be argued to be a more purposeful, legible, and better design. Certainly an icon.

do tudor watches hold their value

My list will be endless if I begin to mention the number of items that lose their value immediately after they are bought. From a set of blinds to an expensive ride, these items are capable of diminishing in value faster than you think. It’s a normal phenomenon. Some pricey items just don’t hold as much value as when they were initially bought.

But is it the same for Tudor Watches?

As a watch enthusiast, my preference is set on high-end timepieces that scream luxury and can be potential investments. But the truth is that after a certain period, some of these wristwatches lose their money’s worth, or it might take an exceedingly long time for me to gain profits on my watches as an investor. 

In determining whether a watch would retain or lose its value, everything boils down to the rate of supply and demand of the particular watch model. Brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe would rarely lose their value because the very high market demand is at play. However, the same cannot be said for Tudor watches in all cases, as its value retention varies for different models.

About Tudor Watches

The Tudor brand is popularly known for its luxurious feel and is loved by watch enthusiasts across the world. The watches are known to feature top functionality, excellent craftsmanship, and also great quality. I would not expect anything less since Tudor was created by the best-known luxury watchmaker and father of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf.

In 1926, a Swiss watchmaker known as Veuve de Philippe Hüther came up with the name “The Tudor”. That same year, Hans Wilsdorf purchased the exclusive rights to the name, and it allowed him to develop the brand from that point. 

The first set of Tudor-signed watches was released in 1932 and was sent to the Australian market. They featured rectangular-shaped faces, and some also had the Rolex name on the dial alongside the Tudor signature. After World War II, Hans created Tudor’s manufacturing company called the “Montres TUDOR S.A.” in 1946.

Thereafter, Tudor became a sister company to Rolex and has always benefited from its relationship with Rolex. Hans decided to create a luxurious but equally affordable wristwatch for people in the military and professional divers. So, between the early 1960s to 1980s, the watchmaker sold Tudor watches to military agencies, including the French Marine Nationale and the US Navy, who began issuing Tudor watches like the Submariners to their divers. 

These timepieces include the brand’s first-ever Rolex-influenced  “Oyster collection”, which features a waterproof Oyster case. Over time, Tudor introduced other features like the “Big Crown” and “Snowflake hands” into the Submariner watch line.

Various watch enthusiasts are in awe of Tudor watches due to their quality and luxurious delivery. On top of this, the timepieces are also affordable. I mean, a Rolex can feature intricate designs and bear lots of unique characteristics, no doubt. But I know that a luxurious Rolex watch will cost me a lot of money. 

On the other hand, Tudor watches tick off the luxurious box, the quality box, and the inexpensive box also. I choose to buy a Tudor watch because I will be getting the full package and, at the same time, without breaking the bank. Watch lovers don’t call it the “Budget Rolex” for nothing.

Hence, the main reason why watch collectors would buy a Tudor timepiece is that they would be getting the same “Rolex effect” at an economical price. This, of course, has made owning an opulent watch much easier. 

If I want to purchase one, I can own a Black Bay 54 that retails around $3,850 on the market. This water-resistant and modern iteration of the Tudor Submariner boasts a quality stainless steel body, a polished satin accent, and a light feel to it, alongside many more features.

What Makes Luxury Watches Hold Their Value?

At first glance, I would think of purchasing an affluent watch that only catches my fancy. But on second thought, I cannot help but also factor in whether the timepiece can be a source of investment for me also. I mean, in the end, it will be a win-win, right?

However, when I buy wristwatches solely because I admire them, it would lessen my pain by the time I want to sell them, and I realize that they have lost their worth after using them for years. The truth is, not all watches retain their money’s worth after a long period which can be disappointing.

But some still do, and if I purchase them, I will gain either the same value or a slightly higher profit. It is a given that some watches hold their value better than others due to varying quality, prices, supply, and demand. Although no one can accurately predict the future prices of things, there are a few things to consider when buying a luxurious watch that might hold its estimated worth for years to come.

Brand Heritage

If a watch’s worth is mostly determined by how trendy it is and how it is mostly requested by consumers, then it is highly advantageous to start by purchasing fashionable and most sought-after brands. What I mean by this is buying wristwatches from brands that have consistently been preferred over time as opposed to those that are trending at the moment.

Brands like this include Rolex, which is no doubt the King of all timepieces. Rolex has existed since time immemorial and is popularly known both in and out of the watch industry, especially for its fancy timepieces. I am certain that if I approach a random person who knows nothing about watches to mention a watch brand, they will definitely mention Rolex. This shows how widely-known the brand is.

Now, the fact that Rolex has built a name for itself in the market is mainly what helps the brand to make more sales. I highly doubt that you would find a lot of Rolex models that have lost their economic worth- that’s if you would even find any. Similarly, watch brands like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet are popularly known brands that also retain most, if not all, of their original market price. 

I know for a fact that these two brands are the go-to watch investments for most people. Other older brands created over a hundred years ago, like Jaeger-LeCoultre, OMEGA, and IWC, among many others, have all built trust with customers.

Hence, I would not think twice before buying a wristwatch that was created by these brands. In essence, a brand’s heritage determines the possibility of a watch’s value retainment. So, the longer a brand has existed, the more likelihood that the worth of its timepieces will not diminish.

Iconic Watch Designs

In my opinion, a classy watch is mostly determined by how intricate and iconic its designs are. For various watch enthusiasts, unique designs, artistry, and out-of-the-world skillfulness featured on a timepiece are among the things that determine the value of such a piece.

Personally, I like spontaneity and never-before-seen wristwatches because such pieces elude more opulence. These pieces are usually rare, which makes them worth so much more. Hence, watches that are unique in their designs and very rare are known to hold their value retention well enough.

In fact, they can even increase in value as the years pass. Examples are watches that feature dial colors not normally inculcated in the watch by the watchmaker and bear designs that are only peculiar to the timepieces. A Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon is a perfect example of a piece with an uncommon but beautiful design that will forever be valuable.


Another thing to consider is the material from which a watch was made. A watch that is created from quality materials or worthy precious metals, like pure gold or platinum, will be valuable in the watch industry and also outside the industry.

I know for a fact that gold will always be worth a lot. So, if I buy a Yellow gold Rolex Daytona, I can rest assured that I will get my money’s worth once I sell it because of the gold material it is made of. 

Also, a timepiece made out of materials that are trending at the time it is about to be sold will be deemed valuable. The material will still be considered fashionable and will attract a lot of potential customers. Therefore, I can make a profit from selling such a timepiece.


When I hear the word limited edition, the watch that comes to mind is the Vacheron Constantin Chronometer Royal timepiece. This watch is notorious for being one of the least common, perhaps even the most-uncommon watch the world has ever known. Due to its rarity, such watches will never diminish in value.

The fact is that there are quite a few watches that are so rare that no one knows how many of them were produced. In this case, the Vacheron has only been seen once during an auction and is a highly limited edition. 

Another is the Cartier Crash watch, of which only four pieces in total have been manufactured. Its unique design, which features a look similar to a cloth worn by historic desert travelers, makes it stand out. Watches like these are definitely going to always increase in value and will never diminish.

Do Tudor Watches Hold Their Value?

Generally, Tudor watches are not known to have very high value retention. This is because, in the first place, they are not very pricey. However, some Tudor models have proven to be valuable even after purchase. 

An example is the Heritage Black Bay wristwatch line. This piece is one of Tudor’s most sought-after models, and it has been doing pretty great as regards value retention. The collection has seen various models over the years, which have all been recognized as highly valuable. 

Models under the Heritage Black Bay line, including the Black Bay 58, the standard Black Bay, and the Black Bay GMT watches, are notable pieces that have been a success when it comes to being worthy after a while. 

The demand for the Black Bay 58, which costs around $3,700, is very high. This is most likely due to its features that entail a vintage-inspired dive watch design, great proportions, and excellent specifications. As a timepiece that is highly requested, its value will at least not decrease as time passes.

It is the same with the GMT, which has also proven that, over time, it still holds value. Personally, I would not buy a Tudor watch as an investment because the possibility of the watch retaining its value over time is not certain. Rather, I would purchase them due to their awesome features and designs.

Most times, Tudor watches have been known to decrease in value by 50% and sometimes 60% immediately after they have been bought. The models I described above will retain their value. But those are just a few of the number of watches the brand has produced. For a higher investment, I would not advise that Tudor watches should be an option- not in this world.

It is, however, important to note that compared to other Tudor watch models, no watch has ever been worthy over time like the Pelagos. This model is also popular among watch enthusiasts due to its classy appearance, the quality of materials used in creating it, and its durability. Now, this watch ticks off more of the boxes than other Tudor models when it comes to the qualifications a watch must meet to gain the ability to retain its value.

Its attractive features speak for it and have given it easy access to being recognized as the best diver’s watch that the brand offers. Due to this, its status on the market will also increase. This gives the Pelagos an edge over other Tudor models in being eligible for potential investments. Therefore, compared to other Tudor watch models, the Tudor Pelagos has been recognized as a watch model that still holds its value after purchase.

Do Tudor Watches Appreciate In Value?

The fact that a Black Bay 58 holds value after some time does not mean that it is automatically a great form of investment. It is just like an expensive car. The moment I step out of an automobile shop with my brand-new ride, its value will significantly drop afterward.

While this may not be the case with all luxury watches, as some of them appreciate in value over time, Tudor watches just don’t fit into this description.

If I am looking to buy a watch that remains valuable for years to come and also appreciates in value, I’d not go for a Tudor watch. Of course, its sister company is Rolex, a brand that is known to always have value retention and also appreciates in value. 

But take it from me when I say that when it comes to value appreciation, these two brands are two opposite sides of a coin. A Rolex watch makes for a great investment, but a Tudor watch doesn’t. Unlike Rolex or Patek Philippe timepieces that produce limited editions, Tudor watches are mass-produced and always available at the Tudor stores.

But it does not mean that I would not be able to resell my Tudor watch. Looking at its top-notch quality, which is a given since it is related to Rolex, anyone would want to buy an affordable wristwatch that also bears the same high-end features that Rolex has.

Well, I know I would. In that regard, a Tudor watch can be a good investment because I will be able to sell it for a significant price, even though it may not be the exact amount I got it, nor will it be higher.

What About Vintage Tudor Watches?

As I have previously emphasized, Tudor watches have existed for quite some time. Since its initiation, it has produced an array of different lavish timepieces, some of which are now vintage. The demand for vintage Tudor watches has increased over time which is not surprising.

This is because their value has doubled, and they have also proven to be highly durable. Some of these vintage Tudor models that are now in high demand include the oldest Chronograph models, the Tudor Submariner References, the Tiger model, the Oyster Prince series, and the Big Block, amongst many others.

Many watch collectors have aimed to grab these vintage pieces whenever they find them because they are becoming harder to find, especially in good shape. What baffles me the most is why a watch with a manual winding movement holds as much value as up to double its original price.

But I remember that these vintage timepieces were very common amongst people in the military due to their waterproof features. Its strap was also suggested and supplied by the military back when Hans Wilsdorf began to create Tudor watches.

Hence, a Tudor Submariner Marine Nationale has notably doubled in value and is one of the most purchased Tudor vintage watches. The Marine Nationale, which has the initials “M.N” at the back of its case, goes hot at $22,000.

Another expensive vintage Tudor timepiece can also be the Oyster Prince series, especially the Oysterdate. This model was among the first ever Tudor watches to be released and is quite similar to the “Datejust” watch by Rolex. When I think of a simple yet elegant timepiece, the Oysterdate comes to mind because of its classic design and historical beauty. Tudor vintage pieces are the real definition of the phrase “old but gold.”


While it is safe to say that Tudor watches can be classified as classic, exceptional, and luxurious timepieces, the sad truth is that some of its products just might not retain their value for a long time. I would purchase a Tudor watch for its affluent look, for the “Rolex effect” which it gives, and for its other amazing features.

But I would not set my mind towards gaining double the price at which I purchased it or expect a value appreciation over the years. Overall, Tudor watches are great luxury-wise but just might not be my go-to brand for investment.

rolex vs tudor watches

Founded by the same innovative watchmaker, Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex and Tudor are two venerated brands out of Switzerland that have made their mark on the industry. There’s a shared history between the companies, but there are also distinctions between the brands, which have grown in recent decades. 

Both companies are considered luxury brands. However, Tudor is considered a more entry-level luxury, at least in comparison to Rolex. Rolex and Tudor both make exquisite timepieces that are useful, reliable, and durable and are popular among divers, explorers, adventurists, and beyond. 

Rolex is the more well-known brand of the two and has a slightly longer history, starting in 1905. Rolex has contributed greatly to advancements in watchmaking. They’ve become a symbol of excellence and triumph. Rolex is the watch of choice for explorers, world leaders, and celebrities. They’ve set the benchmark for others in the industry to aspire to. 

The Tudor company was registered in 1926 and took shape in the ‘30s. The brand has experienced a resurgence in recent decades and has started to come into its own. 

In this article, we’ll compare and contrast these two companies, their intertwined histories, their similar models, and differences in style, design, engineering, cost, and resale. We’ll also examine the different markets they appeal to and why. All so you, our reader, can decide between the two and know what you’ll be getting from these two legendary watch companies. 

About Rolex Watches 

Today Rolex is at the pinnacle of the watch industry, and when we consider their storied history, the reasons for their iconic status will be evident. The company was actually founded in London, England, by Hans Wilsdorf, who knew watches, and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis, who was skilled in finance. 

The company was relocated to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1908, where it remains to this day. The name was actually a word that Wilsdorf made up, as he wanted it to be the same in every language. At the time of Rolex’s founding, wristwatches were called ‘wristlets’ and were not popular for men. Popular culture at the time thought ‘real men’ should only wear pocket watches, an attitude Wilsdorf and Davis intended to change. 

From the beginning, Rolex set itself apart in the industry by focusing on pushing the boundaries of watchmaking. Rolex made the first wristwatch to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision. They would revolutionize the watch industry with the first waterproof wristwatch in 1926 and the first self-winding mechanism in 1931. By 1945, emerging from the Second World War, Rolex introduced the first wristwatch with a date function.

About Tudor Watches

Hans Wilsdorf long desired to deliver quality, luxury timepieces that would be more accessible. This desire eventually spawned the Tudor Watch company, which was named after the Tudor period in English history of the 16th century. This was a nod to Wilsdorf’s admiration of British culture and an era he perhaps romanticized. A period that is known for exploration, adventure, and prosperity. 

In the 1950s, Tudor released their Submariner, which became a favorite among divers. Long admired for its clean design and now famous snowflake hands, the Submariner showed the watch-buying public that Tudor could deliver a reliable, rugged, stylish luxury diver at a reasonable price.

In 1969, they released the popular Prince Oysterdate Chronograph, with its distinctive date display at 4 o’clock and self-winding movement. From the ’70s through the ’90s, Tudor’s market presence diminished, and they eventually pulled out of the American market altogether. 

Tudor’s release of the Black Bay in 2012 put the watch company back on the map, and it began developing its own in-house movements. This was when Tudor started to really distinguish itself from its bigger brother, Rolex. No longer a poor man’s Rolex, Tudor has established its commitment to quality and found its own personality and identity in the marketplace. 

Rolex vs Tudor Watches: The Battle of Two Iconic Swiss Watch Brands

Rolex and Tudor were not really designed to compete with each other. Rolex is the flagship, multi-billion dollar brand known for its innovation, which has pushed the boundaries of the watch industry. However, when it comes to their designs, they are seen by some to be more conservative and muted; though others would regard them as timeless and classic. 

Their watches are made with the highest quality materials like 904L Oystersteel, grade 5 titanium, gold, and platinum, and they include diamond-studded designs. They tend to appeal to a more mature clientele, and they tend to be far more expensive than Tudor. 

Tudor, on the other hand, is known for their more daring design choices. You won’t find a Rolex Submariner with a burgundy bezel, but that’s one of the eye-catching and forward-trending designs you’ll find on a Tudor Black Bay. Tudor had a long history of using cheaper ETA movements in their watches, but now they offer in-house movements that are just as accurate and reliable as the ones provided by Rolex. 

In contrast with Rolex, Tudor focuses on a more limited selection of watch collections. While they’re made with high-quality materials, they’re generally not considered to be the same caliber or available in the same variety as those materials offered by their big brother. However, when buying a Tudor, one is getting a watch that, at least in terms of its engineering, is arguably just as good for a fraction of the price. 

Brand Recognition 

Rolex is far and away the leader in brand recognition. They’re quite possibly the most-known watch brand in the world. From Kings to US presidents to iconic actors and celebrated explorers, Rolex has adorned the wrists of some of the world’s most remarkable people and at some of their triumphs of achievement under the sea, in the air, and on land. 

While Tudor doesn’t enjoy the notoriety of Rolex, it has developed a loyal following that’s only growing. For many, Tudor has found the sweet spot between quality and affordability, and their designs tend to be appreciated by a younger audience. 

Model Variety

The Rolex lineup is more extensive when contrasted with Tudor. Rolex has a diverse offering of tool and dress watches from their Submariner to their sporty Daytona and Yacht-Master to their Datejust workhorse. Tudor has the Black Bay, Pelagos, and Heritage collections. Tudor designs balance vintage notes with more contemporary touches. 

Build Quality and Durability 

Both companies deliver everything a discerning luxury watch buyer would expect in terms of quality and dependability. Both brands produce high-quality timepieces that are built to last generations. Rolex does, however, subject its materials to a much higher level of testing to ensure dependability in the harshest of conditions. 

For the average buyer, who is mostly behind a desk, doing little more than lighter physical activities, this difference won’t be noticed. But the adventurous few exploring the depths of our oceans and caves and those facing extreme temperatures on expeditions to the Arctic and beyond will likely have more peace of mind with a Rolex. 


Rolex is known for making everything that goes into their watches, from the movements and the lubricant used to keep the gears turning smoothly to the forging of their own gold, steel, platinum, and titanium. With Rolex, you know you’re getting the best of everything. Their movements are second to none. 

Tudor offers a mix of in-house movements made separately from Rolex, which has been celebrated in recent years. However, they’ve also been known to offer modified ETA movements that are acceptable but don’t measure up to Rolex standards.

Price and Availability   

Tudor is considerably less expensive in contrast to Rolex. Their Black Bay can be purchased in the $4,000 to $5,000 range. The Rolex Submariner is more than double that. Rolex watches are also in high demand. If you walk into an authorized Rolex dealer today, you’ll likely be placed on a waiting list.

Even the gray market for Rolex watches is not where you go to get a deal anymore; you pay double MSRP to get a Rolex right now. In contrast, Tudor watches can mostly be purchased and worn out of the shop, same day, or with short wait periods. 

Resale Value

Both brands do well in resale value. If well maintained, Tudor has no trouble holding its value, if not increasing in value over time. However, no watch company matches the demand and resale value of Rolex. Some Rolex watches increase considerably in value and make for good investments.  

Profile Of A Rolex Owner

Rolex has long been a staple on the wrists of the wealthy and powerful, from presidents, prime ministers, kings, and queens to business tycoons and celebrities. Rolex is a symbol of success and status. Rolex watches can also serve as an excellent investment for these individuals.

Some celebrities or their families have seen their Rolexes sold privately or auctioned for seven figures. High-level professionals such as business executives, lawyers, and doctors are known to wear Rolexes. A Rolex might be a symbol for them of an achievement milestone in their career or education. Often given as a gift from family or work colleagues, Rolex is a great way to celebrate.

Some also see the timepiece as a status symbol that will indicate one’s class and wealth to others. Rolex has long appealed to professional divers, race car drivers, explorers, pilots, world travelers, and the military, who require the unique tools their watch collections offer, along with their precision and dependability, even in extreme environments, since, in some cases, every second counts and lives might be on the line.

Rolex puts their watches and materials through rigorous testing to ensure their timepieces work flawlessly, even under great pressure. Collectors, of course, value Rolex, given their storied history. Rolex has been a part of some great achievements in sports, diving, military conquests, scientific research, and discoveries.

Rolex is often valued above all other brands for their remarkable ability to hold their value and often increase in value, sometimes dramatically. They’ve also been on the cutting edge of advancement in the field of watchmaking. For all these reasons, collectors flock to Rolex. 

Profile Of A Tudor Owner

While Tudor appeals to a comprehensive demographic profile, they’re primarily known to appeal to young professionals who want to invest in a luxury wristwatch. These buyers appreciate the balance Tudor strikes between quality and value.

Tudor is more fashion-forward than Rolex, which has proven desirable to a younger clientele. Tudor also appeals to divers and sports enthusiasts. Their Black Bay and Pelagos collections are excellent dive watches. The Pelagos especially has professional diving capabilities and a ruggedness that has earned the respect of professionals and those in the military. 

Collectors are also attracted to Tudor because of their shared heritage with Rolex and the recent ways they’ve distinguished themselves with their own style and in-house movements. 

Celebrities Who Wear Rolex

  • Paul Newman, the American actor, race car driver, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, has long been associated with the Rolex Daytona.
  • Sir Ian Flemming, a British spy during World War Two and the celebrated author of the James Bond novels, was known to wear a Rolex Explorer. His James Bond character was seen wearing a Rolex Submariner in the movies.
  • David and Victoria Beckham have both been associated with Rolex. David, a former footballer (soccer player), and Victoria, a former Spice Girl singer. 
  • Roger Federer is a tennis legend and Rolex ambassador who has been seen wearing the Sky-Dweller and Datejust models. 
  • Rihanna, the singer, songwriter, and actress, has been seen wearing the Day-Date President. 
  • Jay-Z is an American rapper who has been photographed wearing a Submariner and the Day-Date President.
  • Eric Clapton is a celebrated English music artist who has been seen with his Rolex Daytona.

Celebrities Who Wear Tudor

  • Lady Gaga is a true triple threat, singer, songwriter, and actress known to wear Tudor’s Black Bay, as one of their ambassadors. 
  • Tom Hardy is a celebrated British actor who has been in many popular films like “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Mad Max: Fury Road”, and “Inception”. He’s been known to wear Tudor’s Black Bay. 
  • Jay Chou, a Taiwanese singer, songwriter, and actor, has been seen wearing the Black Bay and Pelagos models. 
  • Lady Louise Windsor is a member of the British royal family and has been seen wearing Tudor watches. 
  • David de Rothschild is an environmentalist and explorer who has been spotted wearing Tudor on his expeditions. 

Rolex vs Tudor Watches: Top Models Comparison

Rolex Submariner vs Tudor Pelagos

First, we’ll compare the Rolex Submariner vs Tudor Pelagos. Both timepieces are excellent divers. The Submariner, first launched by Rolex in 1953, has become a watch icon. There’s an effortless cool factor about the watch. Worn by celebrities, professional divers, and the military, this is an excellent tool watch with great style and durability. 

Its shiny black bezel, black dial, white indices, and Mercedes-style hands give this a classic design that Rolex hasn’t changed much over the decades. The Tudor Pelagos, first released in 2012, is known for its simple, clean design, snowflake-style hands, and dive capabilities.

Case Size41mm42mm
MaterialsOystersteel case. The bezel is a Cerachrom insert in ceramic and coated in platinum.Titanium case and bracelet with a satin finish. The bezel is also titanium.
Water ResistanceUp to 300 metersUp to 500 meters
MovementRolex caliber 3230 automatic movement. A 70-hour power reserve. COSC and Rolex Certification after casing.Tudor caliber MT5612 automatic movement. A 70-hour power reserve. COSC
StrapOyster bracelet 904L stainless steel with Oysterlock safety clasp and extension system.Titanium bracelet with folding clasp and extension system. Also included is a complementary rubber strap with a tang buckle.
Additional FeaturesWith or without a date function. Hacking seconds.Helium escape valve and date function.
MSRP$9,100 Sans date$4,935

Rolex GMT Master II vs Tudor Black Bay GMT

Another great matchup is the Rolex GMT Master II vs Tudor Black Bay GMT. The GMT Master II was first released in 1983 as an update to the GMT-Master, first released in 1955. This timepiece was designed especially for pilots and world travelers, with its dual time zone function and 24-hour GMT bezel. 

It’s a stylish timepiece with a two-color bezel and a variety of configurations. In 2018, the Tudor Black Bay added a GMT model with a two-color bezel, and they also offer a number of ways to customize the timepiece. 

GMT Master IIBlack Bay GMT
Case Size40mm41mm
MaterialsThe case is offered in Oystersteel, Yellow Rolesor, Everose Rolesor, Yellow gold, White gold, and Everose gold. Ceramic bezel insertThere are seven variations. All with stainless steel cases. Stainless steel or yellow gold bezel. Aluminum bezel insert
Water ResistanceUp to 100 metersUp to 200 meters
MovementRolex caliber 3285 automatic movement. A 70-hour power reserve. COSC and Rolex Certification after casing.Tudor caliber MT5652 automatic movement. A 70-hour power reserve. COSC
StrapOffered in the 3-link Oyster or the 5-link Jubilee bracelet with material options in solid or two-tone yellow, white, and rose gold.Many with stainless steel bracelets with a folding clasp. One two-tone gold and steel. Others with fabric and leather straps.
Additional FeaturesDate, GMT hand, 24-hour bezel, and hacking seconds.Date, GMT hand, and 24-hour bezel.
MSRP$10,700 starting price$4,300

Rolex Explorer I vs Tudor Ranger

Our next matchup is the Rolex Explorer I and the Tudor Ranger. Both of these watches are fine examples of field watches for hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts. In 1953, Rolex introduced Explorer I to commemorate the Everest expedition by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay; the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

The legacy continues with the latest version of the Explorer I. Its smooth stainless steel fixed bezel, black dial with Roman numerals 3, 6, and 9, and Mercedes-style hands make for a classic design. The Tudor Ranger has been around since the late ‘60s and is a durable, sporty watch with a similar, but arguably bolder design than the Explorer.

The case and bracelet are brushed, with some minor polishing in places for contrast. The fixed bezel and black dial with 3,6,9, and 12 Roman numbers have been a consistent design feature from its earliest days. It’s a simple three-hand watch with ‘snake head’ style hands and a red tip on the second hand. 

Explorer IRanger
Case Size36mm and 40mm39mm
MaterialsOystersteel or Yellow Rolesor caseStainless steel case
Water ResistanceUp to 100 metersUp to 100 meters
MovementRolex caliber 3230 automatic movement. A 70-hour power reserve. COSC and Rolex Certification after casing.Tudor caliber MT5402 automatic movement. A 70-hour power reserve. COSC
Strap3-link Oyster bracelet 904L3-link stainless steel bracelet
stainless steel with Oysterlock safety clasp and 5mm comfort extension. There’s also the two-tone, yellow gold, and steel, called Yellow Rolesorwith safety clasp and T-fit (micro fit) system. There are other leather, rubber and fabric straps available from Tudor to purchase.
Additional FeaturesHours, minutes, seconds, and hacking seconds.Hours, minutes, seconds
MSRP$7,250 starting price$3,150

Rolex Chronograph Daytona vs Black Bay Chrono

The Rolex Chronograph Daytona vs Black Bay Chrono. Like the Submariner, there’s just something about the Daytona that’s a bit larger than life. It’s named after the famous Daytona International Speedway, a racetrack in Daytona Beach, Florida. It’s also associated with iconic American actor, race car driver, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Paul Newman. 

The timepiece comes in different configurations, but the shiny black bezel with the panda dial is an elegant look. Made from the highest quality materials and with a high-end tachymeter scale measuring up to 400 mph, this watch is pretty hard to beat.

The Black Bay Chrono originates from 2017 but borrows some vintage style cues from the ‘60s and ‘70s Tudor divers. The latest version comes in a couple of different configurations, looking most handsome with its two register panda style dial, date function at 6 o’clock, and its matte black bezel.

DaytonaBlack Bay Chrono
Case Size40mm41mm
MaterialsOystersteel case, Yellow Rolesor, Yellow Gold, White Gold, Everose Gold, and Platinum. Ceramic bezel insert.Stainless steel and steel bezel with aluminum insert
Water ResistanceUp to 100 metersUp to 200 meters
MovementRolex caliber 4131 automatic movement. A 72-hour power reserve. COSC and Rolex Certification after casing.Tudor caliber MT5813 automatic movement. A 70-hour power reserve. COSC
Strap3-link Oyster bracelet 904L stainless steel with3-link riveted steel bracelet with safety clasp. There are
Oysterlock safety clasp and 5mm comfort extension. There’s also the two-tone, yellow gold and steel, called Yellow Rolesor, Yellow Gold, White Gold, Everose Gold, and Platinum.other leather and fabric straps available from Tudor to purchase.
Additional FeaturesThree counter subdials (12, 30, and 60) and hacking seconds. Tachymetric scale bezel.Two counter subdials (45 and 60) and date function. Tachymetric scale bezel.
MSRP$15,100 starting price$5,450

Parting Thoughts

Rolex and Tudor share a rich history, and both offer high-quality timepieces that won’t disappoint. While the brands weren’t designed to compete with one another, we’ve done just that in this article, setting up head-to-head matches to help our readers sort out which brand and model is right for their needs and desires. 

Rolex is by far the more recognizable brand, and it sits at or near the top of the luxury watch market. Their watches are some of the most tested, precise, and reliable timepieces made. Their collections are broad, detailed and come in many configurations.

They’re also some of the most expensive and hard-to-get watches. However, they have a second-to-none resale value and tend to be the watch of choice for a more mature and wealthier clientele. Tudor offers buyers a good balance between quality and value, and they’re readily available. Some have called what they offer ‘accessible luxury’, and this philosophy and product appeals especially to young professionals.

Tudor has a shared history with Rolex, and they’ve benefited from Rolex’s engineering knowledge and prowess. The brand has distinguished itself in recent years with top-notch in-house movements and bold styles that offer vintage notes with modern touches. 

While there might be a clear winner in one or two of our matchups or other conceivable matchup one could dream up, in most cases, it will likely come down to style preferences and budget for most buyers. However, if you’re a collector with a generous timepiece budget, why choose? Enjoy what both have to offer! 

tudor ranger

This past year has been an exciting time in the watch market. There have been Rolex bubbles popping, MoonSwatch release flopping, and new Tudor watches dropping (highlighted with a Ric Flair woooo!)! What an exciting time to be a watch enthusiast. The Rolex market and MoonSwatch release have been covered ad nauseam, but what about Tudor?

There has certainly been no shortage of fanfare for Tudor this year. They have gone from strength to strength, releasing the new Black Bay Pro and Tudor Pelagos 39. These new models have waitlists more in line with their older brother Rolex. There is another release that Tudor managed to sneak in this year. 

That, of course, is the new Tudor Ranger.

The new Ranger didn’t receive the same universal admiration that Tudor received with their other key releases this year. In fact, I would say that this watch falls comfortably into the category of a marmite watch. 

Tudor Ranger- What It Is, Where It’s Been, and What It Is Today

When I first got into watches in 2016, the original Tudor Ranger heritage release was a close contender for my first luxury timepiece. The model featured the iconic 12-3-6-9 Ranger design, but was a little big, had a straight-end link bracelet, and didn’t feature one of Tudor’s new in-house movements. 

Ultimately, I compromised on the in-house movement and purchased a newly released Tudor Black Bay 36. Try as I might, I could never get the Ranger out of my mind. If only they tweaked it a little bit, this watch would be perfect.

Fast forward to 2020, and the Ranger quietly fell out of the Tudor catalog. My ears perked up in the excitement of what the next few releases from Tudor could bring us. The vintage watch craze was far from over, and the Rolex Explorer, especially the 36mm, had never been as popular as it was.

It took a couple of years, but in 2022 Tudor finally rereleased (or re-rereleased) the Tudor Ranger. As the rumor mill started to catch fire in the weeks before its official release, I started preparing my beloved Tudor Black Bay 36 for the inevitable auction site listing.

I knew this watch was going to take my watch-collecting journey full circle and allow me to finally get the timepiece that initially captured my attention on my wrist and out of my mind. Well, 6 months down the road, and I still have my Black Bay 36.

In fact, I never even put my name on the list at my local Tudor AD to register my interest. How could this happen? How could a watch that was supposed to be the one miss the mark so badly? Honestly, Tudor didn’t miss the mark at all! They delivered everything I was hoping for.

They even gave me some features I didn’t even know I would need back in 2016, such as the T-fit clasp. Let’s take a deep dive into the new Tudor Ranger and see if we can identify exactly why I don’t have one on my wrist while writing this review.

What Is the Tudor Ranger?

The Tudor Ranger is an everyday field watch, commonly referred to today as a GADA (Go Anywhere Do Anything) style of watch. The 12-3-6-9 dial is reminiscent of the iconic Rolex Explorer, and in many ways, this watch fills a similar place in any watch collection. 

The Tudor Ranger could quite easily be your one and only watch. Its monochromatic design allows it to be dressed up or down, and you would be hard-pressed to find a situation outside of formal black-tie events where this watch would look out of place. Since you are reading this article, I am confident you’re not very interested in one-watch collections. 

In that case, the Tudor Ranger could fill almost any hole in your watch box. That is the beauty of a timepiece like this. The only factor limiting your ability to wear this watch will be the envy of the other watches in your collection.

History of the Tudor Ranger

In many ways, the history of the Tudor Ranger mirrors that of the Rolex Explorer. Rolex introduced its iconic Rolex Explorer to commemorate Sir Edmund Hilary’s conquest of Mt. Everest in 1953. By the 1960s, Tudor released the Tudor Ranger with a similar dial layout, albeit in a 34mm case size as opposed to the 36mm of the Explorer. 

Much like the inspiration of Everest to the Explorer, the Tudor Ranger can tie its inspiration to the 1952 British North Greenland Expedition. This latest iteration of the Tudor Ranger commemorates the 70th anniversary of this Greenland Expedition and the Tudor Prince Ref. 7909 that accompanied them. 

Whether the Tudor Ranger was conceived as a simple cost-conscious alternative to the Rolex Explorer or truly has an iconic origin story as unique as the Rolex is up for debate. One thing that is not up for debate is that the Tudor Ranger has come in significantly more variants than its iconic bigger brother since its 1960s debut. 

The initial offering was very similar to the Explorer, featuring the 12-3-6-9 printed numerals on a black dial housed in a 34mm case diameter. The Ref. 7995 from 1965 featured these characteristics along with the signature arrow shape hand to give the Ranger a unique look. A date model was later introduced to this model to further differentiate it from the Rolex Explorer.

The 1970s took this rather ordinary design and gave it a bit of that 1970s pizazz! The black dial was replaced with blues and oranges, more representative of the time, while the typical Oyster bracelet was replaced by a more contemporary integrated bracelet. 

These Ranger II models later gave inspiration to the quirky Tudor North Flag. A recently discontinued model, that introduced Tudor’s new In-House movement and featured a pop of color and integrated stainless-steel bracelet. 

Fast forward to 2014, and the Tudor Ranger was ready for a rerelease. After the success of the Tudor Black Bay and Heritage Chrono, Tudor released a new Tudor Ranger. This new iteration featured the iconic dial and hands, a 41mm stainless steel case with a straight-end bracelet, and was powered by the ETA 2824 movement. 

Despite seeing some success initially, this watch failed to see the popularity of the Black Bay line for Tudor. In 2016, Tudor released the Black Bay 36, ultimately proving to be one of the nails in the coffin for the Ranger. With this release, Tudor remedied many of the common complaints watch enthusiasts, myself included, could not look past with the Ranger. 

The size at 41mm was simply too big for a time-only watch beyond 2014. This may have been the trend in the 2000s, but we were already on our way back to more modest watch sizing by the time the Ranger hit the market. The Ranger Heritage slowly withered away until 2020, when Tudor quietly removed this watch from their lineup.

2022 Tudor Ranger Review

The new Tudor Ranger, Ref. 79950, packs a significant punch when it comes to value for money. Few watch brands can provide the value Tudor can, and they may have out “Tudored” themself with this release. Let’s take a look at how.


The new Tudor Ranger featured a 39mm stainless-steel case. A welcomed downsize from the previous generation. This size reduction is enhanced when factoring in the significantly wider fixed steel bezel giving the illusion of an even smaller diameter. 

This case size was not by mistake as it pleases several wrist sizes and also allows Tudor to provide a solution for people displeased with the recent downsizing of the Rolex Explorer from 39mm to 36mm.

The case finishing on the Ranger is done impeccably well at this price point and features a mostly satin-brushed appearance. There are subtle polishing areas along the edge of the bezel, but the overall finishing is more in line with a Tudor Pelagos than that of a Black Bay. 

The watch also features a screw-down crown helping it achieve 100m of water resistance and a domed sapphire crystal to help protect it from scratches. Tudor hit it out of the park with this case, as the finishing fits the field watch aesthetic perfectly. 

Dial and Hands

The dial on the new Ranger is one of the most divisive characteristics of this watch. The printed numerals give off a very flat appearance. In person, there is an almost sterile look to the dial and handset. In addition to this flat appearance, there is quite a bit of open space on the dial. I appreciate simplicity on a dial, but I can’t help but feel that there is something missing on this one. 

I am, by no means, asking for the short story that accompanies the dial of the modern Tudor Pelagos, but I wouldn’t complain about another line of text. That being said, this dial layout and handset are signature Tudor and borderline iconic on their own now. The matte black color of the dial is everything that you would expect a tool watch to be, and overall, despite my concerns, this is a very classic dial execution from Tudor.


What about the engine powering this new Ranger? Tudor has opted to utilize the MT5402 in-house designed caliber over the off-the-shelf ETA 2824, powering their previous generation. 

This new caliber has several benefits, including a 70-hour power reserve over the standard 38 of the ETA and COSC certification, providing -2-+4 seconds of accuracy per day. This movement truly blurs the line between Rolex and Tudor and offers significant value compared to the off-the-shelf ETA/Sellita offerings in this price range.


The new bracelet is something that really surprised me from Tudor. The 20mm brushed Oyster style bracelet tapering down to 16mm at the clasp was expected, but the new T-fit adjustable clasp was not. The new T-Fit clasp features a toolless adjustment of up to 8mm, similar to what we see on the Glidelock from Rolex.

This feature is currently only available on the Pelagos 39 and Boutique only Black Bay 58 Bronze, both of which will set you back significantly more than this new Ranger. The other feature I am thankful for is fitted end links. Not much to say here; I think Tudor got it wrong with the 2014 Heritage Ranger and simply corrected their mistake.


The new Tudor Ranger comes in three different configurations. The version featuring the stainless-steel bracelet comes in at a price of about $3150. If you opt to save some money (please don’t do this!), the watch is also available on an olive fabric strap featuring a burgundy and beige stripe or a hybrid leather and rubber strap for about $2825. Compare that to the Black Bay 36, and you are actually saving $50 based on the bracelet/ strap option you select.

You are getting a new design, with an updated bracelet and clasp compared to the Black Bay 36, as well as a significantly improved movement in the MT5402 over the T-6000, Sellita SW200-1, for $50 less! That is not a typo; the value you are getting for this watch is incredibly high, even for a company that sets the standard in this price range.

Top 3 Alternatives to the Tudor Ranger

The Tudor Ranger is a watch that provides exceptional value for money, but it’s not the only timepiece known to do this. Let’s take a quick look at 3 competitive watches and see how the Tudor Ranger compares.

Longines Spirit

Longines Spirit

The newly introduced Longines Spirit checks many of the same boxes that the Tudor Ranger does. The design is more rooted in aviation as opposed to a field watch, but the ability to be an everyday piece remains. 

The Spirit line offers more variety in the form of colors and varying sizes of 37mm, 40mm, and 42mm to help accommodate more wrist sizes and even features a date complication. Longines has recently introduced this model in titanium, giving the Spirit some additional benefits of over the stainless-steel Tudor Ranger. 

Pricing will range from roughly $2150-$3050 for the time and date models. The ETA-based movement will also provide a similar performance to what you’d expect with the Tudor. Depending on the style you are looking for, the Longines Spirit is definitely a watch you should check out before committing to anything in the entry-level luxury segment, even the value-packed Tudor Ranger.

IWC Spitfire

IWC Spitfire

If you are looking for a similar look but have the budget to move up closer to $5000, the IWC Spitfire is a watch that receives constant praise for its value for money. What exactly do you get for an extra roughly $2000? The 39mm stainless steel watch features a similar satin brushed look throughout. The watch also has an in-house movement with a similar specification and accuracy rating. 

The dial appears to be an almost perfect mix between the Longines Spirit and Tudor Ranger, appealing to a more aviation-themed aesthetic with a heritage twist. The watch is only available on a fabric strap, forgoing a bracelet option altogether. The truth is, this watch provides a very similar specification, albeit with a higher brand cache and a slightly higher finishing quality, at almost double the price. 

Most watch enthusiasts consider this watch to be a great value, and its price seems almost inflated next to the Tudor Ranger. This comparison was not meant as a dig on the IWC Spitfire, as it is one of my favorite releases from any brand over the last 5 years; it is simply meant to highlight just how impressive this new Ranger is.

Omega Railmaster Co-Axial

Omega Railmaster Co-Axial

When looking for a true competitor to the Tudor Ranger, the Omega Railmaster Co-Axial is as close as you can get. The 40mm brushed stainless-steel case and 12-3-6-9 vintage aesthetic have a familiar feel while giving us a more unique take on the classic “Explorer” dial. The Railmaster has a history that somewhat parallels the Ranger as well. 

The original release was an underappreciated model and has since seen several reintroductions to varying results. This newer 40mm iteration, while still under the radar, presents a unique option for a more subdued aqua terra. The Railmaster is powered by an in-house Co-Axial movement that has met the qualification for a Master Chronometer. 

The roughly $5200 price on a beautifully brushed stainless-steel bracelet is quite an increase from the Tudor Ranger, but this is an Omega! They’re used to giving industry rival and Tudor’s big brother, Rolex, a run for their money. If you can stretch your budget, this will be a formidable competitor to overlook.


So, that is the new 2022 Tudor Ranger! A watch that gave us everything we asked for, plus some things we didn’t even know we needed, yet still managed to underwhelm the watch community. More than any other brand of recent times, I find Tudor to be a victim of their own success. 

We have come to expect that every couple of years, they are going to create something that truly knocks our socks off. This new Ranger was an incredible release from Tudor, but in a year packed with the release of the Black Bay Pro and long-awaited Pelagos 39, the Ranger kind of fell through the cracks. 

The value this watch presents is second to none at this price point! You really need to look a little lower at Longines or higher with Omega to see watches that make you think twice. So why in the world is this watch not on my wrist right now while some other lucky enthusiast gets to proudly wear my Black Bay 36? 

Honestly, I can’t explain it! It defies all logic and makes me question my identity as a value-centric watch enthusiast. It has everything that I could ask for in an everyday watch, except for one thing; The memories I’ve made along the way! I am sure this watch will one day make its way into my collection, but whether or not it will replace the Black Bay 36 is unsure.

Happy watch hunting!

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