There are very few watch brands I can say that really peak my interest. The new ones are either trying way too hard to copy the legends of time or they are so complicated that you need a PhD or some sort of NASA certification to actually set the time. 2013 is a landmark year for Rolex because of the 50th anniversary of the Daytona, it's also a marks the year they are bringing back subsidiary brand Tudor to the US Market.
During the time frame of the Great Depression, 1946 to be exact, Hans Wilsdorf the Founder of Rolex introduced a subsidiary brand of Rolex known as Tudor. When most companies were lowering their prices and image, Hans Wilsdorf decided to introduce a new collection and brand that had reliability and quality like a Rolex but at a lower price point to make it more affordable. This Basel 2013, Tudor has introduced a new product line ready to launch in the US market this summer 2013.
I have always been a fan of Tudor watches , but now I am incredibly excited because up until now the market for well made watches between 3 thousand to 6 thousand dollars didn't really exist. Rolex has very cleverly positioned Tudor to fill that price point and own that market share. This is right in line with the philosophy of founder Hans Wilsdorf, making it more affordable and accessible without compromising quality, reliability and integrity.
So what makes Tudor different from Rolex besides price point? Well, Tudor doesn't manufacture their movements like Rolex. They use work horse movements like ETA. For the last 10 or more years, Tudor brand watches have been marketed and sold in most countries around the world including Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, South Africa, most countries in Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and countries South America, particularly Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela
I am excited to report that Tudor has introduced the FastRider Black Shield Chronograph for Basel 2013. This watch is basically a ceramic chronograph that has the visual aesthetic of the iconic Rolex Daytona. I love the fact they can take more risks with Tudor and experiment with design, composites, price points and complications . In a lot of ways, Tudor represents the side of Rolex that the public wants that Rolex actually has no problem executing and fulfilling. Rolex is a lot more traditional and historic while Tudor is modern and accessible.
The Tudor FastRider Black Shield Chronograph is a serious winner because it's well finished, everyday wearing and speaks to that real racing enthusiast who enjoys a chronograph function. Even though a little small for my liking, the 42 mm size is a great place to start. There are two dial options available, both black dials, one with red indices and the other with luminous white indices.
The case and bezel of the watch are black ceramic, while the chronograph pushers are steel and black PVD coated. Unlike most watches whose date wheels rest at the 4 o'clock position, this rests at the 4: 30 position. Both variations are available in two strap options in leather and rubber. This is actually a chronograph you can swim with as it's water resistant to 150 meters and has screw down crown.
I don't know the exact price, but I am guessing it to be at around the 6 thousand dollar mark plus or minus, which is a great place to be for a Chronograph that is basically made by Rolex. Those of you who are gushing at the new Rolex Platinum Daytona and feel like you have been priced out of the market, now have something new, different, re-invented and stay within the Rolex Family. I have a feeling Tudor is going to create a mass hysteria and bring a whole new world of collectors by bringing this cult brand back to the US.
Technical Specs for the Tudor FastRider Black Shield Chronograph