Back in the day, Rolex invented what is known as the “Tool Watch”. This was a watch built for a specific reason like for divers with the Rolex Submariner, having multiple timezones for Pilots with the Rolex GMT-Master, and having anti magnetic capabilities for railroad engineers with the Rolex Milgauss. These watches are still made today and even though they are not primarily used for this functionality day to day, it comes in handy when needed.
When you look at the vintage Rolex models and you look at the brand today you can see the evolution and the similarities but they are very different! Rolex has become a modern brand with the latest and greatest materials, technology and manufacturing capabilities. They have always been clean and timeless in their execution but they have in some ways become more cold and minimalist. They have lost that warmness from their iconic past that so many revere.
Tudor watch on the other hand which is a subsidiary brand of Rolex has brought back that warmness to models like the Black Bay, Ranger and Heritage Chrono collections. They do this so effortlessly for less than half the price of a Rolex watch without compromising on quality and integrity. What Rolex fans want from the past is answered in Tudor. This is incredibly smart on Rolex’s part because they get to test the market without putting the all mighty crown on the dial as their seal of approval and use the Tudor Rose or Tudor Shield instead. This allows them to play in both price segments while having a clear identity for both brands.
Make no mistake about it. Tudor is NOT a poor mans Rolex. They play on their own terms while paying respect to the mothership that is Rolex. The Tudor fan, enthusiast and wearer may NOT be a Rolex fan in the immediate but eventually the transition will be made. Rolex has so much history and they are the “King” for a reason.
It’s funny throughout my career I always go back to Rolex. Whether there is a crown or a shield on the dial It’s safe to say I am in it for the long haul and have been for over 25 years! Lately I find myself wearing Tudor because I always wanted a vintage Rolex or Tudor but prices on those have become astronomical! Owning the Black Bay Black and Black Bay Red lets me have vintage Rolex/Tudor feel with the modern treatments that make it virtually bullet proof.
Let’s look at the Rolex Submariner No Date and Tudor Black Bay Black pictured above. Essentially they are exactly the same watch that perform the same functions and look similar but they couldn’t be more different. The Submariner No Date is a modern piece of machinery that’s bold, thick and timeless while the Tudor Black Bay Black is warm, rich and vintage feeling. The Rolex Submariner No date is 40mm which is 1mm smaller than the Tudor Black Bay Black at 41mm but is definitely thicker because it’s more water resistant. The Rolex is made out of 904L stainless steel while the Tudor is 316 stainless steel.
The Submariner No Date is steel with a jet black dial with white accents or writing while the Tudor Black Bay Black has a chocolate brown dial with gilt/gold writing and accents. This is closer to the vintage models from the 1950’s .
The Rolex comes with the classic Mercedes style hands while the Tudor Black Bay Black has Snowflake hands. The dial lay out is exactly the same on both models but the indices on the Rolex are fatter than the Tudor.
The Rolex has a Ceramic bezel with platinum inlay numbers while the Tudor has a matte black anodized aluminum bezel with similar number font and displacement.
The Submariner has the classic chunky Rolex screw down winding crown with the Rolex crown emblem on it. While the Tudor has a Screw-down steel winding crown, with the TUDOR rose engraved and black-lacquered, with black anodised aluminium winding crown tube.
The Rolex has a 3130 in house manufactured self winding movement with approximately a 48 hour power reserve. Since this is the first generation Tudor Black Bay Black pictured above it has the 2824 ETA movement developed for Tudor with approximately 38 hour power reserve. Please note the NEW Tudor Black Bay Black released within the next few months will have the NEW in house MT5602, Manufacture TUDOR (COSC) movement with approximately 70 hour power reserve.
The Sub No Date has an oyster flat three piece links with Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system. While the Tudor has an oyster style bracelet. The NEW Tudor Black Bay models wile have and oyster “Rivet” style bracelet.
So as you can see, even though Rolex and Tudor are almost bipolar opposites they are both cut from the same cloth!
Please contact me here to help you order either of these watches