In the world of high-fashion, it is extremely common for a high-end brand to bring out a secondary-line (also known as diffusion lines) that provides a more accessible price point for consumers and perhaps even a younger look or style. This really does not happen when it comes to luxury watches, apart from one notable exception – Tudor watches.
The History of Tudor
The Tudor Watch company was registered in Geneva in 1926 by the house of “Veuve de Philippe Hüther” (which translates as “Widow of Philippe Hüther”) – a watch dealer and maker for Rolex founder Hans Wildorf. That same year, the very first Tudor watches were launched exclusively for the Australian market. They bore a very simple signature on the dial, with some extremely rare pieces also carrying the Rolex name. This gave Tudor a unique opportunity to utilise the Rolex name to gain leverage and trust.
In 1936, Wildorf acquired the exclusive usage rights for the brand with only one purpose in mind: “For some years now, I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a separate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the TUDOR watch company.” This year was also when the now-beloved rose logo first appeared.
Shortly after the Second World War, the “Montres Tudor S.A. Company” was established to expand the Tudor brand and give it a proper identity of its own – without having to rely on the pulling power of Rolex. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, Tudor grew into the Swiss watchmaking world’s most well-known brands. Its first two models, the Oyster and Oyster Prince attracted a wide range of customers, thanks to the blend of Rolex style and market-friendly retail price. The Oyster Prince in particular gained fame as part of a British scientific expedition to Greenland in 1952, which was sponsored by the Queen and Winston Churchill.
A New Era Begins
In 1954, Tudor released one of its most iconic models in the Oyster Prince Submariner, which shared many of the features that came with Rolex’s 6204 Submariner. The French Navy (Marine Nationale) played an essential role in the creation of this timepiece, offering detailed feedback to improve development and functionality. The Navy also began using these timepieces, but started buying in bulk without bracelets in the late 1960s so they could use their own military-issued straps. This practice continued until the mid-80s and provided the inspiration for the Tudor fabric straps that are still used today. This time period also saw the introduction of some of the brand’s most iconic design features, the snowflake hands and big crown.
Tudor launched its first alarm watch in 1957, called the “Tudor Advisor”. Three different versions appeared up until 1977, with two of them featuring an Oyster-style case. Also in 1957, the brand began producing an Oyster Prince Submariner for the US Navy. Fast forward to 1970, Tudor launched its first Chronograph, known as the Oysterdate. A year later, the brand released a timepiece that would be beloved by collectors – the “Monte Carlo” which gained its name from the dial looking like a roulette wheel.
The Big Relaunch
For many years, Tudor had been struggling to gain traction and was not something that enthusiasts were paying much attention to. The decision was therefore made in 2009 to completely overhaul the brand, starting with the launch of the Tudor Grantour Chronograph and Tudor Glamour collection of classic watches. Several important collections were produced in subsequent years, most notably the Heritage Chrono in 2010, plus the Fastrider Chronograph and Clair de Rose in 2011.
The year 2012 proved to be incredibly important for Tudor, with the release of the now-iconic Heritage Black Bay and Pelagos diver’s watch. Both of these were an immediate success for the brand, particularly the Black Bay. The two collections also turned out to be award winners, with the Black Bay scooping the “Revival” Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2013 and the Pelagos winning the “Sports Watch” prize in 2015. Two more collections were launched in 2014 and 2015, with the Ranger and North Flag respectively.
Pre-Owned Tudor Watches from Blowers Jewellers
Much like the vision of Hans Wildorf, Blowers Jewellers is committed to helping our clients own the timepiece of their dreams, whether they be Tudor watches or something entirely different. We will take the time to understand exactly what you are looking for from a watch and recommend what we believe is the best option for you.
We have a wide range of second-hand Tudor watches, both in a used and unused state. Each unique piece is hand-chosen by our expert team and comes with a warranty that stretches from between 12 months up to five years. All of our pre-owned Tudor watches can be viewed at our boutique in Hull, or via appointment at our office in London’s Mayfair.
The Blowers Jewellers team is also able to help if you are looking to sell or part-exchange your old timepiece. Simply provide us with a few details and we will send you a valuation of what we believe to be the best possible price.
Over our illustrious history, Blowers Jewellers has developed a strong reputation for the quality and reliability of our service. We understand that purchasing your ideal timepiece should be an incredibly personal and important experience, which is why we provide experienced and impartial advice whenever needed.
For more information about how Blowers Jewellers can help you find your ideal watch, contact a member of our team today or visit us in person. We will endeavour to help wherever we can.