The Younger Sibling Comes Of Age
If you love luxury watches, then you definitely know all about Tudor. Tudor, otherwise known as Rolex's sister brand, has been one of the most visible brands of the past decade. The sudden and somewhat unexpected resurgence has been nothing short of remarkable. While Tudor was previously neglected, it has transformed into an industry leading powerhouse. With the power of the Crown, (Rolex) backing it up, Tudor has successfully evolved, building on its associations it made by bringing onboard world-famous ambassadors. Ambassadors like David Beckham, Lady Gaga and more have helped Tudor expand its reach beyond the dedicated few.
Tudor’s output over the last few years has become increasingly more timeless. Earlier models that helped bring the brand back to life are now mostly forgotten. When one thinks of the brand, it is all but impossible to ignore names such as “Black Bay” and “Pelagos”. These collections, in particular, have established Tudor as something very special in the modern watchmaking landscape, and will likely appreciate over time. Therefore, let’s dive in to the Top Five Tudor Models to buy right now (while you still can).
The Black Bay 36 is a quiet classic. It has obvious stylistic similarities with the Rolex Explorer, which has recently been “updated” to feature a 36mm case once again. The Black Bay differs with the styling of the hour markers used on the dial. While the Rolex Explorer employs prominent Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, the Black Bay 36 sticks with the stick and dot format of its bigger, bezel-laden brother.
You can't compete with a versatile sports watch, (like this one) especially at this price point. The Tudor Black Bay 36 wears extremely well, so make sure you get this one on your wrist! Be sure to check out Jomashop's Tudor Black Bay 36 watch collection and take 15%-30% OFF!
When looking for a go anywhere, do anything daily diver, the conversation generally starts with the Rolex Submariner. Should that model be unavailable to you (as it is to most watch lovers), an alternative must be found! The Tudor Pelagos is a worthy successor to the Submariner. So much so, that Tudor originally produced a model titled The Submariner itself. While fans clamor for its return, the Pelagos often gets overlooked despite its many merits.
Of all the Pelagos models made (and there have not been many), the most unusual and certainly most distinct from the current Rolex Submariner, is the Tudor Pelagos LHD. This dive watch is crafted from titanium and boasts one of the finest micro-adjustment clasps on the market. It also has a delightfully creamy colorway (off-white markers with a matt black background, red highlights including alternating red and black date numbers), and a left-hand crown.
While the left-hand crown might better suit left-handed people, it is also perfectly suited for right-handed wearers who prefer to keep the crown away from their wrist’s plane of motion. In fact, this is where the inspiration for this model came from. It was not from disgruntled lefties who wanted a watch for themselves, but rather for navy operatives that preferred an unimpeded wrist flex.
Origins aside, the Tudor Pelagos LHD (available now on Jomashop) is a capable alternative to the Rolex Submariner and, arguably, far more wearable. It is 42mm wide, made of lightweight titanium, and comes with a spare rubber strap (reducing the weight even further). It is water-resistant down to 500 meters and is powered by the in-house MT5612-LHD caliber, which proudly runs for 70 hours on a full wind. Not only does the Pelegos do all this for a retail price below $5,000, but at Jomashop you can get an Extra 13% Off.
There has been a lot of talk about Tudor jacking up the price on its Sub alternative. Especially given the Sub’s unattainability, growing iconic status, and fear that the numbered-but-not-limited LHD might leave the collection in the future. Now seems like the prime time to act!
Another one of Rolex’s most famous and sought-after models is the Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”. The Pepsi — nicknamed for its legendary red and blue bezel — returned to the Crown’s catalog in 2018. At the same time, Tudor launched its own interpretation of the traveler’s complication. The Tudor model was certainly well received. It's praised for its' more muted colorway (which actually comes to life quite refreshingly in natural light as aluminum bezels tend to), the retention of the “snowflake” handset, and its price point.
A Fascinating Proposition
Retailing around $4,000 makes this watch a compelling proposition, whether you own a Rolex GMT-Master II or not! Why? Because, it offers almost as much bang-for-buck as the aforementioned Tudor Black Bay 36 (which only edges the GMT in this conversation because it retails for a preposterously low $2,950.
One of the only criticisms that the Black Bay heritage diver line receives, is about its bulky feel (they have been said to sit on the wrist like a slab of metal). The Black Bay GMT designers took note of this, and made slight, but meaningful, adjustments to the case profile.
It made sense that there a bulky feel on the pure dive watches, because they were tool watches, designed to do a job, and capable of keeping out water to crazy depths. The GMT version, however, was an altogether more elegant proposition. It has been designed to appeal to a more discerning, elegant clientele. As such, it should have a slightly more elegant case, should it not?
Tudor applied a noticeable chamfer along the underside of the case, significantly reducing the watch’s visual presence on the wrist. While the watch wears similarly to its diving brethren, the way that the added chamfer bends the light around the hulking housing is masterful. This watch, not the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi, may end up being remembered as the true winner of Baselworld 2018 when all is said and done.
One of the brand’s most recent releases is also undoubtedly one of its finest. The Black Bay Chronographs, released at the Watches and Wonders fair of 2021, were met with high praise and acclaim. Yes, they look a lot like Rolex Daytonas; no, nobody minds. In fact, with too many eyes, the design of the Tudor Black Bay Chronograph is more preferable than the Daytona. It is humbler, decidedly more in touch with a sports chronograph’s roots, and affordable. Better yet, it is available.
Buying something simply because one can is never a good idea. However, buying something because one thinks he or she should is an even less desirable notion. Swathes of watch consumers have been convinced (or convinced themselves), that they need a Rolex Daytona. They don’t. Nobody does. The Daytona is a fine watch — an undeniable classic. But it's not the only chronograph out there. In fact, when you get over all of the hype, there are plenty of luxury mechanical timepieces that can hold their own against the legend that is the Rolex Daytona. The Tudor Black Bay Chronograph is one of them.
A step in the right direction...
This model marks an interesting step for the brand. It appears to be stepping out of Rolex’s shadow, if the slightly elevated price point is anything to go by. Yes, the Tudor Black Bay Chronograph is nowhere near the same retail price as the Daytona, but this is one of the first core stainless steel models that appear to be confidently creeping towards $10,000, and away from the sub-$5,000 realm Tudor has dominated of late.
It's unlikely that the ticket price of this model will ever hit the five-figure mark, but it could be a sign for things to come with subsequent releases in this vein. As such, if this is a watch that you think would look at home on your wrist, now may very well be the time to buy this watch.
The P01 is a Black Bay by name and name alone. It is entirely its own animal. The odd man out of this catalog is already gaining a cult following amongst those who have actually tried this thing on their wrist.
The Tudor Black Bay P01 is a re-issue of a watch that never made it into production. It was a prototype. An idea. It was nothing more. Its novel bezel locking system was rejected as convoluted and finicky. It was regarded, as far as bezels go, as the “Heath Robinson” of its time.
And yet, therein lies its appeal. It's crazy. It's off the wall. Yet, there is nothing like the P01. You cannot deny its novelty, or its wear-ability, as one might do from looks alone.
A Misunderstood Genius
There have been very few watches, released in recent years, that were so polarizing. Whenever criticism runs freely towards something released by such a major and influential brand (especially one with the kind of deep pockets and foundations of Tudor), collectors should take note. Look at what happened to the “failed” Rolex designs of the 1970s? Many of them now command five-, six-, seven-, even eight-figure sums at auction. And while it's highly unlikely that any modern watch will garner that level of appreciation, the skepticism that it may drop out of the Tudor collection soon could be the perfect reason to make it part of yours before it does.