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Is Tudor the best value luxury watch brand out there?

Updated Thurs 1st Feb 2024 by Craig Gibson

Rolex sister brand Tudor watches has established itself as a hot favourite, with a combination of retro-inspired designs, in-house movements and value for money.

Swiss brand Tudor watches is getting some serious attention in the market, and why we’re asking if they are the best value luxury watch brand out there?

Well, we think they are pretty darn close to claiming the ‘affordable luxury watch’ niche all to themselves. They certainly have started to rain on fellow Swiss brand TAG Heuer’s parade, who trade at around the same price point. This recognition is long overdue and well deserved, with a combination of:

  • Swiss craftsmanship and attention to detail
  • Quality materials, including in-house chronometer movements
  • Retro designs that are adventurous and cool

All together this equals a great overall package – and the main reason Tudor is now firmly out of big brother Rolex’s rather long shadow.

It’s why we are taking a closer look at the brand, starting with these 5 essential facts. 

5 essential facts you should know about Tudor watches

  1. Tudor was founded by one Hans Wilsdorf in 1926, yes, the same gent who established Rolex in 1905. He wanted to offer people a more affordable product, but with the same quality and attention to detail.
  1. To this day the (privately held) Hans Wilsdorf Foundation runs both Rolex and Tudor, which is obviously a big plus for the brand – given Rolex’s reputation and profile.
  1. Tudor relaunched in 2009, when they introduced their now-signature ‘snowflake’ shaped hands and started producing in-house movements. In contrast, Rolex sports watches have a ‘Mercedes’ style hour hand.
  1. The Tudor Black Bay range, first released in 2012, is the brand’s most iconic watch and a bestseller. The design was inspired by Tudor’s very own vintage ref. 7922 1954 Submariner. Choose from a dozen or more models in this range, including pieces in bronze.
  1. Tudor released its first in-house movement in 2015, marking a move away from third-party calibers. They are all COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) certified, which means they are precise and extremely reliable.

“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.”

Hans Wilsdorf, founder Rolex & Tudor
Tudor Black Bay dial close up, with signature ‘snowflake’ hour hand.

Let’s now look at 3 reasons to put a Tudor watch on your luxury watch shortlist.

3 great reasons to own a Tudor watch

Need some reasons to own a Tudor? Here are 3 very good reasons, in no particular order:

  1. Amazing value for money, with many models a fifth of parent brand Rolex’s offerings, for a comparable watch.
  2. In-house chronometer certified movements on the majority of their sports collection.
  3. Compared to Rolex, which is way more conservative, Tudor offers a more experimental, adventurous approach to watch design, especially with their current retro/vintage inspired models.

Tudor clearly took some design cues from parent brand Rolex’s vintage Explorer II ref. 1655, for the Tudor Black Bay Pro GMT.

Scroll 👇 down to see some of Tudor’s current bestsellers, including some models that have just been released. The focus here is on the brands sports watches, but they also manufacture dress/formal/ladies watches, such as the Glamour, Style, Clair de Rose & 1926 range. Also watch out for the new Heritage line, including the classic 1960’s inspired Heritage Ranger tool watch.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N Black Dial Stainless Steel Nato Strap 39mm.

Style: Diver watch in vintage-style 39mm case

Own it: For adventures underwater and on land! 

The Black Bay Fifty-Eight is Tudor’s current bestseller, and comes with an in-house chronometer certified movement. With a design clearly inspired by their own 1950’s Submariner, and a vintage-sized 39mm case – this is a great alternative to Rolex’s own dive watch with the same name 😉 It’s simply great value for a retro-inspired dive watch, and ticks a lot of boxes – not least the build quality and range of strap options.

Tudor Black Bay Pro GMT

Tudor Black Bay Pro GMT 79470 Black Dial Stainless Steel Black Fabric Yellow Strap 39mm.

Style: Sports, GMT complication for keeping track of two time zones at once.

Own it: For retro style!

Introduced in 2022, the Tudor Black Bay Pro GMT is clearly inspired by the 1970’s era Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655. In a vintage-friendly 39-millimetre case, you get a fixed 24-hour graduated steel bezel, an orange 24-hour hand – all powered by the in-house MT5652 movement with GMT function. This caliber is based on the excellent Breitling B01 movement.

Tudor Black Bay Chronograph

Tudor Black Bay Chronograph 79360N in ‘Panda’ & ‘Reverse Panda’ dials.

Style: Clearly inspired by Rolex’s iconic 1974 reference 6263 Daytona

Own it: If a Daytona is a stretch!

Tudor only introduced a chronograph into the Black Bay range in 2017, and these 2022 models are an evolution of the original – with a strong nod to the vintage ref. 6263 Daytona. For a chrono you get a lot for your money with the excellent COSC certified calibre MT5813 movement at the heart of the watch. At less than a sixth of the asking price for a Daytona, need we say more! Available in ‘Panda’ and ‘Reverse Panda’ dial variations.


Tudor Pelagos

Tudor Pelagos 25600TN Ceramic Bezel Black Index Dial Titanium Bracelet 42mm.

Style: Trad dive watch vibes and serious specs to back it up.

Own it: To go deep, without breaking the bank!

The Pelagos is actually a more serious dive watch than the Black Bay, with water resistance to 500 m (50 bar). Its titanium case and bracelet are also perfect for extended durability underwater. A helium escape valve means this model is actually designed to do some serious saturation diving! You can think of the Pelagos as somewhere between a Sub and a Deepsea, though for a fifth of the price!

We also wanted to cover some common questions we get about Tudor watches.

Tudor watch FAQ

Is Tudor as good as Rolex?

There is an ongoing Rolex vs Tudor debate, and if Tudor is as ‘good’ as sister brand Rolex. We think the answer is yes! Tudor uses top notch materials, in-house movements and is easily ahead of Rolex when it comes to innovating on the design of their watches. But, we also think you need to compare apples with apples. Rolex is firmly an upmarket brand, with prices to match vs Tudor which is quite comfortable in its ‘affordable luxury niche’.

Is it worth buying a Tudor watch?

Tudor is owned by Swiss parent-brand Rolex, so you get the same philosophy and meticulous approach to detail for a lot less, making their watches excellent value for money. This includes in-house chronometer (COSC) certified movements and retro designs that have a vintage feel.

Who are Tudor’s brand ambassadors?

David Beckham is a Tudor brand ambassador and is regularly seen sporting a variety of  Black Bay models. Other ambassadors for the Swiss brand include the All Black rugby team (often seen wearing a Black Bay Dark) and global popstar Lady Gaga, who rocks a blue dial Black Bay 36. Tudor also sponsors a number of sporting events, including the World Surf League’s Big Wave Season and have recently committed to funding a Pro Cycling Team.

We have an extensive range of new and pre-owned watches, with stock updated daily. Want to view a watch? It’s as easy as getting in touch to arrange a private appointment. We have showrooms in Melbourne and Sydney, where we can help you choose the right watch for you.

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