We've been waiting for the return of the integrated bracelet sport watch category for a few years now, and the day seems to finally have arrived: In a recent piece we published, we celebrated several new such designs, referring to them "luxury sport watches," though "sport chic" is also a term that's thrown around. The problem with some of these watches, however, is that they cost as much as a thoroughbred, or a Stratocaster from Slowhand's personal collection, or a live-in shoe collection polisher.
Well, we have good news for you: Tudor's revamped Royal Collection is here to alleviate those woes (if they are, in fact, woes). The Royal name, which was first used on Tudor watches in the 1950s, now adorns a collection of "sport chic" watches in myriad available configurations and sizes — nine dials and four sizes, to be exact.
Produced in 28, 34, 38 and 41mm cases in 316L stainless steel or steel and yellow gold, the new Royal Collection watches comes in different sunray satin-finished dials with applied Roman numerals or diamond indices as well as Super-LumiNova-coated baton hands. Equipped in all configurations with a date window, the 41mm version also features a date display, making for a compelling — and much more affordable — alternative to the Rolex Day-Date. Each watch features an integrated "five-link" bracelet with satin and brushed finishes in steel or two-tone (steel and yellow gold). Screw-down crowns and sapphire crystals ensure 100m of water resistance in each watch, making for a sport-chic model that's more than happy at the beach as well as out to dinner or for a walk around town.
Much of the excitement here comes by way of pricing: While a Rolex Day-Date is only available in precious metals for lots o' moolah, you can get a 41mm Royal from the Crown's sister brand for between $2,325–$3,350, depending on the configuration. (The 38mm watches range in price from $2,250–$3,300, while the 34mm cost $2,200–$3,975 and the 28mm, $2,150–$3,925. Best of all, each watch comes with a five-year, transferable warranty with no registration period or required maintenance checks.
Of course, at this pricing what you're not getting is an in-house movement, but until recently, this encapsulated Tudor's raison d'être — they were meant to be a lower-cost alternative to Rolex that would use Rolex parts, but third-party movements to keep prices down. An indeed, this is precisely the philosophy at work here: The Royal Collection is powered by workhorse movements from ETA (the 2834 in the 41mm versions; the 2824 in the 38mm and 34mm versions; and the 2671 in the 28mm version), each of which features a 38-hour power reserve and hacking.
The new Royal Collection is available in North America now — check out Tudor's website for more info and your local authorized dealer to purchase.