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The Complete Buying Guide to Tudor Watches

Once subordinate to big brother Rolex, Tudor has come into its own in recent years.

tudor black bay watch worn on wrist
Tudor

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Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf created Tudor as a more affordable brand, one which initially housed third-party movements inside Rolex cases. Tudor’s relationship to Rolex has always lent the sub-brand serious credibility, but that relationship had also trapped Tudor under Rolex’s shadow. It didn’t help that the brand also completely disappeared from the U.S. market from 1996 through 2013.

However, beginning in 2012, Tudor thrilled fans of tool watches with the release of the Black Bay, a modern iteration of the now highly collectible Tudor Submariner, produced from 1954 until the 1990s. The Black Bay was an instant hit, and it allowed Tudor to step out from under Rolex’s shadow and beam its own identity more boldly. Since the Black Bay’s release, certain vintage Tudor Submariners have fetched over $100,000, which has also elevated the brand.

This isn’t to say that Tudor has left its strong ties to Rolex behind, and more than a few of today’s Tudor models are derivative of Rolex models: The Pepsi (red and blue) Black Bay GMT is a direct nod to Rolex’s GMT Master, while Tudor’s Style and Glamour lines are alternatives to the Rolex Datejust and Day-Date.

pepsi red and blue black bay gmt watch
Tudor

Tudor also offers a number of less Rolex-esque models. The Black Bay’s signature “snowflake” hours hand (actually more of a diamond-shape) is such a bold feature that all Black Bay and Pelagos models look rather unique. Tudor’s Heritage Chrono (which references vintage Tudor models) looks nothing like a Rolex Daytona, and their feminime-leaning Clair de Rose lineup looks more like a Cartier than anything Rolex ever released.

tudor chrono watch side view with knob
Tudor

Then there are the Tudor oddballs, watches that pull Tudor far afield from Rolex. The Heritage Advisor is an alarm watch with a complex sector dial. And in 2019 Tudor completely confused the watch world by releasing the Black Bay P01, a dive watch from Tudor’s back catalog with a bezel locking mechanism integrated into the strap (a configuration strange enough to win the Challenge Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horologie de Geneve, and based yet again on a vintage model).

The Heritage Ranger may remind some of older Rolex Explorers and Tudor time-only Princes, but this 42mm watch looks more like an oversize WWII mil-spec piece than anything Rolex has ever offered.

heritage ranger watch
Analog / Shift

These variations within the Tudor catalog make it difficult to pinpoint a Tudor aesthetic, but there are overarching features that unite all the watches in Tudor’s catalog:

Mechanical Movements Every Tudor is a mechanical watch. Since 2015 with the release of the North Flag, Tudor has offered in-house movements in some of their watches, while others use modified ETA movements. Tudor’s transparency about what base movements they use from ETA is admirable.

Rugged Construction All Tudor watches are tough, even their dress watches. Water resistance ratings are 100 meters or better. Highly regarded KIF anti-shock systems replace the standard Incabloc systems typically used in ETA movements. Sapphire crystals are a given.

Minimal Precious Metals Other than the gold used on their two-tone models, Tudor uses no precious metals for their watch cases. Steel is the main metal, with bronze and carbon offered on select models.

High-End Straps and Bracelets Tudor’s bracelets are supple yet robust, and their leather and fabric straps are proprietary high-end offerings that cost over $100.

Reasonable Prices Though there is some overlap, Tudor’s prices stop in the vicinity where Rolex’s begin, at right around $7,000.

Tudor
Black Bay
tudorwatch.com
$3,475.00

Easily Tudor’s most popular watch, the 41mm Black Bay dive watches are available in a number of colorways.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5602 (COSC) (Note: before 2016, ETA movements were used)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $3,475 — $5,075 (price depends on materials and strap/bracelet choice)

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Tudor
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
tudorwatch.com
$3,375.00

Instantly sold out internationally upon its debut in 2018, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight thrilled hip watch enthusiasts who prefer vintage sizes. More variations have slowly been added to the collection.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5402 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 39mm
Price: $3,375 (strap); $3,700 (bracelet); more for special materials

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Tudor
Black Bay Bronze
tudorwatch.com
$4,150.00

The matte gray fade on the dial, gilt accents, and the soft tones of bronze lend this model a certain warmth. Not just a bronze version of the regular Black Bay, the Bronze is 2mm wider in diameter. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight is also available in a bronze version with a full bronze bracelet.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5601 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 43mm
Price: $4,150

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Tudor
Black Bay P01
tudorwatch.com
$4,000.00

The oddball that shocked watch nerds around the world in 2019, the P01 has a unique bezel locking mechanism built into the strap connectors, a crown at 4-o’clock, and comes with a waterproof rubberized leather strap.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5612 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 42mm
Price: $4,000

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Tudor
Black Bay GMT
tudorwatch.com
$3,725.00

This watch shares a lot with the Rolex GMT Master, including, unfortunately, scarcity. Locked in safes for those lucky souls who managed to get on waiting lists, we can only hope that Tudor bumps up supply sometime soon.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5652 (COSC) with second time zone.
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $3,725 — $4,050 (price depends on strap/bracelet choice)

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Tudor
Black Bay Chrono
tudorwatch.com
$4,900.00

Obviously the Rolex Daytona is the big brother to the Black Bay Chronograph, but these watches feature snowflake hands, two sub-dials (rather than three), a date window at 6 o’clock and round markers, all of which set the Tudor apart from the Rolex. Getting a chronograph with an in-house movement for under $5,000 represents awesome value.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5813 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $4,900 — $5,225 (price depends on materials and strap/bracelet choice)

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Tudor
Black Bay 32/36/41
tudorwatch.com
$2,525.00

At time-only watch with bold legibility, snowflake hands and robust construction, these “field watches” (Tudor doesn’t call them that) are as close as Tudor gets to making a Rolex Explorer. Available with either a blue or black dial, there is a size for any wrist.
Movement: ETA-based 2824 with upgrades
Water Resistance: 150m
Case Diameter: 32mm; 36mm, 41mm
Price: $2,525 — $2,950

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Tudor
Pelagos
tudorwatch.com
$4,575.00

Made from titanium, the Pelagos is Tudor’s modern diver, with robust specifications, a scratch-proof ceramic bezel insert, and blocky markers that pair beautifully with the signature snowflake hands. The LHD model is for lefty-handed folks, but more than a few righties have opted for this unique model, even finding that the crown position adds a bit of comfort for active use. Available in black or blue.
Movement: Manufacture calibre MT5612 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 500m
Case Diameter: 42mm
Price: $4,575

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Tudor
Heritage Chrono
tudorwatches.com
$4,200.00

A fun and funky no-date, dual-register chronograph in steel that’s based on vintage Tudor chronos and truly unlike anything Rolex offers, this watch makes a bold statement in any of its three colorways.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2892 with additional module for chronograph function
Water Resistance: 150m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $4,200 — $4,525

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Tudor
Heritage Advisor
tudorwatches.com
$5,900.00

Mechanical alarm watches offer a rare and useful complication, and the version with brown dial with red accents makes for a particularly standout timepiece. This is one of Tudor’s most expensive watches.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2892 with additional alarm function mechanism developed exclusively by Tudor
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 42mm
Price: $5,900 — $6,225

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Tudor
Royal Series
tudorwatches.com
$2,150.00

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 watches come in different sunray satin-finished dials with applied Roman numerals or diamond indices as well as Super-LumiNova-coated baton hands.

Movement: 28mm: self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2671; 34mm, 38mm and 41mm: self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2824-2
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 28mm; 34mm; 38mm; 41mm
Price: $2,150-$3,925

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Tudor
1926 Series
tudorwatches.com
$1,800.00

It’s best to think of the 1926 Series as a modular system. You can choose between any of the four sizes, between all steel or two-tone, between diamonds or not, and between silver, black or opaline dials. Add up all the combinations, and you can go from a sporty 41mm field watch that’s similar to the Rolex Explorer down to a 28mm steel and gold, diamond-studded dressy piece for Mom.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2824 with date
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 28mm; 36mm; 39mm; 41mm
Price: $1,800 — $3,525

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Tudor
Glamour Series
tudorwatch.com
$2,225.00

This series feels quite Rolex-y, and as such is quintessentially Tudor in the old-school sense of the brand as an affordable alternative to some of Rolex’s most iconic watches. The 42mm Double Date features a dual-aperture “big date” complication, while the 39mm Day Date and the 28mm/31mm/36mm Date models resemble watches straight out of the Rolex catalogue.
Movement: Manufacture calibre MT5641 (COSC) self-winding mechanical movement with day-date; Calibre 2834 with date (depending on size and function)
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 28mm; 31mm; 36mm; 39mm; 41mm
Price: $2,225 — $5,250

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Tudor
Style Series
tudorwatch.com
$2,100.00

These are more affordable Rolex-esque watches, available only with time and date complications powered by third-party movements from ETA, on leather or bracelets, in all steel or two-tone, with or without diamonds, and in a number of dial colors. Another modular system from Tudor, these watches can cover a lot of ground from fancy women’s models to straightforward large ones.
Movement: Various from ETA depending on size
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 28mm; 34mm; 38mm; 41mm
Price: $2,100 — $3,750

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Tudor
Clair de Rose
tudorwatch.com
$2,225.00

These are decidedly aimed at women, available only in steel, and available on either a bracelet or a strap. Dial variants are limited to opaline with or without diamonds.
Movement: 34mm: self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2824-2; 26mm and 30mm: self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2671
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 26mm; 30mm; 34mm
Price: $2,225 – $2,950

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