The Thinker’s Guide to the Tudor Watch, an Alternative to Rolex


Are you interested in purchasing Swiss-made luxury watch such as a Rolex timepiece but cannot justify the cost? If so, you have two options, either to give up the idea of purchasing a luxury Swiss watch or purchase what is known as a “Poor man’s Rolex:” a Tudor watch.


By way of answering this question, let’s consider why the alternative to Rolex: Tudor watches are worth considering as viable options to buying a Rolex timepiece.

Both Rolex and Tudor have the same origins of quality

Both Rolex and Tudor timepieces were founded by Hans Wilsdorf. Therefore, his attention to detail and handmade quality has been part of both brands from their inception.

Rolex was founded in 1905 by Wilsdorf. He dreamed of a precise wristwatch that was elegant and reliable. Consequently, he contracted a Swiss watchmaking company in Bienne to manufacture very small, precise movements that were fitted inside his timepieces.

And, his first waterproof watch, the Oyster watch, with its perpetual movement was the world’s first waterproof watch that was accurate and designed to withstand all conditions. The Oyster case was designed and manufactured in three layers with the movement sealed between the top or front of the watch and the second layer. The third layer or back of the watch was hermetically sealed to the top by screwing down the bezel, case back, and winding crown against the middle case.

The Tudor brand was conceived in 1926 by Wilsdorf as high-quality timepieces that are moderately priced. These watches were first equipped with off-the-shelf movements, housed in a Rolex-quality case and strap or bracelet; thereby, ensuring Rolex quality at a reasonable price. The Tudor Oyster collection was released in the mid-1940s using Rolex’s waterproof Oyster case to protect the Tudor watch’s internal movement.

The addition of Rolex’s self-winding rotor facilitated Tudor’s journey into the production of diver’s and tool watches. Tudor’s first diving watch, the Oyster Prince Submariner, was released in 1954 and was waterproof to 100 metres. This depth was increased from 100 to 200 metres in 1958.

While Rolex is well-known for its perpetual motion, self-winding movement that was implemented in 1931, Tudor released a range of watches with a self-winding movement in 1976: The Oyster Big Block series.

Quality versus price

Here is a brief comparison between a 2018 Tudor Black Bay GMT watch and a Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi timepiece.

At the outset of this discussion, it’s vital to note that the 2018 Tudor Black Bay GMT timepiece sells for about £3 100 ($3 900 USD) and the Rolex Pepsi sells for about £7 364 ($9 250 USD). Thus, there is a considerable price difference between these two watches. And, by looking at these components and the materials they are manufactured from, the price difference is justified.

The Tudor’s case is manufactured from steel, has a polished and satin finish, and is waterproof to 200 metres. The bezel is steel graduated with an anodised aluminium disc. It has a steel screw down winding crown. And, it’s movement is an automatic movement with a bidirectional rotor system.

The Rolex, on the other hand, has a Oystersteel outer case, monobloc middle case, screw-down back and winding crown. It is waterproof to 100 metres. And the movement is a perpetual rotor movement.

Final words

Both the Rolex Pepsi and the Tudor GMT watch as manufactured with precision and with quality components. Their movements are similar in that they are automatic; although, the mechanism that creates the automatic movement is different.

Finally, if you cannot afford a Rolex, this discussion proves that a Tudor watch is an accepted and viable alternative.

FadLy Handowo
My name is FadLy Handowo. I love experiencing new things and I am always looking for a new activity to try.

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