This is not a Rolex! Every time I see Tudor advertised for sale, the headline is something like “Rolex Tudor”. This annoys me. Tudor is a separate product and although both come under the same parent company and Tudor came about 40 years after Rolex, the two are aimed at two different markets.
A brief history of Tudor.
By virtue of its Oyster Case, Rolex had cemented itself as a leader in the upper mass market, competing in the marketplace with Omega, Certina, Longines, Zenith etc.
Thirty eight years after Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf started Tudor. To make Tudor stand out in a cluttered market, Rolex cases where used. The movements used were the standard but brilliant ETA’s, manuals and automatics. The in house Rolex automatics of the 40’s through to the 70’s were not a patch on their competitors, watchmakers were gleefully bagging out the Rolex as “rubbish”, but the Oyster Case was its great virtue. So, the Tudor enjoyed instant success with the Oyster case and good ETA movements…….A better watch than Rolex, some would say and has actually been referred to as the thinking man’s Rolex.
Over the years Tudor moved further and further away from its big brother until the present day where it bears no resemblance and has a clear direction of its own.
This model is classic Tudor, a 1966 model (twenty years into this young company’s history). It uses a basic Ebauche ETA 1100 manual wind movement, no date, housed in a Rolex Oyster case. And, like all Tudor Oysters it lets it be known loud and clear having “ORIGINAL CASE BY ROLEX GENEVA” etched into the back along with the Rolex crown emblem. The crown logo is also seen on the winding crown.
So, although the Tudor may not have the pedigree of Rolex or have some of the world’s most desirable models, that isn’t to say it should be snubbed. It is a unique watch, basic but a top performer that holds an important place in watchmaking history.