Sharing a pedigree with Rolex, Tudor was founded by Hans Wilsdorf in the 1920s as a sister company to the legendary Swiss watch giant.
Whereas Rolex watches are pure, unabashed displays of luxury, Tudor watches have always served more as tool watches that put the impeccable Swiss craftsmanship to use in intense real world situations. For example, the US Navy SEALs used Tudor watches between the 1960s and the 1980s.
That’s not to say that Tudor isn’t also a brand associated with luxury and fashion. Since their 2013 relaunch in U.S. markets, Tudor watches have been on the tongues of some of the foremost authorities in fashion culture. Both Lady Gaga and David Beckham are vocal brand ambassadors, and the world has a renewed fascination with the classic designs of the venerable watchmaker.
A big part of Tudor’s current success is their ability to modernize their looks without changing too much of what’s always worked. Their designs are stately and refined, but at the same time they’re sharp and eye-catching without ever venturing into what some might call gaudy.
“Tasteful” is a word that could be used here, but in the sense that sporting a Tudor is a statement about the wearer’s refined sense of style. And of course they still feature that renowned craftsmanship that ensures they’ll keep ticking in the most intense situations, be they perilous adventures or social engagements.
Now let’s explore some of the iconic Tudor watch designs and find one for you to fall in love with.
Inspired by the company’s history with diving watches, Black Bay designs harken back to various design features of the past 60 years of Tudor lore.
The general lines, domed dial and crystal are a call-back to the first Tudor diving watches, and the large winding crown is a nod to the famous 7924 reference of 1958, aka the Big Crown. The so-called “snowflake” hands are taken from the Tudor diving watches used by the French National Navy in the 70s.
Powering the watch is a mechanical movement painstakingly crafted by Tudor for long-lasting functionality.
Here are some of our favorite Black Bay designs:
“Timeless design” is a strange phrase to use to describe a line of watches, but that’s exactly what the 1926 tries, and succeeds, to achieve. The line is named after the year that the company was founded, 1926, and so these watches are an ode to the vision of Hans Wildorf and the essence he captured when he started the company.
Featuring a vintage domed dial and elegantly embossed design that plays with color in such fine detail that it can trick the eyes, Tudor’s reminiscing on its origins has truly resulted in a masterpiece.
In fact, thinking more on the topic makes us wonder if “timeless” is maybe the wrong word. Certainly this classic design speaks of a rich history, but there is so much modern beauty worked into the finest details on this watch that we think maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe “timeful” is a better description.
Here are some of our favorite 1926 designs:
You don’t have to be Lady Gaga to wear Tudor watches, but you’ll definitely feel like a star when you do.