Many people think that Tudor is just an imitation of Rolex, but that's not the whole story. Thirty-eight years after he started making watches under the name 'Rolex,' Hans Wilsdorf started another brand. That brand was called Tudor.
1 – Rolex creator Hans Wilsdorf began his watchmaking career in London and his love of England and Tudor history led him to choose the royally inspired name for his sub-brand. Wilsdorf registered the company under the trademark “The Tudor” in February 1926, however the brand would not be officially launched until 1946.
2 – Tudor was created by Wilsdorf to offer Rolex quality at more affordable prices. The watches were made using Rolex cases and bracelets and bought in Valjoux movements rather than the more expensive Rolex proprietary movements.
3 – The first Tudor watch collection was the “Oyster Prince.” Launched in 1952, it was based around the already famous Rolex Oyster case and original self winding perpetual rotor mechanism.
4 – Earlier versions of the brand’s logo featured the Tudor heraldic rose inscribed with a shield. In 1947 the shield gradually disappeared only to return as the brand’s main logo in the 1960’s.
5 – The Heritage Advisor was the first watch in Rolex/Tudor history to have an alarm function. This simple feature paved the way for Tudor to become the more outgoing and adventurous younger brother to more sedate and reserved Rolex.
“For some years now, I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a seperate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the Tudor watch company.” – H. Wilsdorf
Sign up for all the latest DMR news.