Tudor watches were, for a very long time, considered the poor man’s Rolex, and whilst the valid justification would once have been correct, as Tudor were the entry level sub brand for Rolex, things are very different today.
Arguably, 2012 was the game changing year for Tudor, with the introduction of the ETA powered Black Bay. Heavily inspired by the origins of Rolex and Tudor dive watches, with snow flake hands and maxi lume dial with deliberate patina, the Black Bay was an instant hit at an accessible price point, available with red, blue or black bezel. Subtle and not so subtle changes over the models lifespan saw a move to in house movements and deletion of the heritage Rose motif.
2013 saw the introduction of the Heritage chronograph blue, inspired again by a landmark heritage watch, the Monte Carlo. With two sub dials and a date function, the Heritage chronographs offer playful colours, heritage vibes and everyday usability.
While the market has slowly strengthened and prices firmed up, finding a cheap pre-owned Tudor is becoming harder. Nonetheless picking a discontinued ETA (mark 1 if you like) with smiling dial, Tudor rose dial and Tudor rose crown may be a prudent investment. Not long ago, late Tritium Submariners were priced wildly cheaper than their later superluminova brothers, now the mood is aged. Its unlikely Tudor will return to third party movements, so these are not to be repeated.
Similarly, the chronographs are in relative abundance in the secondary market and seem underrated at the moment . From an everyday versatility point, they are hard to beat.
Once upon a time, when asked for recommendations for good sports watches around £2-2.5k and under, the standard answer we’d give would be Omega Seamaster. Now, theres a very strong contender for best watch for £2.5k. And turning to Tudor means choice. Dive watch, what colour or retro chronograph? All of which look amazing on steel bracelets, Nato or leather.