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Tudor vs. Rolex: Features, Similar Models, and Price Points

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Comparison
tudor vs rolex

Rolex and Tudor, often referred to as “brother brands,” have distinct histories and brand positioning within the world of luxury watches. While Rolex is synonymous with high-end prestige, Tudor offers a more accessible yet still high-quality alternative. 

In this blog, we delve into the key differences between these two brands, exploring their features, materials used, movements, design elements, and price points. 

Whether you’re a seasoned watch collector or a curious enthusiast, this comparison will shed light on the unique offerings of Tudor and Rolex.

Key Differences at a Glance

 RolexTudor
Brand Prestige High-end and prestigious.Regarded as a more affordable yet still high-quality alternative.
Materials UsedUses more premium materials like 904L stainless steel and 18K gold .Typically uses standard 316L stainless steel and other more budget-friendly materials.
MovementsManufactures in-house movements known for their precision, durability, and accuracy.A mix of in-house and third-party movements.
Design ElementsKnown for its timeless and iconic styles. Many models feature the Cyclops lens for date display.Designs often exhibit a more modern and adventurous flair. Notable collections are Black Bay and Pelagos.
Price (As of of July 2023)S$2,084 – S$301,794 

Higher retail prices due to premium materials and brand prestige. Rolex sticks to stainless steel and precious metals.
S$742 – S$25,366

More affordable since it experiments with bronze, titanium, and ceramic cases.

In summary, Rolex and Tudor offer distinct differences in brand prestige, materials used, movements, design elements, and price range. 

Rolex is high-end and prestigious, using premium materials like 904L stainless steel and 18K gold, while Tudor is a more affordable alternative, employing standard stainless steel and budget-friendly materials. 

Rolex features in-house movements known for precision, while Tudor combines in-house and third-party movements. 

Rolex has timeless designs with signature elements like the Cyclops lens, while Tudor showcases modern and adventurous aesthetics. 

Rolex has higher prices due to its premium materials, while Tudor offers affordability through material experimentation.

Rolex: The Pioneer of The First Waterproof Watch

Brief History

Rolex, founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, quickly became a pioneer in the horology industry. One of its most significant innovations was the creation of the first waterproof watch in 1926, solidifying its reputation for groundbreaking technologies and high-quality timepieces. The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation owns the brand and has headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Features

Rolex watches are renowned for their precision, reliability, and luxurious design. Some standout features include:

  • Oyster case: The Oyster case was Rolex’s first waterproof case, ensuring the watch movement remains protected from water and other elements.
  • Perpetual movement: The Perpetual movement is a self-winding mechanism, powered by the wearer’s natural wrist movements, ensuring the watch remains accurate even when not worn daily.
  • 904L steel construction: Rolex uses 904L steel throughout its metal watches, known for its corrosion-resistant properties and exceptional luster.

Price Point and Resale Value

Rolex, synonymous with luxury watches, offers a wide range of highly sought-after timepieces in the private sales market. Prices for Rolex watches typically range from S$2,084 to S$301,794, reflecting their exclusivity and exceptional craftsmanship.

Among Rolex’s iconic collections, the Datejust is the most popular choice, cherished for its timeless design and precise functionality. The current retail price for the Datejust 41 (126334) model is S$14,350, while the pre-owned price is around S$17,237, indicating its enduring value in the market.

Another sought-after collection is the sporty Submariner (16610), which has a retail price of S$9,700 and can be resold at approximately S$13,078, highlighting its desirability among watch enthusiasts.

The Daytona (11650) collection commands even higher prices, with a retail price of S$20,650 and an average pre-owned price as high as S$39,498, making it a valuable investment for collectors.

For those interested in the GMT-Master II collection, the current retail price for the Datejust model is S$14,950, while the pre-owned price averages at around S$22,369, offering a potential opportunity for discerning buyers.

These price points reflect the exceptional quality, craftsmanship, and prestige associated with Rolex timepieces, making them highly coveted and valuable assets for watch connoisseurs.

Tudor: The Perfect Blend of Affordability and Luxury

 Brief History

Tudor is a Swiss watch brand founded in 1926 by Hans Wilsdorf, the same visionary behind Rolex. Wilsdorf created Tudor as a more affordable alternative to its high-end sibling, offering Swiss watch quality at a more accessible price. Over the years, Tudor has evolved and forged its own identity separate from Rolex while still adhering to the high-quality standards set by its founder. 

Features

Tudor watches are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and materials, similar to Rolex. They utilize stainless steel, titanium, and ceramic in their watch constructions, ensuring durability and longevity. While some Tudor models feature in-house movements, others employ ETA movements, which are also Swiss-made and highly reliable. Additionally, Tudor watches are often equipped with advanced features such as waterproof cases, power reserve indicators, and chronograph functions that cater to diverse needs and preferences.

Price Point and Resale Value 

The price of Tudor timepieces typically sells for between S$742 and S$25,354 on the private sales market. The Black Bay collection, known for its distinct vintage aesthetic and exceptional performance, stands as the brand’s most popular range. 

One of the most popular Tudor timepieces is the Tudor Black Bay (79360) which has a retail price of S$7,200, while the pre-owned price is S$5,891 in the private sales market. 

Another sought-after collection, especially by professional divers, is the Tudor Pelagos. Among the collection’s most popular models is the (25407N) with a retail price of S$6,100 and can be resold at approximately S$5,678 in the private sales market.

If you’re interested in a similar model as Rolex’s Submariner, you might want to consider getting the Tudor Submariner which is a classic dive watch renowned for its robust functionality and elegant design. The most popular Tudor Submariner model (79090) has a retail price of S$3,600 and typically fetches around S$9,791 in the private sales market.

Comparing Timeless Icons

Tudor Black Bay GMT vs Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

Tudor Black Bay GMT vs Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi
 Tudor Black Bay GMTRolex GMT-Master II Pepsi
Case41mm stainless steel case for a sporty yet elegant appearance.40mm Oystersteel case, offering a more refined and classic look.
DialBlack dial with familiar snowflake handsBlack dial
BezelRed and blue bezelBlue and red Cerachrom ceramic bezel
Hour MarkersLarge luminous hour markers and a GMT hand with a red triangle tip 18k white gold hour markers and hands filled with long-lasting luminescence; GMT hand has a red arrow tip
MovementIn-house MT5652 movementIn-house Calibre 3285.
Power Reserve70 hours70 hours

The Tudor GMT Black Bay and the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi are both exceptional timepieces with distinctive features. The Black Bay GMT offers a sportier look with a 41mm stainless steel case and a black dial marked by snowflake hands and large luminous hour markers, powered by an in-house MT5652 movement with a 70-hour power reserve. 

The Rolex GMT-Master II, on the other hand, opts for a classic aesthetic with a smaller 40mm Oystersteel case and a black dial accentuated by 18k white gold hour markers and hands. It operates on the in-house Calibre 3285 movement, surpassing COSC standards with Rolex’s own Superlative Chronometer certification, and also offers a 70-hour power reserve. Despite their differing aesthetics, both watches successfully embody the spirit of adventure and precision inherent in GMT watches.

Tudor Submariner vs Rolex Submariner

Tudor Submariner vs Rolex Submariner
 Tudor SubmarinerRolex Submariner
Case39mm Oyster case made from 316L stainless steel40mm 904L stainless steel
DialBlack or blue dial includes a date window with a Cyclops magnifying lens.Includes date window with a Cyclops magnifying lens.
BezelSteel BezelRotating bezel
Hour MarkersBold hour markers and hands made from steel with applied lumeWhite gold, bold hour markers and hands
MovementTypically uses the ETA 2824 or 2892 movementsPowered by the in-house Caliber 3235
Power Reserveapproximately 42 hours70 hours

Both the Tudor Submariner and the Rolex Submariner offer exceptional quality, each with distinctive features. The Tudor Submariner sports a slightly smaller 39mm Oyster case made of 316L stainless steel, with a dial featuring steel hour markers and hands with applied lume, powered by reliable ETA 2824 or 2892 movements. 

Conversely, the Rolex Submariner, with a slightly larger 40mm Oyster case, utilizes superior corrosion-resistant 904L stainless steel and showcases white gold markers and hands on its dial. It operates on the superior in-house Caliber 3235 movement, boasting a 70-hour power reserve and increased resistance to shocks and magnetic fields. Both watches signify excellence in diver’s watches, each with unique materials and movement characteristics.

Tudor Black Bay Chrono vs Rolex Daytona

Tudor Black Bay Chrono vs Rolex Daytona
 Tudor Black Bay ChronoRolex Daytona
Case41mm stainless steel case, giving a rugged and durable feel.40mm case made from various materials, ranging from stainless steel to 18K gold, platinum, and even combinations.
DialBold dial design with two prominent sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock.Three sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock
Hour MarkersLuminous dot and index hour markers, providing excellent legibility.Hour markers made of 18K gold to prevent tarnishing
MovementIn-house MT5813 caliber, providing reliable chronograph function and timekeeping[R3] .In-house caliber 4130 or 4131 (for the models with a moon phase), renowned for its exceptional chronometric performance.
Power Reserve70 hours.72 hours

Both the Tudor Black Bay Chrono and the Rolex Daytona are exquisite timepieces, each demonstrating a unique flair. The Black Bay Chrono presents a rugged 41mm stainless steel case and a bold dial featuring two sub-dials, combined with luminous hour markers and the reliable in-house MT5813 movement, resulting in a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. 

Conversely, the Daytona offers a more luxurious touch with its 40mm case available in various materials, a tri-compax dial layout, and 18K gold or diamond hour markers, all powered by the esteemed in-house caliber 4130 or 4131 movement. Despite their distinct characteristics, both watches ensure accurate timekeeping over extended periods with similar power reserves.

In summary, the Tudor and Rolex Submariner watches share similarities in design but have notable differences in materials and movements. Each timepiece offers unique benefits and considerations for prospective buyers.

FAQs

1. Is Tudor as Good as Rolex?

While Rolex watches are generally considered to be more prestigious, Tudor watches are known for their impressive quality and value. Both brands are owned by the same parent company and often share similar design elements and technologies. Tudor is often seen as a more affordable alternative to Rolex, but this does not mean that its quality is compromised. In fact, many Tudor watches are crafted with the same attention to detail and precision as Rolex timepieces.

2. Is Tudor Less Prestigious Than Rolex?

Tudor is considered an entry-level timepiece due to its more affordable price range than Rolex. Aside from the difference in price points between the two brands, they also differ in market positioning. Rolex has long been established as a luxury brand, while Tudor has been positioned as a more affordable option for high-quality Swiss watches. However, it’s important to note that Tudor watches are still well-regarded for their quality, craftsmanship, and style.

3. Does Rolex Still Make Tudor?

Yes, Tudor is still owned by Rolex and continues to produce watches under the Tudor brand. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf, the same person who established Rolex, Tudor was created as a more affordable but still high-quality Swiss watch brand. Although they operate as separate entities, Tudor and Rolex maintain a close relationship, often sharing resources and technology.

4. Why is Tudor Less Expensive Than Rolex?

There are several factors that contribute to Tudor watches being less expensive than Rolex timepieces. Some of these factors include:

  • Materials: Rolex typically uses more expensive materials, such as 18k gold and 904L stainless steel, while Tudor often utilizes more affordable materials like 316L stainless steel and aluminum.
  • Movements: Rolex movements are generally more complex and often feature additional complications, making them more expensive to produce. On the other hand, Tudor previously used third-party movements in their watches, which were more cost-effective. However, Tudor has recently started manufacturing their own in-house movements, demonstrating their commitment to quality and innovation.
  • Brand Perception: Rolex has cultivated a reputation for luxury, exclusivity, and prestige, which allows them to maintain higher prices. Tudor, as the more affordable sibling brand, is positioned with more competitive pricing to appeal to a wider range of customers.

Overall, the differences in materials, movements, and brand positioning contribute to the price disparity between Rolex and Tudor watches.

Final Word

Both Rolex and Tudor are highly respected brands within the luxury watch market, offering exceptional timepieces that cater to different audiences. Rolex is the quintessential luxury watch brand, boasting an iconic design language and unparalleled material innovation. Tudor, with its diverse designs and more accessible price points, aims to attract a broader range of customers who value quality and value for their investment.

Key Takeaways

  • Rolex is known for its high-end prestige and uses premium materials like 904L stainless steel and 18K gold. Tudor offers a more affordable alternative but maintains impressive quality with materials like standard stainless steel and other budget-friendly options.
  • Rolex has higher retail prices due to its premium materials and brand prestige. The price range for Rolex watches is generally higher, ranging from S$2,084 to S$301,794. Conversely, Tudor offers more affordable options, with prices ranging from S$742 to S$25,366.
  • Rolex and Tudor watches can be considered investment pieces, but Rolex tends to hold its value better over time. Rolex watches are highly coveted, and their desirability often leads to increased resale value. 

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