Rolex vs. Tudor: A Comparative Analysis
In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis founded Rolex in London as a watch distribution company. After three years, they relocated the company to Switzerland and started developing their watches to produce the world’s best timepieces.
In 1910, they reached their first milestone of the journey and successfully made history. Rolex received the world’s first chronometer certificate for their watch.
Hard efforts quickly paid off, and after 20 years of research and development, they finally succeeded in creating the world’s first water and dustproof watch. After six years of their incredible invention, they managed to introduce a self-winding automatic mechanism in 1931.
From there, Rolex never looked back, and to date, they produce high-quality timepieces, cementing Rolex as the world’s top luxury brand known for superior quality, invention, and prestige.
Shortly after founding the Rolex Company, Hans Wilsdorf planned to introduce alternative watches for those who could not afford a Rolex and thus founded Tudor.
For years, Tudor served as the best affordable alternative of Rolex, but after 1970, Tudor started producing exceptional chronographs as a step towards its own identity. The quartz crisis occurred soon after, which impacted Tudor, but it continued to develop mechanical watches.
After 2010, Tudor succeeded in achieving a distinct identity through introducing a series of innovative models and cemented a brand image of minimalistic tool watches and spectacular chronographs.
The Differential Relationship Between Rolex and Tudor
Except for movement, Tudor was using nearly everything from its parent brand, Rolex. Both watches shared cases, dials, crystals, crowns, and bracelets. Not only that, but Tudor was officially introduced as a sister brand of Rolex and formally offered as an affordable alternative to Rolex.
A noticeable price difference always remained between the two watches. This difference was based on their selection of movements in both watches. Although Rolex is instantly identifiable, let’s take a deep dive into the variances causing the considerable price difference between Rolex and Tudor watches.
Although the two were made to look exactly alike for a long time, today, Tudor has successfully established its own identity. But when it comes to Rolex, it has an entirely distinct identity. Even people who do not know the ins and outs of luxury watches can recognize Rolex watches.
When it comes to Tudor’s style, it’s closer to Rolex, but a Tudor watch is not Rolex. It has created an image so exclusive that a Rolex watch represents not only quality, authenticity, and complexity in itself, but it reflects your status and success as well.
The difference between the 1950 and 2021 Rolex watches is considerable but not as it should be in design terms. Rolex considers that technological advancement takes evolution rather than revolution.
In the case of Tudor, the company’s attitude has changed dramatically over the past decade. The company continues to experiment with Tudor watches and introduces new designs.
This is an area where Tudor does not dare to compete with Rolex. Tudor prefers experiments using unconventional titanium, while Rolex does not step back from its traditional stainless steel.
Rolex’s stainless steel was developed after thousands of experiments with excellent results. Let’s have a more in-depth insight. Rolex uses 904L stainless steel, while Tudor prefers 316L.
To understand this, we need to explore the composition of stainless steel in both cases. In 904L stainless steel, chromium, nickel, and molybdenum are 1.6 times more than in 316L stainless steel, making 904L more resistant to corrosion, abrasion, and elevated temperatures.
Also, higher nickel content in 904L makes it expensive enough to influence the overall cost. The gold used in Tudor is not solid gold; instead, it coats stainless steel plates with a thick layer of gold, while in Rolex watches, they always use solid gold.
Rolex produces 18 karat gold types, including yellow, white, and Everose, to make Rolex more exclusive.
The movements were a significant difference between a Rolex and Tudor until 2015. For decades, Tudor used to rely on Swiss manufacturer ETA SA, while Rolex always developed its movements in-house.
But in 2015, Tudor also introduced its movements, which proved to be a successful attempt to bridge the gap between the two brands from the same owner. Tudor is now using its movements in most of their wristwatches. But in some timepieces, they still consider other manufacturers.
When fighting for success, you can afford any price, and the same applies to the representation of your success. The crown on Rolex watches has become a symbol of success and prosperity.
That’s why the price of a Rolex watch starts at USD 6,000. In contrast, Tudor’s most expensive watch costs about the same. Tudor targets and specializes in the price range of 2,000 to 3,500 USD.
Rolex is a known and trusted brand whose products maintain value. Depreciation of Rolex watches is very low. If you decide to sell a Rolex, you will receive the same amount you paid for it even after years. In some cases, it may increase its value insanely.
According to a CNBC report, a US service member spent only 350 USD to purchase a Rolex watch in 1974. In January 2020, decades after his purchase, this specific watch was priced at 70,000 USD.
In the case of Tudor, the scenario is somewhat different. Buying a Tudor watch as an investment would be the wrong decision.
You don’t need to worry about the service of a Rolex watch for years. It will remain trouble-free for decades. In contrast, a Tudor watch will have you visiting the service center every two to three years.
Now we will offer a comparative review of a couple of the models from different categories to make your watch-purchasing process even easier.
Tudor Heritage Ranger M79910 vs. Rolex Explorer 214270
Let’s start with the adventurer watch category. Both Tudor and Rolex models being outdoor wear options appear very similar, but some key distinctions set them apart.
Rolex Explorer is 2 mm smaller than Tudor Heritage. Similarly, solid 18K white gold in Rolex Explorer separates it from Tudor Heritage, where the dial is painted with white gold.
Technologically, Rolex Explorer is powered by 3132 caliber movement, while Tudor Heritage is powered by ETA 2824-based caliber movement.
Tudor Black Bay GMT M79830RB Vs. GMT-Master II “Pepsi” 126710BLRO
Let’s jump into the GMT sports watch category. In 2018, both Rolex and Tudor introduced GMT Sports timepieces. The Tudor watch of this category was introduced as Tudor Black Bay GMT M79830RB, while the Rolex model was introduced as GMT-Master II “Pepsi” 126710BLRO.
Tudor Black Bay GMT is a utilitarian style of a larger watch. A matte black dial, comparably darker tones of red and blue on the bezel, and a riveted bracelet make it quite similar to its Rolex counterpart.
GMT Master-II with a jubilee bracelet was a step towards dress watches by Rolex. A glossy black dial with Chromalight indices, a flawless and shiny bezel, and a 40 mm oyster case of Rolex indicates that the design is quite similar to its Tudor counterpart.
Tudor tried its best to match its Rolex counterpart in terms of movements, but Rolex does not rely on less than advanced technological components. With COSC certified chronometers and 70-hour power reserves, both Rolex and Tudor counterparts are similar in GMT function.
There is no doubt that Rolex is better than Tudor in every way. If you want to choose a unique, reliable, complicated, and unparalleled legacy, there is nothing beyond Rolex.
These two brands belong to the same founder and company, but they are very different. No other watch can better describe your achievements and success than Rolex.
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