Is Tudor truly comparable to Rolex?

Is Tudor truly comparable to Rolex?

For context: I wear Tudor Black Bay 58 and a Rolex 14060M Submariner fairly often and have owned a 114060 ceramic Maxi Case Submariner too. I have also owned a Tudor Pelagos. And with the availability of Tudor watches right now (at a fraction of the cost of acquiring a modern Submariner), I’m willing to say that Tudor is a smart buy for anyone.

Photo by @wrstshts

Tudor’s in-house movements in my experience have kept extremely good time and have a 70-hour power reserve, which really does come in handy. And the finishing of the hands and dial isn’t that far off from Rolex either, especially considering the price difference between the two brands. While it's tough to beat the Glidelock clasp, fortunately for me once I size a bracelet it can work for me because my wrist size does not fluctuate that much with temperature changes. The much-derided faux river OEM bracelet that comes with the Black Bay 58 feels like a modern Rolex bracelet. Truth be told, I prefer the rattly and cheap feeling, but super comfortable bracelet of my five-digit Submariner.


Photo by @sebastianswatches

Maybe I’m not as sensitive or as particular as some watch enthusiasts, but I don’t feel like owning a Tudor Black Bay 58 is that far of a step down from my experiences with Rolex. I do think that the overall esthetics of Rolex watches are superior, but I don’t feel that Tudor’s looks are lacking. The Rolex look has been popularized in fashion magazines for so long, I’ve been heavily influenced by it appearing as the watch to have if you are a stylish individual.

Photo by @thetimetellerr

The Black Bay 58 does have many winning traits that modern Rolex sport watches don’t have. I love that the bezel feels like it locks into place at 12 O’clock and the crown action is just as smooth as my Rolex watches. The case is a bit less refined, but the chamfers on Black Bay are well-defined. I realized this isn’t a comprehensive study and is mainly one person’s description of his relationship with his Black Bay 58, but I objectively think Rolex watches are not twice as good as comparable Tudor models. The move to an in-house movement with the Tudor North Flag was the first major step towards increasing the overall quality of the Tudor lineup. Some will argue that an ETA 2824 movement is perfectly fine. It is fine, but in my experience the longer power reserve and solid accuracy of Tudor’s in-house movement makes for a more satisfying ownership experience. 

Photo by @steiakakis_jewellery

Don’t get me wrong. If I were given a choice between Rolex or Tudor, I’m going to choose a Rolex model every time. But in the current marketplace where it’s nearly impossible to get desirable Rolex watches at a price close to retail, I would be very happy to choose a Tudor and still get a very similar satisfaction.

Shop straps for your Tudor Black Bay 58 here.

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