Tudor Royal: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

Tudor Royal: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

The Tudor Royal collection is one of the brand’s most interesting efforts. Available in 4 sizes and 70 total configurations, this integrated bracelet watch aims to please all: covering the bases of dressy, sporty, and affordable. In fact, Tudor describes their Royal collection as “the epitome of versatile and affordable sport-chic”. This is no easy task; so-called “do-it-all” watches often struggle to excel at one particular thing despite checking many boxes. Is the Tudor Royal any different? What are the different configurations? And how does the Royal fit into Tudor’s modern catalog?

Tudor Royal Background

Tudor Royal 7903 from 1950s and Tudor Royal from modern day

Image Source: watchcharts.com and crownandcaliber.com

The name “Royal” appeared on numerous Tudor references throughout the 1950s and ‘60’s (ref. 7903, 1737, 7934. . .) in an effort to “emphasize the superior quality of [Tudor’s] watches”, according to the brand. It wasn’t until 2020 that Tudor released the integrated bracelet Royal that we have today. Unlike its predecessors, the modern Royal has a tapered metal integrated bracelet, a prominent notched bezel, and a date window (and day window in 41mm). Despite looking like a watch straight out of the 1970’s – and I mean that as a compliment – this is a new silhouette for Tudor. Let’s take a closer look.

Tudor Royal: Specs, Configurations, and Appearance

Tudor Royal in 41, 38, 34, and 28mm (various colors)

Image Source: watchmanias.com

The Tudor Royal is available in 28mm, 34mm, 38mm, and 41mm: all powered by ETA/Sellita-based movements. Every size includes a 3 o’clock date window, but only the 41mm Royal includes a 12 o’clock day window a la the Rolex Day-Date. The Royal is rated to 100m of water resistance thanks to its screw-down crown and caseback: the primary characteristic behind the watch’s “sports watch” categorization by Tudor. Visually, I’d say the Royal leans into dress watch territory. 

Tudor Royal blue 41mm on wrist side profileImage Source: monochrome-watches.com

The Tudor Royal’s five-link integrated bracelet is primarily brushed, with small polished middle links. This finish extends to the entirely-brushed case, which provides excellent contrast to the polished and notched bezel. If you opt for the two-tone Royal, the polished surfaces (bezel and middle links) will come in gold. Moving to the dial, we see Roman numeral hour indices, and optionally, diamond hour indices replacing every slot but 12, 3, 6, and 9. The Royal’s radially-brushed dial comes in black, silver, champagne (gold), blue, and new this year, salmon and chocolate brown. There is also a gem-set-bezel version with a mother-of-pearl dial available in 28mm and 34mm (pictured below).

Gem-set Mother-of-pearl Tudor Royal in 34mmImage Source: ablogtowatch.com

This watch has grown on me with time, but I still don’t know what to call it. The Royal’s screw-down crown and brushed integrated bracelet scream “sports watch”, but everything else does the opposite. The Roman numerals, polished and notched bezel, and gold/diamond optionality make the Royal feel akin to the likes of a Rolex Day-Date.

My Thoughts on The Tudor Royal

Tudor Royal in Blue 41mmImage Source: monochrome-watches.com

I see Tudor’s catalog as containing two major categories: watches with in-house (Kenissi) movements, and watches with off-the-shelf (ETA/Sellita) movements. For the past 8 years, Tudor has made a significant effort to standardize their collection with COSC-certified in-house movements. These vertically integrated calibers are a huge part of Tudor’s modern appeal. The Royal remains in the exceedingly-small segment of Tudor watches that lack in-house movements. Due to the Royal’s low starting price ($2,300), this isn’t a huge issue. The Tudor Royal is a capable, well-made, intentionally-designed watch from one of the most reputable watch brands on Earth. However, as you venture into the two-tone, gem-set, and/or mother-of-pearl Royal configurations ($3,000-$5,000), your budget begins to compete with a plethora of mechanically superior watches, i.e. the rest Tudor’s catalog. For the price of a two-tone 41mm Royal, you can buy a Black Bay 58, Black Bay 39, or even a Black Bay GMT on a fabric strap. Of course, if you love the Royal, you love the Royal. You should buy what you love to wear. That said, it’s important to do your research during this transitional period in Tudor’s catalog.

Header Image Source: monochrome-watches.com

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