Who are Tudor Watches?

Who are Tudor Watches?

You may, or may not know that Tudor is a sister company to Rolex. So, when did this happen, why does Rolex have a sister brand and what got them to where they are at today? I am so glad you asked because we have the answers! 

tudor watch band

Hans Wilsdorf always wanted a brand that Rolex dealers could sell at a lower price point but with the same quality and standards that Rolex was known for. In 1926 “the Tudor” was a name trademarked for Hans Wildorf from a watch dealer and maker in Geneva. In 1932 the first Tudor watches were released in Australia. A few models, in the early years, even had the Rolex name on the watch so people knew who it was associated with and the quality of the watch. They released models for both men and women, and the watches were rectangular shaped with beveled sides. 

 tudor watch band

In 1936, Hans Wilsdorf officially got the Tudor brand transferred to him. This is also when the rose of Tudor, inscribed with a shield,  started to appear on the watch dials. 

Ten years later, in 1946, Hans Wilsdorf decided it was time to expand the brand and make it a company of its own. The company was called “Montras TUDOR S.A,” and they would make watches for both men and women. But, Rolex still would guarantee the quality and help with distribution and servicing of the watches. A year later, in 1947, the logo of Tudor changed to just have the brand name and the rose on the dial, getting rid of the shield. In 1948, it was time to start advertising the Tudor watches, making it clear these were associated with Rolex.

tudor watch band

In the 1950s, Tudor released new waterproof models, sharing features with Rolex, including the Tudor Oyster Prince and the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner. Tudor still advertised in these years to let it be known that Tudor and Rolex were associated with one another.  In the 1960s, Tudor would release models like the Oyster Prince Date+Day, the Tudor Oyster Prince Ranger and the redesigned Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner, which was the first watch to sport the now well-known snowflake hands. 

tudor watch strap
Image from Gear Patrol

Jumping ahead in their history, in 1996 Tudor decided to no longer use Rolex components in their watches and instead have their own branded components. A few years after this, Tudor stopped being sold in multiple markets around the globe. Tudor decided, around 2013, to return to some of these markets that they had previously stopped selling in and have since been doing great. The Tudor watches of today still have some of the same design features from their past and are still of great quality but have also been updated to be modern for today’s consumer. You can shop our straps for Tudor models here.

1 comment

  • Rob

    Thanks for the historical information. I have a few additional questions:
    1- Now that Tudor is using its own branded parts, what is the current association/relationship with Rolex?
    2- Specifically which markets did Tudor decide to reopen?

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