Tudor created some of the hottest new releases at this year’s Watches and Wonders. The watch brand introduced two new timepieces that revive the spirit of two very iconic, widely loved Rolex models. The first is the new Tudor Black Bay Pro that evokes the legendary Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 from the 1970s. This first-generation Rolex Explorer II is immensely popular among Rolex fans. With the Tudor Black Bay Pro, Tudor introduced their take on the classic timepiece, garnering much praise from the watch world.
The second new release harkening back to a Rolex watch of the past is the steel and gold Tudor Black Bay GMT executed with a black and brown bezel. This model revives the aesthetic of the famous Rolex GMT-Master “Root Beer” models, the first of which was introduced in 1970 and underwent different executions over the decades. Tudor is sticking close to the design of early models from the 1970s with its new Tudor Black Bay GMT. With both the Black Bay Pro and the Black Bay GMT, Tudor gives you a chance to enjoy the great Rolex styles of the past at an affordable price.
Investing in Tudor Watches: Will Tudor Follow Rolex?
As we all know, there seems to be no end in sight to the rise in Rolex watch prices. But what about Tudor? Has their rise in popularity also led to a rise in prices for the Rolex sister brand? The answer to that is both “yes” and “no.” Let me explain why, because there are multiple sides to this story.
There is obviously a big difference between vintage Tudor timepieces and the current, modern timepieces that started with the brand’s relaunch in 2009, and especially with the introduction of the Tudor Black Bay Heritage line in 2012. Let’s start with vintage Tudor timepieces. As some of you might know, Tudor was not always the popular brand it is now. It was initially conceived as a more affordable alternative to Rolex that offered the same Rolex design, quality, and even some parts – cases, bracelets, crowns, and bezels – and combined these with off-the-shelf movements. Following the introduction of its first watches in 1946, Tudor released a wide variety of models over the decades that today serve as inspiration for its current collection.
Iconic Vintage Tudor Models Worth Your Investment
1. Vintage Tudor Submariners
Over the course of its history, Tudor came out with two important watches that have become fan favorites. The first is the Tudor Submariner, introduced in the 1950s. While clearly influenced by the Submariners from Rolex, the Tudor Submariner nevertheless features elements that show a gradual development into a more distinct brand, such as the snowflake hands that were a clear step away from the Rolex look. Probably the most legendary among the Tudor Submariners are the so-called MilSub models that were issued to the French National Navy (the Marine nationale) and are recognizable by their blue dials and bezels.
2. Legendary Tudor Chronographs
The second iconic vintage series are the Tudor chronographs. It all started in 1970 with the Tudor Homeplate, which was quickly revamped and re-introduced as the Tudor Monte Carlo. Known for its bold and extravagant dial designs, the Monte Carlo marks a clear contrast to Rolex, and has gained great popularity among fans of vintage Tudors. Additionally, the brand also introduced the Big Block chronographs, which are essentially Rolex Daytona look-a-likes but with different movements, and different dial layouts as a result.
Prices for Vintage Tudor Watches
I strongly recommend diving into the history of the Tudor Submariner, Monte Carlo, and Big Block, as there are quite a few interesting models within these series. And when you look into this history, you will see that with the growing popularity of the Tudor brand over the last ten years, the prices for vintage Tudor models have also increased considerably. Expect to see them for between $6,000 to $12,000 and sometimes much more for rare models and mint-condition pieces. This begs the question: will prices for these vintage watches continue to climb? Given the overall appreciation for sought-after vintage timepieces, they no doubt will over time. Interestingly enough, we have seen prices stabilize for quite a few references. But if Tudor keeps releasing great new watches and remains popular with a large audience, it is very likely that prices will gradually rise for the brand’s vintage pieces.
Modern Tudor Models Worth Your Investment
Moving from vintage to modern Tudor models is only a small step. Much of Tudor’s current collection is inspired by past designs. But with modern watches also come different dynamics that determine whether a watch appreciates in value. Hype, availability, and overall popularity all play a big part in the price of watches that are currently still in production. If we look at some of the most popular recent Tudor models like the Black Bay, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, the Black Bay GMT, and the Tudor Pelagos, what immediately stands out is that all of the regular models are available for reasonable prices that do not exceed their list prices.
Tudor: Actually Attainable
The main reason for investing in Tudor watches is availability. If you want to get your hands on a new Tudor, you can. It might take a bit of time, as the more popular models do have waiting lists, but you don’t have to be worried about not getting one from an authorized dealer. You should avoid purchasing a Tudor right after its introduction, however, because the hype surrounding new releases means higher prices in the short term; once the excitement settles down, it becomes much easier to get one. You can see this with recent introductions. The Tudor Pelagos FXD that was introduced not too long ago is still offered above its retail price. But once more and more people acquire their Pelagos FXD, you will see prices eventually come down. The inflated price tag is purely a result of the thrill of being able to get your hands on one early while other people are still waiting. Once that hype dies down, prices will come down, and Tudor timepieces will be available at normal prices. The same pattern can be seen with all the recent Tudor introductions, including the Black Bay Pro. The first pieces are typically offered at ridiculous prices, but once the watch becomes more widely available and the dust settles, prices lower accordingly.
Investing in Tudor Watches
Over the last decade, Tudor has managed to build a strong brand based on smart product development and a clear marketing strategy. It has finally shed its longstanding image as a poor man’s Rolex, emerging as the little sister of Rolex with its own clear signature. In essence, the brand has taken the negative Rolex connotation and turned it into its own advantage. And we can only compliment Tudor for that feat, which has resulted in a huge worldwide appreciation of the brand among watch enthusiasts. But this doesn’t mean that Tudor has the same status as Rolex. “The Crown” is still a unique brand that not only manufactures timepieces, but offers investment opportunities with them as well. While vintage Tudor watches might also offer an investment option (while keeping their price stabilization over time in mind), its modern timepieces have not attained that status. Yet somehow, we should be happy about this. Tudor watches are made to be worn and enjoyed on the wrist instead of locked away in a safe. That’s why you should buy them, and that’s why I hope you will find the right Tudor for you to wear and cherish for years to come. Happy hunting!