For a company that is owned by Rolex, there is no question that it is a company that stands on its own. From their design ethos and styling that Tudor watches possess, to the amount and type of ancillary materials available to current and prospective Tudor owners, it is completely obvious that the relatively staid Rolex marketing machine are not pulling any Pinocchio strings at Tudor.
Firstly, I shared a video and pictorial at http://www.craftermag.com/portfolio/tudor/ on how Tudor straps are made. This access and insight on Tudor straps speaks to prospective and current Tudor owners. Although Tudor did not do the posting, it is completely accurate and adds to the manufacturing provenance of the Tudor Heritage watch. This is not Tudor of old –mimicking Rolex in both models and marketing but rather the Tudor of new providing outsiders a view on how watch components are made.
In preparation for BaselWorld, Tudor released an Apple iOS app. The free app available in the Apple iOS store, providing anyone looking at a Tudor catalog or analog paper advertisement the ability to scan the page, and access videos and product sheets that are not in the analog catalog version. The Tudor iOS app has a completely resident (aka no on-demand download) catalog of every watch in the Tudor line. The iOS catalog is interactive, showing how watches look in the day, or underwater will little light, or how different color watch faces look on a given watch model. The iOS app provides greater access and information to the Tudor watch line.
Lastly, the Tudor Pelagos illustrates how Tudor is not Rolex, except in quality. From design, to materials, to approach, it almost seems that Tudor is making a deliberate point to look completely different from its older brother Rolex. Although Tudor does not have all gold, platinum, or two-tone models like Rolex, Tudor utilizes the more utilitarian and tool-like titanium. Titanium is tough, light, and if readily available in the 1950’s probably would have been used in some of the first dive watches. The Pelagos watch face with its raised indices, and luminescence in the ceramic bezel insert, and available in either a titanium or rubber/elastomer strap make this watch much more of a tool-watch than the Rolex DeepSea or SeaDweller 4000. The completely utilitarian and unique bracelet clasp is a fine piece of engineering. The titanium clasp is spring-loaded auto-adjusting allowing for the watch strap to tighten up as a diving wetsuit compresses under water pressure, keeping the Pelagos snug on the wrist. The new MT5612 calibre utilizing a silicon balance spring, and 70-hour power reserve are specifications that are well ahead of the tried-and-true Rolex calibre 3135.
It’s obvious that Tudor is more than Rolex’s little brother but rather a company that is Rolex’s alter-ego, producing true tool-watches that are price conscious, yet possess the quality expected for a member of the Rolex family. Tudor impresses with inventive designs, 21st century style, is well reviewed by industry cognoscente, yet tied to the Rolex service network and available at select Rolex retailers, including Fourtané. Be sure to stop by Fourtané and see for yourself.
– Sheldon Smith