Tudor Watches Return to the UK this autumn
Tudor, the distant relative of the Rolex watch family is returning to the fold. The brand is set to re-enter the UK on 19th September.
The founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf, fathered the Tudor watch brand in 1946 because he wanted to develop a brand that would “attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex are famous” and that his “agents could sell at a more modest price”. In its debut, the Tudor watch brand identified itself as a durable, practical time keeping device. It was this sense of practicality that has been ever present in its brand identity.
Named after the period of English history which Han Wilsdorf supposedly held a passion for, each watch of the Tudor collection originally came emblazoned with the English rose; the icon the Tudor dynasty took up as their emblem.
Development of the Tudor watch Brand
First promoted as the working man’s watch, Tudor evolved into a watch brand of distinction. The watches advertisements were centred on men in laborious professions, which developed the brands appeal of practicality and robustness. As time went on, the watches application in polar explorations and usage by the French and US military, heightened this sense of pragmatism and durability, focusing on generating a more masculine appeal within its collection. This was something encapsulated in the transition of the brands logo from a rose, to a shield.
The rose was kept alive, however, through the creation of an attractive watch model developed for the female Tudor watch enthusiast; the Clair de Rose.
While the Tudor watch brand may have fallen into the shadows over the last few decades, it has made its return from its exile in the Orient. Recently re-launching in the US, it is only natural that Tudor should now seek to make its return to its ancestral homeland.
Tudor watches return to the UK
The Tudor watch brand began becoming the unwanted child of their parent brand Rolex in the 1990s, as consumers lost interest in the brand and other watch brands, such as Rolex and Omega, were dominating the UK watch market. The brand faded from the UK and went on to depart from the US market in 2004. Since its departure from the UK and US, Tudor has been rebranded and revived, already making its comeback in the US last summer. The Tudor brand seeks to make its second coming to the UK in the cities of Birmingham, Manchester and London in its quest to reassert its global presence.
Without bringing money into it, the main difference between the Tudor brand and its parent company Rolex is on the inside. The Tudor brand utilises the ETA/Valjoux calibre movement, whereas as Rolex’s more modern watches use the sophisticated 3135 movements.
Now bringing money into it, the Tudor watch could be viewed as the more affordable alternative to the Rolex. The watch brands share a similar aesthetic, despite the difference in logo and mechanics, giving watch wearers the opportunity to carry the style of the Rolex while offering an escape from the hegemony of the Rolex brand identity.
Tudor, to a certain extent, relies on its parent company Rolex to hold its hand when it comes to brand identity. This is an expected and sensible move on the brands behalf; soaking up Rolex’s status and popularity in order to generate some of their own. But will Tudor be able to stand on its own two feet as a brand or will it once again retreat under the shadow of Rolex and back out of the UK? It’s a high quality brand with a high status heritage, all for a fair price, but with competition such Omega and Tag Heuer having a prominent place in the Tudor’s price range, only time will tell.
A Couple of iconic Tudor watches to return to the UK
The Black Bay Heritage
The new Black Bay heritage has taken on a more modern minimalist and colourful approach to that of the TUDOR Submariner 1950s – the watch the Black Bay Heritage was inspired by.
The Fastrider Black Shield
Designed as an embodiment of masculinity, the Fastrider Black Shield model is a time piece that resembles Tudor’s partnership with Ducati as well as the reliability of the watch brand. It’s unique in comparison to other models in the Tudor watch collection, in that its casing is produced as one singular piece made from high-tech ceramic.
As Tudor watches return to the UK, you may want to check out the collection they have on offer at http://www.tudorwatch.com/ Each watch has its own artistic promotional video that works to reinforce the identity Tudor has worked into each timepiece. Here is the Fastrider Black Shield.