Montres Tudor SA, or Tudor, is a Swiss watchmaker based in Geneva, Switzerland. Registered by Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, in 1926, the brand remains a sister company to Rolex; the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation owns both companies. Tudor was initially known for watches built for the military and professional divers.
Tudor aimed to offer a more affordable watch than Rolex while maintaining Rolex-like quality. Tudor watches were initially equipped with off-the-shelf movements coupled with Rolex cases and bracelets, allowing Tudor to deliver reliability and quality while fulfilling its price goals.
During the mid-forties, Tudor introduced its Oyster collection. This collection featured a waterproof Oyster case that was previously exclusive to Rolex. In 1952, Tudor launched its first self-winding model known as the Prince, which utilized a Rolex self-winding mechanism. Additionally, twenty-six Tudor Oyster Princes were part of the British North Greenland expedition that took place between 1952 and 1954.
In 1970, Tudor launched its inaugural Chronograph, the Oysterdate, equipped with a manually wound Valjoux mechanical calibre 7734 and cam chronograph function. The second series, introduced in 1971, earned the nickname “Montecarlo” due to its dial’s resemblance to a roulette wheel. In 1976, the third series, Oysterdate “Big Block”, became the very first Tudor chronograph to introduce a self-winding movement.
In 2009, Tudor underwent a significant brand relaunch, introducing new product lines. These included the Tudor Grantour Chronograph and Tudor Glamour collection of classical watches, followed in 2010 by the Heritage Chrono, which drew inspiration from the Tudor “Montecarlo” watches of the 1970s. The Heritage Chrono was the first in a line of Tudor Heritage watches designed to pay tribute to the brand’s most iconic vintage models. Additionally, it was the first Tudor watch to come with an extra fabric strap.
The Heritage Black Bay was awarded the Revival prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2013, while the Pelagos won the “Sports Watch” prize in 2015. Tudor added to their Heritage collection in 2014 with the Ranger, a military-style timepiece inspired by a 1967 model. In the same year, Tudor also launched the Tudor Style line, which features men’s and women’s dress watches.
In 2009, a major rebranding was carried out by a well-known brand, introducing a new product line called Tudor Grantour. The new advertising campaign, “Designed for performance. Engineered for elegance.” focused on style, which was a departure from their previous communications in the 1980s that emphasized strength and durability. In 2017, the brand launched a new campaign titled “Born To Dare,” which featured David Beckham, Lady Gaga, and Jay Chou. The campaign also included a partnership with the New Zealand rugby team All Blacks and their player Beauden Barrett.
Tudor served as the official timekeeper for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco and the 2019 Rugby World Cup hosted by Japan. In addition, Tudor is set to reprise its role as the official timekeeper and main sponsor for the Rugby Union World Cup in France, taking place in September/October 2023. Any spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors have been corrected.
Tudor watches are sold and marketed in various countries across the globe, including the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, South Africa, certain European countries, South Asia, the Middle East, and South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela. Montres Tudor SA halted sales in the US and UK in the early 2000s but resumed sales in the US in 2013 and the UK in 2014.
Tudor currently offers five types of watches with many extra sub-models.