On September 19th, Fraser Hart will be welcoming back an old friend into stores across the UK – Tudor. With fourteen of our stores carrying the brand, more than any of our competitors, you can be sure that you will find both a great stock selection and superlative service.
Tudor, for those of you who don’t know, was born out of a vision of Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf, to create watches with the famed reliability of Rolex at a more affordable price point. The earliest origins of the brand can be traced back to the 1920s, but the brand really began to assert itself from the 1950s onwards. Military use of watches is usually a good sign of a brand’s ability to weather the toughest conditions, and Tudor was no exception. Indeed, the Royal Navy, US Navy and French Navy have all used Tudor timepieces in their endeavours between the 1950s and 1980s. Today, Tudor has stepped further away from their sister brand, and has created a range that shares the same root DNA as Rolex, but is uniquely Tudor.
With Tudor’s relaunch, history has been an important factor – the brand has been inspired by its iconic models of the past to create its Heritage collection. These are modern reinterpretations of past models rather than just a recreation. Take, for example, the Black Bay family – this diver’s watch has been inspired by the vintage Tudor Submariner, yet is not exactly the same as any previous model. If you pass a connoisseur’s eye over the Black Bay, you will see the oversized crown from the 1958 Submariner, the “snowflake” hands of the late 1960s to the 1980s, and the burgundy bezel insert from the 1980s. All of this comes together, along with a sepia dial and rose gold plated hands and markers, to create a watch which looks like a vintage piece. Don’t let this fool you – it is a thoroughly modern watch, with a domed highly scratch resistant Sapphire crystal, and an automatic mechanical watch movement powering it.
Tudor is not just looking at the past, however: along with heritage, technology is at the core of the brand. The most cutting-edge of Tudor’s models has to be Fastrider Black Shield. The most striking aspect of this watch is that it is all-black, and in order to achieve this, Tudor has crafted the case from a single, solid piece of ceramic. This is no mean feat, and results in both a strong and incredibly scratch resistant case. Personally, I think it looks best teamed up with bronze tone hands and markers on the beige Alcantara strap, but the red highlights work well too.
So what makes Tudor different? For me, it’s a combination of bold design and superb build quality. The level of detail that Tudor has gone to in designing its watches is remarkable – I implore you to handle the Pelagos diving watch and take a closer look at the clasp. The fine adjustment available, plus the rather clever sprung setup (designed to make sure the watch doesn’t start moving around on the wrist when diving) puts watches many times the price to shame. It’s a great complete package as well, with Tudor including a complimentary fabric strap with every watch from the Heritage range. These aren’t just great watches at the price point, they are simply great watches.
We at Fraser Hart can’t wait to show you these timepieces – the anticipation has been rising, and I hope you will share our excitement. Whether you knew the brand from when they were last in the UK, or whether you are discovering the watches for the very first time, I urge you to visit one of our branches and try a few on. You won’t be disappointed. Visit http://www.fraserhart.co.uk/brands/tudor.html to find our stockists.