Fratello Friday: 5 Reasons Why Tudor’s U.S. Comeback Should Succeed

Tudor Heritage Black BayWelcome to Fratello Friday. As you may know, is my blog on watches and was actually one of the first – worldwide – that adopted the blog platform to voice opinions about watches. In this series, I will share my thoughts with you on various watch-world topics — from the latest products from Baselworld, to visits to Swiss watch manufacturers, to the latest watch industry news.



This first Fratello Friday is about the return of Tudor to the United States. In some countries, the brand never disappeared, but in the United States, it hasn’t been seen in retailers’ cases since 2004, when Rolex discontinued selling it there. Today, we will give you five reasons why we believe Tudor will have a strong comeback in 2013.

If you have other thoughts on the topic, or more reasons to agree or disagree, feel free to share them.

1. Vintage Appeal

In the last few years, Tudor introduced models that bear strong resemblance to its successful and collectible vintage watches from the 1960s and 1970s. Vintage is hot, and even those who just recently entered the world of mechanical watches have an immediate urge to go after vintage watches. However, actual vintage pieces are not for everyone because of the (most of the time) high prices; the lack of knowledge about them (a service dial or a bad restoration can devalue your precious vintage watch appreciably); and the fear of buying a fake or so-called “Frankenwatch.” People like the looks of vintage watches, though, so Tudor made the right decision to make watches like the Heritage Chronograph and Black Bay, which address the demand for features like patina, gilt dials, and distressed leather watch straps.


Tudor Black Bay 1954 and 2012

2. Competitive Pricing

The prices of Tudor are very competitive. The watches are built with great care, nicely finished and designed with an eye for detail — much like those of its more expensive brother, Rolex. However, Tudor watches do not have in-house-developed movements inside like Rolex’s have. Even when we take this into account, we believe that Tudor has a very competitive price tag compared to watches from other big brands.

 3. A Clearer Identity

In the past, Tudor could give you the feeling of owning ‘second best’. Its new collection of watches has a clearer identity and is stepping outside the shadow of Rolex. Tudor has its own heritage and is clearly making use of that in a positive way. Now, owning a Tudor will not feel like owning a “Rolex, Jr.”


Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue

4. Rolex has its Back

Imagine walking into a Rolex boutique with $4,000 burning a hole in your pocket. In the past, the Rolex salesperson would kindly show you around but really had no way of helping you. Now, that salesperson will be able to redirect you to the Tudor display or to a retailer that offers Tudor watches for sale. Rolex’s sales channels will serve to build more Tudor awareness amongst watch consumers.

5. Marketing Clout

Whereas new brands have to spend much of their budget on marketing, rather than putting the bulk of it into product development, Tudor has been around since 1946 and is fully owned by Rolex, whose marketing budget dwarfs that of every other watch brand. We’ve already noticed a strong presence for Tudor watches in all kinds of media as of 2013.


Tudor Heritage Black Bay

Agree? Disagree? If you have other thoughts or more reasons, feel free to share them with us.

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  1. Tudot watches from the 60’s still sell well over here in the UK so as long as the parent company dont get greedy the new Tudors should sell well and be appreciated. Lets just keep our fingers crossed they dont follow the all too familiar route followed by so many brands in the last 30 years and put their prices up as sales increase.

  2. P.J.Kirkhorn

    I strongly agree on all five accounts, But couldn’t wait for my Tudor Pelagos so I bought one while in Portugal. I’ve owned Tudors for years a Tiger Hydro. two date Sub. snowflakes and a non date Sub. snowflake I’ve had wonderful service and great style from my Tudors it’s Tudor time in the U.S..

  3. I have to agree with the above points. As a collector I love the Tudor line but not being able to buy one new in the US has stopped me in the past. I love the difference of Tudor and the fact that it allows the Rolex brand to try things that the general Rolex buyer would not find agreeable. Couple that with the power of marketing and you have a new brand competing in a price point without a lot of variety.

    I can’t wait to find out who Tudor has partnered with in the US and I think next years watch has a good chance of being a Tudor!

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