What is the Point of Tudor Watches Today?
Where is the place of Tudor watch company and what is the value of this company and its products today.
According to Wikipedia, "Montres TUDOR SA is a Swiss manufacturer of high-quality wristwatches based in Geneva. Registered in 1926 at the request of Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex SA. Today the brand remains a sister company to the parent company, both of which are owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation. Over time, Tudor watches became especially well known for its tool watches, producing watches for professional divers and the military. Between the 1960s and 1980s several navies issued Tudor Submariners to their divers, including the US Navy to its elite SEALs, and the French to their famous Marine Nationale (French Navy)".
Current hottest Tudor watches in terms of demand (in our opinion)
1. Black Bay 58
2. Tudor Pepsi
These watches have been regularly sold out at the AD, however, there is some evidence to suggest that stock levels are coming back in.
Just the other day, I went to an AD in my local area, and they had almost every Tudor watch available, except for one, which was the Tudor GMT Pepsi on the stainless steel bracelet (Ref M79830RB)
Perhaps this shows that there has been a small decrease in demand (in the primary markets at least). Does this make sense though, taking into account Rolex being the owner of Tudor? Absolutely.
The whole idea behind Tudor as a watch company (originally) was that:
1. It was aimed at customers who cannot afford a Rolex
2. It was aimed at customers who want a gateway into luxury watches
3. It was aimed at customers who want a gateway into Rolex
If we account for the above, it makes perfect sense that Tudor keeps supply peaked as much as possible, so that they capture market share from its competitors and maximise revenues. Who are the key competitors in this price range? Omega, Breitling, Panerai, Tag Heuer, Cartier and most of the luxury watch brands you'll find in a typical jewellers.
Our theory is that Rolex is paving the way for Tudor to take its place in the mainstream, which will allow Rolex to become a more exclusive and desirable brand. This will enable Rolex to compete with the likes of Audemars Piguet and Patek Phillipe. You can see evidence of this as Rolex has closed almost 2/3 of its UK stores, and is currently seeming to favour boutique stores. Tudor on the other hand, can be found everywhere. Rolex steel sports is also sold out pretty much everywhere.
Modern day Tudor watches - Design & Value
If you look at the current line-up, you can see a trend emerging where Tudor seems to be targeting the younger audience, not just in price, but also in design. Designs are more rugged, durable and approachable. Furthermore, the employment of David Beckham as Tudor's brand ambassador has added to its fashionable image - whereas before, Tudor was considered more of a brand with understated design, aimed at the typical gentleman.
Take for example, the Tudor Black Bay S&G Chrono. David Beckham was seen wearing this recently at Wimbledon 2019. He wore it proudly on a vintage bundy strap, which perfectly complemented his smart, yet casual appearance.
Tudor watches are also holding their value quite well in the secondary markets. From a collector's standpoint, Tudor is definitely no Rolex, but Tudor's customers are not in fear that their watches are dramatically falling in price.
This leads us to draw 3 conclusions on the role of Tudor today:
1. Tudor is focusing on developing "tooly" looking watches, which perfectly competes with brands like Panerai. Panerai's sales have been on the decline in the last decade.
2. Tudor is being used as Rolex's experimental platform - typically, Rolex does not play around with its long-standing, tried and true designs. It is using Tudor to try new things and tap into new markets, whilst keeping its own designs unspoilt.
3. At the same time, Tudor does not compete with Rolex as it does not possess the same ostentatious demand that Rolex has, and it's in a completely different price range. From our experience, you won't be able to buy a Rolex watch from many Tudor ADs.
Why not hire a luxury watch before you buy and see for yourself if it's the watch for you? Perhaps you just want to hire one for a special occasion?
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The points made in this article are merely opinions of WatchVIP and in no way intended to be strict rules for your spending choices. Please seek professional advice should you need assistance with your finances.