For the past several years, TUDOR has been working overtime on their solid vintage-inspired tool-watch collections. The brand has even launched a new campaign with the slogan, “Born to Dare,” which dovetailed rather nicely with the vision of Hans Wilsdorf, who’s second watch company was born of a mission “to explore new territories,” thereby offering everything that is robust about a Rolex, in a more affordable package.
“We keep the best of the past, the best watchmaking practices, the best designs, and push the boundaries of what’s new.” This isn’t to say TUDOR is never looking forward. They’ve actually become the masters of reinvention, constantly mining their storied past to offer an uncompromisingly dependable future. This year alone saw the Black Bay line become the center of attention all over again with well-received additions such as a “New 32” and a new GMT, as well as updates to both the Black Bay Fifty-Eight and Black Bay S&G lines.
Which is why it was it was so refreshing to see the tool-watch maker launch a brand new family of watches aimed at first-time buyers this year. Indeed, TUDOR has worked hard to stay independent of bigger brother Rolex, and it’s been a full 92 years since Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf registered the brand name TUDOR. Thus, in honor of the year of its “birth,” TUDOR has launched the 1926, a new family of watches that honors Wilsdorf’s original promise of affordability, refinement, and quality.
The epitome of classic sophistication, the TUDOR 1926 is designed for both men and women, and comes in four sizes: 41mm, 29mm, 36mm, and 28mm, all four models of which are water resistant to 100 meters and can be had in polished steel or in steel with finishing touches of 4N rose gold.
Especially stylish for a daily wearer, the TUDOR 1926 feature dials in silver, opaline and black, which have been slightly domed for that vintage touch and are delicately embossed in the center with a machine-stamped “waffle” pattern that hark back to the very first TUDOR models. And matched with sword shaped hands with appliqued even-numbered Arabic numerals between faceted arrow-shaped hour markers, or odd-numbered hour markers set with diamonds, depending on the model, the 1926 line has style to spare. Even the date window at 3 o’clock looks curiously elegant and unobtrusive, which is probably due to the welcome omission of a Cyclops on the sapphire crystal.
The “ROTOR SELF-WINDING” marking on the dial announces the internal workings of an ETA movement inside. TUDOR has recently made forays into producing their own calibers but to honor Wilsdorf’s original promise of affordability the watchmaker opted for that old workhorse, the ETA 2824 for the three larger watches. An “older” but reliable movement, this self-winding movement runs at the standard 28,800 beats per hour and has a power reserve of 38 hours. The 28mm model, on the other hand, gets the similarly spec’d but smaller ETA 2671 calibre.
Last but not least is the TUDOR metal bracelet that is an integral part of the brand’s aesthetic and practical heritage. Thus, the 1926 collection get purpose-made bracelets made up of seven links of varying size designed with comfort and quality in mind. Its external links are satin-brushed, while the middle links are polished.
Representing a new “entry-level” standard into the world of mechanical watches, the 1926 collection is sure to catch the eye of many in the “aspirational” market. The collection is effortlessly stylish and comes with a pedigree that few other watchmakers can match, a win-win proposition for TUDOR in 2018.