What’s the Difference between Tudor and Rolex?

Rolex Tudor Watch

A watch that looks and feels like a Rolex, but does not have a Rolex logo just might be in fact a Rolex.  Rolex has a sister line known at Tudor. Tudor watches are not very prevalent in the United States as they are not imported by Rolex USA, but they found on the secondary market, as well as in the pre-owned market by people who have brought them into the United States. Just as how many automobile companies have two different model at differing price points, Rolex has as similar structure with Tudor.  Tudor watches utilize the same case material and similar design, similar bracelets and dials, but the movement is typically a Swiss made ETA or Valjoux movement rather than an in-house Rolex movement.  Although both watches are manufactured, distributed and serviced by Rolex, Tudor’s differing styles and price points are intended to appeal to a wider international audience.

With the traditional Rolex models exemplifying “evolution” rather than “revolution” with subtle changes among models and model years, Tudor models are known to be markedly differ from the traditional Rolex line.  Tudor provides Rolex that ability to experiment with styles and material that are not found in the generally staid Rolex model line.  The utilization of cloth watch straps, titanium cases, vibrant colors and dials are commonplace for Tudor. Honoring the Tudor period in England, Hans Wilsdorf unveiled the line in 1946 with the intent of having a Rolex pedigreed wristwatch available to the common man.  Early Tudor’s have a Tudor Rose emblem, which changed to the Tudor shield during the 1960’s.

Tudor Watch that looks like a Submariner, because it is in a Rolex Submariner case.

Because Tudors utilize the same case, crown, crystal, and bracelet design as Rolex, Tudors are the go-to tool watch for many entities including sportsmen and various branches of the armed forces. Up until that last few decades, Tudor watches utilized Rolex signed crowns, bracelets and crystals. The difference between Tudor and Rolex was the movement inside and its respective price point as a result of the less expensive ETA or Valjoux movement.

Essentially, a Tudor is a Rolex.  Similar packaging, similar styles, similar quality and timing, similar metal (both gold and stainless models), and both are serviceable at any Rolex Service Center.

About the author

Matthew Becker

Owner of Beckertime.com a online retailer and active blogger sharing watch education and news.

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Comments (15)

  1. Steve Muscutt

    What is a TUTOR watch? I am familiar with TUDOR watches……

    Reply
  2. joe fischella

    I have a ladys SS 1966 Tudor with a julibee band and white gold bezel. was serviced by rolex 3 years ago. dosen’t run now. How much is it worth? And where do I sell it? 949-6461444

    Reply
  3. Dr Tim Owen

    As you say, Tudor is Rolex. However, Tudor is far more affordable for the general public, who by and large wouldn’t really know or care much about whether the watches use ETA or in-house movements. Tudor watches are wonderful things to own. I have 2 vintage models- one a circa 1955 Oyster Royal [manual wind-up] and the other a circa 1963 Oyster Prince- both keep time beautifully and accurately today. Both look superb on the wrist. If that is not long-lasting value for money, I don’t know what is.

    Reply
  4. Yong

    as good as they may be and I can see the logic in owning one of these…

    in the end I can never bring myself to own a Tudor simply because I am a vain pot and simply care too much what others think of a Tudor… that it is a poor mans Rolex.

    Reply
  5. mike jacobs

    can i interchange a tudor face to a rolex date just ? a tudor prince

    Reply
  6. gordon

    The writer mentioned that tudor and rolex use the same case material. As far as I am aware tudor uses 316 stainless steel and rolex use 904 stainless steel since the mid 1980s.

    Reply
  7. Carlos Pineda

    Tudor is a wastches very fine, and I think it is a Rolex but with other name.

    Reply
  8. Richard Cosby

    Looks like a Rolex

    Reply
  9. Richard Cosby

    I like the watch

    Looks like a Rolex

    Reply
  10. Audi vs Bentley - Page 5

    [...] Anyone bought Tudor instead of Rolex? "Essentially, a Tudor is a Rolex. Similar packaging, similar styles, similar quality and timing, similar metal (both gold and stainless models), and both are serviceable at any Rolex Service Center." What [...]

    Reply
  11. Paul Nonnenmann

    Hi Matt,
    I have a Tudor Sub 7016/0 S/N 737806
    As you noted, many of the earlier ones have the 7928 model dial with the Rose.
    Mine also has a second hand with a smaller “lollipop” than others I’ve seen.
    Does this variation coincide with the use of 7928 style hands, markers and crownguards in the earlier models? I have owned this watch since 1975 and know that it’s never been touched.
    Any info would be appreciated.
    BTW, I have photos if you’d like to see them.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Todd Samson

      Hi Paul,

      Contact me if you see this. I have a 7016 with the same configuration you mention, our watches are only 20 serial numbers apart!

      Todd

      Reply
  12. Phil @ Watchdealer.ca

    I just got a Tudor iconaut chronograph GMT (pre-owned)

    Amazing piece lots of wrist presence. I am very impressed with the brand. I wish it had AR coating but I heard Rolex doesn’t add AR coating to their watches.

    Highly recommended, probably the best watch I have ever owned.

    Reply

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