The name, Royal has been appearing on Tudor watches since the early 1950s. Hans Wilsdorf was as serious about his Tudor brand as he was its older sibling. Tudor always was and still is a watch with all the quality hallmarks of the Wilsdorf household, at a more accessible price point and so the use of Royal was a way to give the watches a feeling of importance and nobility. Now, almost 70 years on the name has been revived for a new sporty line from the brand that celebrates the integrated bracelet watches of the 70s, a form that is as powerful now as it was then.
The new Royal collection is available in four sizes, 41mm, 38mm, 34mm and 28mm. Initially launched in China, in June, the watches are now being rolled out in other territories. The 41mm is available in a Date and Day configuration and there are options in steel and, steel and gold (S&G in Tudor-speak) and a number of dial options. In total that’s a possible 54 different combinations to choose from. That’s real choice!
All the watches in the Royal collection are powered by modified ETA movements, which allow the watches to be offered at a very accessible price point. This is going to make the watch a serious proposition for young watch buyers and also an easy addition for the more experienced collector looking for a sporty and wearable watch to add to their collection. And of course the brand’s quality is fully present in all of these watches. Cases and bracelets in 316L steel, soleil-finish dials with applied Roman or diamond hours (or mother of pearl in some cases) and Tudor’s standard five-year warranty. It really is a great warranty that requires neither registration by the owner nor periodic maintenance.
In 1973, Tudor also began to produce watches with an integrated bracelet with reference 9101. Driven by a modified ETA movement, Calibre 2784. The watches were 38mm in either steel, gold or two-tone and featured quite a wide bezel that was smooth on the outer half and engine turned in the inner half. There was also a similar watch with rotating Submariner-esque bezel called the Chrono-Time. This watch was available with both plain and more exotic dials
The House of Wilsdorf’s integrated story began with Rolex, which unveiled the reference 5100 in 1970, which was a quartz watch that was the product of the well-known collaboration between brands under the umbrella of the Centre Electronique Horologer (CEH), which was founded solely to develop a swiss-made electronic watch. Rolex went on to develop its own in-house quartz movement, which it launched in 1977 as the Oysterquartz, with its unique integrated case and bracelet configuration. Rolex actually tested the new case on the market in 1974 with the references 1530 (steel) and 1630 (two tone). These watches had mechanical, automatic caliber 1570s in the new integrated case and bracelet design.
So again, Tudor has found inspiration from its illustrious back catalogue and produced a watch that is the perfect fit for the 21st century and very much in-tune with the current zeitgeist. To own a watch of this quality starting from prices of USD 2,100, is remarkable and I’m sure it’ll be a huge success. Just like everything that come out of Tudor these days. Hans Wilsdorf would be proud of how his younger son grew up!
Self-winding mechanical movement, calibre 2834 (41 mm) or 2824 (38 and 34 mm) or 2671 (28 mm); indications include hour, minute and seconds; date-only and day-date for the 41mm model only; approximately 38-hour power reserve
Black, silver, champagne-colour or blue, sunray-finish, with or without diamonds; Gem-set white mother-of-pearl (34 and 28 mm only); Applied Roman numerals; Day of the week at 12 o’clock (41 mm only); Date at 3 o’clock
41, 38, 34 or 28 mm 316L steel case with polished and satin finish; water resistant to 100m
Integrated bracelet in 316L steel or 316L steel and 18 ct yellow gold, 5 rows, satin-brushed external and central links, polished intermediate links, with folding clasp and safety catch
Starting from USD 2,100 and up