Tudor has always been involved in collaborations, on both the development and manufacturing of their watches. The most well-known development partnership was with the French National Navy, the Marine Nationale (or MN for short).
Over a period of many years Tudor used feedback from French military divers to better their Submariner. Improvements included the evolution of the Sub’s case shape, winding crown size and hand design (the iconic “snowflake” hands were a response to the divers’ request for more legible hands underwater). The other partnership was manufacturing based, specifically centered on movements.
One of Hans Wilsdorf’s founding principles for Tudor was to offer a Rolex-quality timepiece at a much more affordable price point. He was adamant that Tudor be as robust as its older brother and so it was a no-brainer to have the Oyster case be a key aspect of his formula.
With its screw-down crown, pressure fit crystal and screw caseback, the Oyster case was both dust and waterproof. Therefore, early Tudor watches from the 1950s and 1960s share pretty much all case components with Rolex watches. So, how did he make it more affordable? The answer was the movements.