Tudor vs Rolex: What Watch Brand Will You Choose?

a gold and black Rolex watch sits on a man’s wrist. He’s wearing a white shirt and the sun is shining on his hand, the watch, and his sleeve
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If you're in the market for a quality watch, two Swiss watch brands that have likely popped up on your radar are Tudor and Rolex.

But these brands are more closely related than you might think. Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf created Tudor to act as the more affordable younger sibling to the respected Rolex. And it's only natural for siblings to have a bit of a rivalry!

They may share a family tree, but they've both got distinctive personalities and fan bases. So what sets them apart? 

In this lifestyle blog, we'll explore the history of Rolex and Tudor, as well as each brand's quality, exclusivity, cultural significance and more. Read on to find out which watch will sit perfectly on your wrist.

A Brief History of Tudor and Rolex Watches

Rolex and Tudor are two of the best luxury watch brands that share a captivating history. 

The story begins in the early 20th century when Hans Wilsdorf, a visionary watch merchant, co-founded Rolex in 1905. He had a dream to create wristwatches that were not only accurate but also the epitome of style.

One of Rolex's earliest achievements was in 1926, when they introduced the world's first waterproof wristwatch - the Rolex Oyster. 

Over the years, Rolex has established itself as a symbol of luxury, precision, and innovation. Iconic watches like the Rolex Submariner, Daytona, and Datejust have graced the wrists of explorers, celebrities, and watch enthusiasts alike.

A close-up image or a black Tudor watch with white and gold detailing on the face and dial.

Tudor is a sibling brand to Rolex. It was introduced in 1926 by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf, who sought to provide high-quality watches at a more accessible price point while still maintaining Rolex's standards of precision and durability. 

While Tudor doesn't have the same lengthy history as Rolex, it's carved a niche for itself with timepieces like the Tudor Submariner and the Tudor Black Bay, known for their reliability and value for money.

In recent years, Tudor has come into its own, with a distinct identity that's winning hearts. Collectors and savvy watch enthusiasts are increasingly turning to Tudor for a Rolex-quality timepiece without breaking the bank. 

Today, Rolex and Tudor are more than just names; they're the embodiment of Swiss watchmaking at its finest.

Tudor vs Rolex Watches: Which Should You Choose?

If you want to treat yourself to a luxury Swiss timepiece, you can't go wrong with either of these two brands.

But which one is right for you? Join us as we explore the qualities that make Tudor and Rolex tick, helping you decide once and for all which one you'll make a statement with.

Quality

A gold Rolex watch in front of a gold and green background

When it comes to quality, both Tudor and Rolex are nothing short of exceptional. They share a family heritage, and that commitment to craftsmanship and precision is evident in both brands.

The Rolex brand is often considered the pinnacle of luxury in the watch world, and it's known for pushing the boundaries of watchmaking. Its watches are meticulously handcrafted, and each piece is a masterpiece of engineering, durability, and timeless design.

Tudor, on the other hand, offers an exquisite quality that's sometimes referred to as the 'baby Rolex'. Its timepieces are inspired by rich Rolex heritage, and while they may not carry the same level of prestige, they certainly don't compromise on quality. Tudor watches are celebrated for their robustness and reliability, often offering features and design elements that cater to a more adventurous spirit.

Tudor score: 9.2/10

Rolex score: 9.7/10

Value For Money

A Tudor storefront. The building is light coloured stone with the Tudor logo above the windows in gold. In the windows are 3 Tudor posters and several watches.

Tudor and Rolex both make excellent watches, but they cater to different budgets and priorities. 

Tudor offers a great balance between quality and affordability, making it a solid choice if you're looking for luxury without a sky-high price tag. Tudor watches start at around £1,500 - £1,700.

Rolex, on the other hand, is synonymous with prestige, precision, and enduring value. While Rolex watches come with a higher price tag, their value tends to appreciate over time, making them a sound investment. Rolex watches start at around £4,500.

If you're looking for a reliable, well-crafted luxury watch without a hefty investment, Tudor is an excellent choice. However, if prestige and potential long-term value are your goals, Rolex may be the more appealing option.

If you’re looking for a luxury watch that won’t break the bank, take a look at some of our suggestions: Best Affordable Luxury Watch Brands.

Tudor score: 9.1/10

Rolex score: 9.3/10

Exclusivity

Two silver and gold Rolex watches. The watch on the left is on a cream-coloured stand and the watch on the right is wrapped around a cream-coloured cushion.

In terms of exclusivity, Rolex is generally considered more prestigious and exclusive than Tudor. Rolex has a long history of crafting high-end luxury watches worn by world leaders, celebrities, and explorers. This reputation adds to its aura of exclusivity.

Tudor, while maintaining high-quality standards, is positioned as a more accessible brand and doesn't have the same level of prestige. So, if you're looking for a watch that signifies luxury and status, Rolex is the more exclusive choice. 

Tudor score: 7.3/10

Rolex score: 8.8/10

Cultural Significance

A silver Tudor watch with a white face on a woman’s left wrist. In the background, slightly out of focus, is a glass cabinet with more watches.

Rolex and Tudor both carry cultural significance, but they appeal to slightly different audiences. 

Rolex is renowned for its long history of crafting prestigious and iconic luxury watches. It's often associated with influential figures like world leaders, celebrities, and explorers such as Sir Edmund Hillary, who sported a Rolex on his historic Everest expedition. Rolex is a symbol of success and status, and wearing one will definitely make a statement.

Tudor, while sharing the Rolex legacy, offers a more accessible entry into fine watchmaking. It's appreciated for its reliability and quality, making it a popular choice among those who value performance and craftsmanship without the premium price tag. Celebrities like Lady Gaga and David Beckham have been seen wearing Tudor watches.

Tudor score: 8.6/10

Rolex score: 9.5/10

Features

A black Tudor watch face with part of a grey fabric band visible. The numbers on the dial are gold and the watch’s hands are white.

Tudor and Rolex share many features due to their family connection, such as robust build quality and reliable movements.

However, Rolex offers more advanced components and premium materials, making its watches incredibly precise and long-lasting. Rolex watches also have a wider range of models with various features, catering to different needs, from diving to aviation.

Tudor, while known for similar durability, often uses modified movements and slightly less expensive materials. This results in reliable and robust watches, but they may not offer the same level of precision as Rolex. 

Tudor's model range is also narrower but still provides options for diving and sports enthusiasts. So, if you're looking for advanced features and an extensive model selection, Rolex is the way to go. Tudor is an excellent choice for those who want dependable, well-crafted timepieces without the premium price.

Tudor score: 8.8/10

Rolex score: 9.6/10

Final scores

A close-up image of a Rolex. The gold Rolex logo of a crown is visible along with the brand name in white, part of a gold dial and gold hands

Rolex emerges as the victor by a small margin! The prestige, history, and timeless design of Rolex watches are unparalleled. These timepieces are not just a statement; they're an investment in luxury, precision, and enduring value.

Tudor score: 43/50

Rolex score: 46.9/50

It wasn't an easy decision, though - both brands have so much to offer. Tudor excels in providing outstanding quality and craftsmanship at a more accessible price point, making it an excellent choice for those who appreciate fine watchmaking but don't require the same level of exclusivity.

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For more luxury inspiration, discover Slingo’s lifestyle news or check out these blogs:

FAQs About Tudor vs Rolex Watches

Are Tudor Watches Made By Rolex?

Yes, Tudor watches are made by Rolex. Tudor is a subsidiary of Rolex, and it was established by Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, in 1926. The purpose of creating Tudor was to offer high-quality timepieces at a more accessible price point while maintaining Rolex's standards of precision and durability.

As a result, Tudor often shares design elements and some components with Rolex, benefiting from the parent company's expertise and craftsmanship. So, when you choose a Tudor watch, you're essentially getting a piece of Rolex's watchmaking legacy at a more budget-friendly price.

Why Are Tudor Watches Cheaper Than Rolex?

Tudor watches are generally more affordable than Rolex because of differences in materials, movements, brand prestige, manufacturing, and marketing. While Rolex uses in-house movements and premium materials, Tudor often utilises modified movements and slightly less expensive components.

Rolex's prestigious reputation allows them to command higher prices, and they manufacture almost all components in-house, which can be costly. Tudor, on the other hand, occasionally sources certain parts from external suppliers. This, combined with a more focused model range, streamlines production and helps keep Tudor's prices at a more accessible level.

Do Tudor Watches Hold Their Value?

Tudor watches, like Rolex, have a strong reputation for retaining their value. While they may not appreciate to the same extent as certain Rolex models, they typically maintain their worth well in the pre-owned market. The brand's association with Rolex and its commitment to quality and reliability make Tudor watches a solid choice for those looking for a timepiece that will hold its value over time.

Which Rolex Watches Are the Best Investment Pieces?

While the value of luxury watches can fluctuate due to various factors, certain Rolex models have a strong track record as investment pieces. Some of the most notable ones include:

  • Rolex Submariner
  • Rolex Daytona
  • Rolex GMT-Master
  • Rolex Day-Date
  • Rolex Explorer
  • Rolex Milgauss

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