Trying to understand Tudor
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  1. #1
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    Trying to understand Tudor

    Tudor makes some of my favourite designs hands down. I love the Pelagos, and the black bay would probably be warring with the Aqua Terra for my most coveted watch, were it not for the lack of date window. The models shown recently at Basel just reinforced this, as I loved each one.

    I'm just trying to understand how they fit in to the price scale, and why they command the price they do, especially the black bay. I know Tudor was started by Rolex as an entry level brand of sorts, though it has long been its own company with its own distinct style. But exactly how is this the case? Originally, I was under the impression that the body, case, hands and bracelet were basically built to Rolex standards in terms of fit, finish, and tolerances, but the cost difference was due to the use of (for lack of a better way to put this) mass market ETA movements instead of Rolex calibers.However now Tudor is using its own impressively specced in house movements, and yet the price is still miles below Rolex.

    If this is the case, I must assume that they don't manufacture to Rolex standards (not a criticism, most companies don't). If this is the case, then as beautiful as they are, how do the older models cost as much as they do? They compare to omega pricing and likely build , but use stock, unmodified ETA movements, mostly without chronometer certification . With this in mind, why wouldn't they be closer to, say, an eterna kon tiki, or higher end Hamilton? The prices seem to be just pulled out of thin air...

    I'd love to hear if anyone has some insight here.




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  2. #2
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    Re: Trying to understand Tudor

    Quote Originally Posted by Araziza View Post

    I'm just trying to understand how they fit in to the price scale, and why they command the price they do, especially the black bay. I know Tudor was started by Rolex as an entry level brand of sorts, though it has long been its own company with its own distinct style. But exactly how is this the case? Originally, I was under the impression that the body, case, hands and bracelet were basically built to Rolex standards in terms of fit, finish, and tolerances, but the cost difference was due to the use of (for lack of a better way to put this) mass market ETA movements instead of Rolex calibers.However now Tudor is using its own impressively specced in house movements, and yet the price is still miles below Rolex.

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    The answer is economics and marketing. A Rolex is not 2.5-4x the price of a Tudor because it costs more to manufacture, it is just a brand in a different price category that offers (mostly intangible) benefits. I'm not saying Tudor quality = Rolex quality, but a Tudor isn't priced lower than a rolex because their watches cost several magnitudes less to produce. The Rolex model closely follows the strategy employed by the diamond industry, IMO. Artificial supply, price-control and marketing (a woman's best friend).

    The in-house movement move, IMO, is also just a reflection of current watch trends. It is expected that a 'quality' luxury watch should have an in-house movement, and that adds to the prestige, horological merit, and branding which feed-forward into price-justification IMO. Also, ETA supply is drying up.

    There is nothing logical about watches. It is all romanticism.
    Last edited by mykii; March 29th, 2016 at 03:59.
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  3. #3
    Member Seaswirl's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to understand Tudor

    I've never priced out any Tudors, but I thought they were priced a good deal less than comparable Omegas and represented pretty good bang for the buck.

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    Re: Trying to understand Tudor

    Quote Originally Posted by mykii View Post
    There is nothing logical about watches. It is all romanticism.
    Exactly! Just like those thousand dollars abstract paintings you see at art exhibitions.
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    I was speaking with someone whose job is to sell "rare" batches of cognac to extremely wealthy clients, mostly asian and middle east buyers. The price is astronomical. This fellow was telling me that the company's biggest fear was that they would be "exposed", meaning that it would surface that their product is in no way shape or form able to command the price asked. Its a great cognac but just that and THEY KNOW IT.

    The lesson here is that you simply cannot look for inherent qualities in cognac, bags or watches to justify the price. Its marketing, history, positioning, etc...

    Tudor have become EXCEPTIONAL watches, I own 2. I know there is much value in a tudor but honestly don't look to the price to tell you much about the product itself, the price is there to tell you about the buyer.

  7. #6
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    Re: Trying to understand Tudor

    There are a lot more costs that Rolex allocates to its watches than simply manufacturing and development. The biggest portion of these would be marketing-related costs, which I would wager are substantially greater for the Rollie than the Tudor.

    The other important thing to keep in mind is the size of the margins that Rolex is working with. I'm sure the Tudor is a lower margin product (although not small by any stretch).
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    Re: Trying to understand Tudor

    I'd suspect current vintage Tudor models cost so much because of Tudor's recent surge in popularity. Not only has Tudor returned to the US, but it now employs in house movements, fantastic bracelets and tech, and cool designs. It's a hot property right now, so obviously their older stuff is going to boom along with it. I'd suspect in the future if Tudor's popularity wanes, their vintage models might as well (just a theory though).

  9. #8
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    Re: Trying to understand Tudor

    it's all marketing!

  10. #9
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    Re: Trying to understand Tudor

    You have to ask the other version of the question too to get a more complete picture.
    Why are Hamilton watches so cheap?

    Very little internal manufacturing.
    Support from vast SwatchGroup resources.
    Long model life-spans that re-use the same cases/ bracelets/hands.
    General lower attention to detailing.

    Take similar looking watches from different SwatchGroup brands and in most cases, you'll see a clearer picture of why one is more expensive than the other.
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  11. #10
    Member Mediocre's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to understand Tudor

    A watch is worth what people are willing to pay.....and people have proven that they will gladly pay Tudor prices. I am surprised they have not increased
    Do something exceptionally mediocre today

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