James Dowling gives his expert view on the new releases from Tudor at Baselworld 2018, from the Black Bay GMT to the Tudor 1926
By James Dowling
Tudor and Rolex are headquartered in the same glass monolith in Geneva, but the ‘Chinese walls’ between the firms are as solid as the Great Wall of China. If you work for Rolex, your electronic key card doesn’t give you access to the Tudor sector of the building and vice-versa.
So, I have to assume that there isn’t a great deal of collaboration between the two on product planning or marketing, because otherwise how do you explain both brands launching GMT watches on the same day? Rolex looked forward while Tudor’s seemingly mined the history of Rolex; Rolex used hi-tech ceramics for its bezel insert, Tudor used old fashioned aluminium inserts, silk screened in red and blue.
The Rolex winding crown was safely protected by raised ‘shoulders’; the Tudor one stood bravely alone on the side of the case, just as on the first GMT Master, the Rolex model 6542; Rolex cases now have a right angle between the brushed lug tops and the polished sides, whilst Tudor retains the 45 degree bevel between the two surfaces.