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Tudor vs Rolex watches: What’s the difference?

What are the differences between Tudor and Rolex watches?

Tudor watch on model

When it comes to luxury watches for men, Tudor and Rolex are some of the most respected brands around. But, exactly who is better? If the pair were fighting it out in a ring, UFC style, Tudor vs Rolex, who would get knocked out first? They’ve both got hardcore fans on each side, screaming their names, with each believing their fighter is at the top of their game. Both brands are famous for their long history and just absolutely superb, quality watches, but there are certainly some major differences that set them apart. Let’s dive into these differences, and put a Tudor vs Rolex matchup to the test.

Tudor watch promo shot

Tudor vs Rolex watches: The differences

Tudor and Rolex definitely appear on the same family tree, as Tudor is the sister company of Rolex, established in 1926 by the founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf. Tudor was made to offer watches of high quality but with price tags that the average person can actually afford. Being that Rolex is considered a major status symbol, not least because of their exorbitant price tags, it’s a smart move for the founder to come up with a brand that is in the same solar system as the brand, even if it’s not on the same planet.

While there are obviously price differences, the looks of the watches vary quite a bit as well. While Rolex is much more conservative, Tudor likes to get a bit more creative with their watches, including by using unorthodox materials like bronze. Basically, Tudor is the younger sibling who likes to get into trouble, while Rolex follows the rules.

In the Tudor vs Rolex debate, Tudor has some major differences in how they manufacture watches. While the brand was made to be an affordable alternative to Rolex, that came with some compromises. Tudor relied on ETA movements when they first started, which were not made in-house, while Rolex has created their own movements since starting in Aegler, Switzerland.

Rolex GMT Master II watch promo

Design and aesthetics

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: Owning a Tudor is certainly not the same as owning a Rolex. Their components are completely different and while Tudor does share some of that famous Rolex prestige, it’s on a much smaller scale. Rolex completely eclipses Tudor in its global fame, however, the latter is still a firm fan favorite. One of the biggest differences between Tudor and Rolex is their approach to watch design in general. While Rolex watches are dripping with luxury and a classic appeal, Tudor watches have a more sporty, slightly rugged energy.

When it comes to a Tudor vs Rolex watch, especially looking at models like the Rolex Pepsi, there are some pretty major differences, even when they use the same colors. Rolex uses Cerachrom bezels complete with white gold or platinum numerals, a feature Tudor watches definitely don’t have. Not only that but Rolex uses highly advanced bracelet mechanisms such as the Easylink or Glidelock systems, contrasting with Tudor’s sole use of an easy adjust system.

Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi

Movement and technology

Rolex is known for using extremely high-quality Swiss movements. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be as famous as they are, but don’t let Tudor fool you; they use Swiss movements as well, but in a different way. Tudor uses ETA movements (a Swiss manufacturer), meaning they can give their customers a good quality watch without the incredibly high price tag that Rolex watches are known for. Rolex, on the other hand, manufactures their famous movements in-house, and their watches are put through rigorous tests and certification processes, something other brands are not known for.

Tudor watches promotional shot

Price and accessibility

When talking about the differences between Tudor and Rolex watches, you would be crazy not to point out the big neon sign or pink elephant in the room, right? Yes, it’s the price. Rolex watches are seen as investment pieces just as much as they are arm candy, and they come with the wait lists to prove it (some up to 2 years!). Tudor, on the other hand, makes it easier for someone just starting to dip their toes in the world of luxury watches and doesn’t have the wallet or knowledge quite yet.

Tudor watches give buyers awesome value for money, and they come with many of the same features that Rolex watches have for way less. This affordability makes Tudor highly popular with watch fans looking to own a piece of the cake without breaking the piggy bank. From the design to the functionality and price points, both Tudor and Rolex watches will make customers happy, no matter which brand they choose.

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Sarah Veldman
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
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