How to assess the value of Tudor watchesTudor is a Swiss watch maker that is the sister brand of Rolex.
Its watches share many of the same attributes of Rolex but are often available at a lower price point.
The Tudor brand dates back to 1926 and has been connected with Rolex since the beginning. It came into existence when Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, registered the Tudor trademark although the first watches were actually made by a supplier of Rolex components, Veuve de Philippe Hüther, that obtained exclusive rights to produce these watches.
These early examples had the name ‘Tudor’ on the dial although some rare pieces also display the name Rolex too.
Wilsdorf brought Tudor back under his auspices in 1936 and later founded a separate company in 1946 to make watches “at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex are famous”. It is often now said that the year 1946 therefore represents the official launch of Tudor.
More recently, Tudor has invested heavily in marketing its brand which has led to a higher profile. In 2017, for example, David Beckham, Lady Gaga and the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team began promoting Tudor watches as part of the brand’s Born To Dare campaign, with, among other things, posts on social media and in-store advertising in watch shops.
If a new Tudor is too pricey or doesn’t provide the classic style you are looking for, a second hand one at auction could be just the thing. Plenty of examples with a range of dates are available to buy at auctions on thesaleroom.com
Buying at auction
Many auction houses hold regular specialist watch sales or watches and jewellery sales, while others include a selection of watches within a bigger auction, making it easy to find plenty of Tudors at any time of year.
With so many examples on offer you will always find plenty to suit your budget.
Popular models include Tudor Oysters from the 1950s which were waterproof, the Tudor Oyster Prince which was known for its robustness and endurance, the Tudor Advisor which originally had an alarm function, and the Tudor Royal, an elegant ladies watch.
More modern watch types include the Tudor Grantour Chronograph from 2009 and Tudor Heritage collection which started in 2014.
Condition, age and rarity determine the prices that second-hand Tudor watches will sell for at auction.
The entry-level price for a good example at auction is typically around mid-three figures.
At the top end, the rarest Tudor submariners from before 1955 with their original box and papers can fetches £30,000 or more.
What to look out for
Check the auction house’s lot description. It will typically state whether the Tudor you are considering bidding on is in working order or needs repair. Some Tudors may have been repaired in the past in which case the hands, for example, may not be the originals. That would make it less desirable for a specialist collector and thus more affordable for you.
The lot description will also usually detail condition issues such as any scratches. These may often be typical wear and tear for a watch that was worn every day by its previous owner or they may be more severe.
You can request a condition report from the auctioneer if it is not already in the lot description. Attending a viewing in person will also enable you to try on the watch you are considering bidding for and inspect it for yourself close up.
Auction houses with a watches department will employ a specialist you can contact to discuss your requirements and answer your questions.
What to do next
Decide how much you’d like to spend and use the search facility on thesaleroom.com to find Tudor watches coming up for sale.
You can filter your search by, among other things, price and by location of the auction house to narrow down your selection.
To research recent prices at auction to see how much different Tudors sold for you can also try out the Price Guide.
If you are new to bidding check out our guides to buying at auction – it’s easy once you know how.