Tudor Prince Date

Tudor Prince Date front

I am collecting watches for a little less than a decade and it is my first Tudor Prince Date. I started with G-shocks and in couple of years gradually moved to mechanical/quartz pieces, majority (who am I kidding…almost all) being Seikos. 

Tudor Prince Date with bracelet

Recently (discretely dared by a dear friend :)), I started to look towards the Swiss territory. And although I still consider myself a Seiko fan boy (vintage Seiko to be more precise) I have to admit the I fell in love with the Swiss … timepieces that is… and chocolate… But that’s a different hobby. 

Profile of Tudor Prince Date

The watch in this article is one I have to admit I knew little about before I saw her for the first time. The Tudor Prince (Tiger) Date. 

Tudor brand has its fair share of heritage although it lived its entire life in the shadow of the older and very popular sister brand, Rolex. 

Tudor watch

For any watch enthusiast, Rolex is a very … very … very 🙂 resonant name. And although not everyone is a Rolex fan boy, I can easily bet that every watch collector regardless of his/hers tastes, budget, collecting strategy, CSOC (I doubt anyone reading this article doesn’t know what this means) at some points looks up various Rolex models and tries to make a list of what would be the Rolex model(s) to get. I have my list 🙂

Tudor, apart from the very familiar name to begin with (this name can be both a first name and a surname – especially if you are a blue blood :)) is the name of a watch brand which managed, in my opinion, to successfully fulfill the initial mission that the founder (father of the 38 years older sister, Rolex) had in mind. 

Tudor watch hanging on a tree

Some fun facts: Hans Wilsdorf, father of Rolex and Tudor, was born in the same day and month like the author of this article 😉. And he was born in the exact same year when Seiko was founded. So definitely another strong connection for me with this brand. So funny how we, the WIS try to find meanings in things which for a normal person have no relevance at all….

Macro photo of Tudor Pince Date dial

This is what Mr. Wilsdorf said in 1946, 38 years after he had founded Rolex, about Tudor:

“For some years now I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that could attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a separate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the Tudor Watch Company.”

Fast forward 74 years to present days…. reading these words … I think he succeeded with his mission.

Tudor watch view from the side

The Watch

The history of this model is not short. And as there are plenty of very good resources available better detailing than me, I’ll leave you to those.  

I think this watch falls into the neo-vintage category. It is too young to be truly vintage and too old to be modern. It has elegant design cues linked to the past but still modern for today’s standards. Among these are the sapphire crystal, newer lume material that still glows and a smaller and more compact case compared to more recent ones.

Many consider it poor’s man Daytona. And I cannot argue with that. The case is the same and with the right combination of bezel and dial colors you could really get a very close version of a Daytona. 

Deep black glossy dial of Tudor Prince Date

Speaking of case, I think this is a very well proportionate chronograph. Its thickness is just below 14mm. Its diameter is 39mm, however difficult to be measured exactly due to the crown and chrono pushers. It has a very compact lug to lug of under 48mm, with lugs width of 20mm.

This Tudor Prince is currently on a custom bracelet by Strapcode, created specifically for this model. It wears nice and has a good resemblance with the original version of this model.

I do have the original pair of end links (that once you fit a strap to them they leave no gap visible between the watch case and the strap) and deployant buckle (with Tudor logo) of this watch. But I am patiently waiting for my favorite leather straps brand 🙂 to make a strap that I can use on this Prince Date. The buckle is 16mm and therefore will have a very nice and comfortable tapper from 20mm.

Tudor watch

The dial is deep glossy back with recessed circular pattern on the chrono subdials. This results in a very well balanced and proportioned dial and nice to look at in different lights/angles. The raised Tudor shield logo sits proud next to the date. It reflects the light in various angles, drawing discreetly the wearer’s attention every now and then.

The Arabic numerals have a nice symmetry, with 12, 3, 6 and 9 missing. They have a warm white color and perfect dimensions not to make the dial look cluttered. There are small lume dots on the minute ring on the outer dial. They still discretely glow few tens of minutes in the dark. The red chrono hand is a nice splash of color. At some point I wished it said TIGER with red below the minutes subdial, like the newer Tiger Woods variants. But I ended up preferring more this version without the word Tiger on the dial.

The Tachymeter bezel has a nice crisp contrast of the markings. Ever since I came across watches with this feature I imagined myself using it while driving a car or piloting a plane. And every time I failed to figure it out how I can in the same time do the driving/flying at high speed and focus on the seconds hand position vs the bezel 😊 unless I would be the co-pilot.

Watch with cyclops view from the side

Now to the most controversial (to me at least) aspect of this Tudor Prince: the cyclops… I have to admit, first time I saw a pic of the watch first thing I noticed was the cyclops. Few minutes later I noticed the rest of the watch… The cyclops on any watch was “a thing” on the crystal obstructing the legibility of the dial, ruining the symmetry and a dust collector. Now my perception have changed. It doesn’t bother me anymore. It does add to the easier date reading due to the magnification. Except when you are looking from a side angle because you cannot read anything on the date disc. And is part of the charm and character of this watch.

The water resistance of this watch is 150m, thanks to the screw down crown, case back and pushers. This makes it a very reliable and worry free daily wear. Especially when I know that the case was properly cleaned, new correct gaskets installed and pressure tested (along with a full service of the movement) during the recent visit to a great watchmaker.

Watch on the side

The Movement of Tudor Prince Date

I would be lying if I would use a whole paragraph in talking in technical terms about the Valjoux 7750 from my own knowledge and personal experience. Because I don’t have it 😊. I’ll just stick to saying that to me, this chrono movement is for the watch industry what a generic 2L turbo diesel engine is for the auto industry. A lot of reputable brands use this version with success, making many customers happy.  I love the mechanical feeling of it and how it winds (feel and sound). And how, after I bring the watch to a sudden stop and is silence around me, I keep hearing the rotor winding for a good 10-15 seconds. The chrono action is superb. And I can really feel all the gears and levers taking part of the start, stop and reset processes.

In conclusion, „I like this watch a lot and it will always be part of my collection and will never sell her”…. That’s what we (WIS) always say 😊. I guess only time will tell if this statement is true for me in the case of this Tudor Prince Date… I do have a strong feeling it will be.

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

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Watch in strong light

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