Rolex Submariner 114060 ‘No Date’ Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review

Rolex Submariner 114060 ‘No Date’ Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

This is a big one, and something that took a long time to come together: today, we review and compare every single detail of the Rolex Submariner 114060 "No Date" and the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black.

It may sound weird today but it's true nonetheless that, a few years ago, Tudor could not have been as widely considered a viable alternative to Rolex. Times have changed, and tables have turned, though: Tudor has returned to the USA market and, more importantly, has developed a range of super impressive products, all designed to nicely complement the assortment of its parent company – Rolex.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

As a direct consequence, we are being asked so much of the time: "Which one should I buy, a Rolex or a Tudor?" There are many, many things to consider from pricing to quality of execution and movements, from history to prestige, and from design to wearability. We did all the hard work for you and compared these two amazing brands in this detailed, hands-on comparison review of the Rolex Submariner 114060 "No Date" and the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Reference 79220N watches.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

We will indeed try and look at all the notable specifications and features, basically every single aspect you should take into consideration before making up your mind to go with either one of these pieces. They each are genuinely amazing and hence hugely popular watches - however, although they do look rather similar at first, under the surface they actually are more different than you ever imagined.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

We should mention right at the beginning that at Baselworld 2016 Tudor launched an updated version of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay collection, adding an in-house movement to it. That watch, however, will not be available until later into the year and is otherwise extremely similar to what we have here.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

History

That's right, we are beginning with history - just to get the very basics in place and better understand how these two companies are related.

Established in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex was officially registered by Wilsdorf on July 2, 1908. The company then moved to Geneva in 1919 and was registered there as Montres Rolex S.A. in 1920. Tudor, on the other hand, was registered in 1926 by the house of “Veuve de Philippe Hüther,” a watchmaker and watch dealer; Wilsdorf acquired the exclusive usage rights to Tudor from this dealer.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Tudor was off to a slow start, though. In 1932, they started delivering watches to Australia – of all places and markets – but it was only on October 15, 1936, that the house of “Veuve de Philippe Hüther” transferred the brand The Tudor to Hans Wilsdorf. It was also at this time that the rose of the Tudor dynasty appeared on the dials.

The real start of the company dates to even later than that, though, as Tudor notes: "Just after the Second World War, Hans Wilsdorf knew that the time had come to expand and give the brand a proper identity of its own. Thus, on 6 March 1946, he created the 'Montres TUDOR S.A.' company, specializing in models for both men and women. Rolex would guarantee the technical, aesthetic and functional characteristics, along with the distribution and after-sales service."

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

From 1947 onwards, a year after the official launch of Tudor, the shield gradually disappeared from the logo, henceforth comprising only the company name and the rose.

In 1948, the first advertisements dedicated to Tudor were launched. The brand was clearly associated with Rolex, both in the text and in the logo, while the copy emphasized the aesthetics, chronometric precision, and waterproofness of Tudor timepieces.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Branding And Positioning

This is all very interesting for those fascinated by the histories of watch brands, but Wilsdorf's reasons for establishing a second brand alongside Rolex are what truly matter and what affect how the two brands are positioned today, some 70 years later.

Tudor quotes Wilsdorf in saying: "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 would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a seperate (sic!) company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the Tudor watch company."

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

So there you have it. Tudor from the get-go was designed to be heavily reliant on Rolex, for obvious economical and financial reasons, and was cleverly positioned at a more affordable price point, without any notable sacrifices in overall quality or dependability. This positioning of the two brands still very much applies, but thanks to major advancements in manufacturing technologies – and with fiercer-than-ever competition in the industry – the picture has become more complicated.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Some people, generally those who have very limited exposure to and understanding of watches and the industry behind it, repeatedly say that Rolex is not an innovative company and that they don't do enough to further advance or modernize their products. The same people would probably also argue that the 911 Porsche is the same car as it was 50 years ago... But just because one still tells the time and the other still goes around corners, that doesn't mean there have not been major, major advancements made to their mechanics – hidden under their finely made metallic exteriors.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

There have clearly been some huge steps forward in terms of manufacturing techniques and quality of execution, but the issue of product development leads us to an interesting situation. When one brand has been destined to permanently remain "under" another (in pricing, technical features, exclusivity, etc.), it has to perform one endless tight-rope walk, skillfully balancing between not losing ground to its competitors and at the same time not stepping on the toes of its bigger brother. To stick with the Porsche analogy, most car fans are probably familiar with how the Cayman, the baby-911, has evolved into a fantastic sports car that admittedly had to be held to keep it from beating the 911 both in performance and value.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Okay, back to watches. Over the last few years, Tudor has experienced incredible success, taking a larger chunk of sales out of its already extremely competitive segment of relatively affordable Swiss high-end watches priced between $2,000 and $5,000. However, Tudor has to find ways to maintain that momentum, and for that, it knows it has to be able to show more than good-looking, heritage-inspired watches. Here's how Rolex and Tudor advanced in tandem.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex manufactures most all components of its watches, including cases, bracelets, clasps, movements, and dials in-house. For over ten years now, they have been using 904L for their steel cases and bracelets in lieu of the much more common 316L. Last but not least, Rolex has been making slow, but steady progress in refining their movements, all of which are now tested by them to be accurate to within -2/+2 seconds per day – as we were first to bring you the news in more detail here.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

So, the question is: how can Tudor measure up by being different and, preferably, more than its competition, while not breaching Rolex territory? Let's put the Rolex Submariner "No-Date" Reference 114060 and the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Reference 79220N side by side and see how they compare.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Exteriors

Rolex dates the beginning of its history with dive watches to 1953, when it all started with the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Reference 6204. Tudor's involvement in dive watch manufacturing began just one year after Rolex, in 1954, with a watch and a designation that were eerily similar to those of its parent company: the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner Ref. 7922. Both watches in today's review pay homage to their trendsetting predecessors – but enough with history already, and let's see how they measure up against one another.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Case & Bezel

The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black comes in a 41-millimeter-wide and 12.7-millimeter-thick case, water resistant to 200 meters, and crafted from 316L stainless steel. It is a beautifully crafted case with some finer details that save it from appearing to be overly "tool-focused" or heavy-duty. Highly polished sides, brushed, or rather satin-finished lugs, and - my personal favorite design element - a polished edge that runs along both sides of the case all render the Tudor Black Bay a solid, but refined-looking watch.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The domed sapphire crystal on the front is framed by an aluminum bezel that is equipped with a lumed pip at 12. The bezel may have a notched edge, but it still is rather difficult to grab firmly and move from one to the next of its 60 solid clicks. A 60-minute bezel actually is a genuinely useful little feature and one that I personally use often, which is why I found it all the more annoying that the low profile of the one on the Black Bay is rather more difficult to hold onto and rotate without my fingers slipping off its edge.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The bezel in this instance is finished in matte black – other versions in blue (reviewed here), in brown over a bronze case (hands-on), in all-black over a black case (hands-on), and in burgundy red are also available. Still, it was this version, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black with its black bezel, red triangle marker, and gilt dial that made the biggest splash after the original in burgundy had been released.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The case of the Rolex Submariner 114060 is 40 millimeters wide and 12.5 millimeters thick, coming in slightly smaller in every dimension than the Tudor. Notably, the Tudor measures a full 50 millimeters lug-to-lug, while the Rolex is under it, at 48 millimeters – something to consider for those with smaller, or larger-than-average wrists (more on that further down in the Wearability section).

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex uses a Cerachrom bezel on the Submariner. It is a ceramic bezel with engraved, recessed numerals and graduations, which have been PVD-coated with platinum. The ceramic looks fantastic and not only does it look better than the metal one on the Tudor, but is also incomparably more scratch-resistant, ensuring that it will look great ages down the road. Ceramic does not ever fade in color either, so kiss goodbye any patination hopes – in case that is something you were looking forward to.

Rolex Submariner 114060 'No Date' Vs. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Comparison Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Rolex Submariner's bezel is easier to grab and rotate than on the Tudor and... on a watch-nerdy but important note, the Rolex bezel feels like no other I have ever used. While the Tudor has 60 large, solid jumps from one click to the next, it feels almost overdone a bit. By contrast, the 120-click Rolex bezel feels like a fine-adjust knob on a high-precision engineering instrument. It is buttery smooth but still super precise – this is what it must feel like to tinker with a control panel on a submarine, or open one of those massive old safes seen in the movies. It is so wonderfully over-engineered (but not overdone), that I often found myself turning it for no good reason other than for pure mechanical enjoyment.

What do you think?
  • I love it! (75)
  • I want it! (19)
  • Interesting (12)
  • Thumbs up (8)
  • Classy (3)
  • First article I read beginning to end in a long time!

    • Boogur T. Wang

      We know….(just kidding)

  • Chaz

    Bravo! Loved the Porsche 911 analogy.

    So in the end, one should wait for and purchase the newer BB with in-house movement, no? It’ll be truly superlative.

    **Off Topic** I once owned the Tudor Heritage chrono and absolutely loved the craftsmanship and details about everything. EXCEPT the movement. If Tudor decides to do an in-house chrono or use a 7750 I may just get another one.

    • David Bredan

      Glad you liked that bit and thank you for your kind feedback!

      • A truly good article David! For people like me (no money at all) I can really read and appreciate the (sometimes subtle) differences between the two brands.

        My personal preference if for the Rolex though. I really do not like the hands on the Tudor, and… the pip is not quite right on the Tudor.

        Both fine watches at the end of the day.

        Cheers!

  • Josh Graves

    Great comparison. I like the dial if the Tudor better, but the ceramic bezel of the Rolex wins me over in the materials department. I’ll stick with my platform that Rolex uses way too much text on their dials…why do I need to see specs and self congratulating statements? It’s a Rolex…the brand name says it all already.

  • word-merchant

    I’ve got a Rolex Deep Sea D-Blue and (more recently) a Tudor Black Bay Bronze, and I reckon although the gap is closing, and the Tudor is a truly fine watch, the Rolex is still worth the extra money if you feel happy to pay it: everything on the Rolex just feels and looks a bit better quality. In particular the Deep Sea ceramic bezel is wonderful both in looks and action and is a lot more upscale than the Black Bay aluminium bezel insert. Somehow the Rolex dials and hands look better quality too. But the Tudor is 1/4 – 1/3 the price of the Deep Sea but I can’t honestly say the Rolex is 3 or 4 times better.

    The movement in my Tudor Black Bay Bronze so far seems to adhere to the same levels of feel and accuracy as the Rolex watches in the Word Merchant household (i.e. staggeringly good), and it winds and sets like a Rolex too rather than the clunky ETA movement of old, so I do wonder if you’re getting a lot of Rolex technology on the cheap here.

    The Tudor packaging – the box, the instructions, is far nicer and dare I say it more funky than you get with any current Rolex. And in the UK I am told that it isn’t possible to be both a Rolex and a Tudor stockist, which is interesting in itself. I can think of a number of explanations for this and none of them reflect badly on Tudor.

    So should you buy a Tudor? Yes definitely, you’re getting a lot of watch for the money. It could be one of the bargain brands of the decade. Should you pay the extra for a Rolex? Yes definitely too, if you’re happy to spend that much on a watch! But should you feel like you settled for second best having purchased a Tudor? Not at all. Be it Tudor or Rolex, you’re now the owner of a damn fine watch.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      “So should you buy a Tudor? Yes definitely, you’re getting a lot of watch
      for the money. It could be one of the bargain brands of the decade.”

      Well put. Possibly the main take-away here.

  • Just watch me

    The Rolex Sub is more refined in every way possible. I looked at both watches for a long time (and the excellent Pelagos too) but pulled the trigger on the Sub. When buying a watch you want to have no regrets and I never wanted to feel I went for the lesser option just because it was a bit cheaper. The Sub also holds its value better, so you are not losing much of anything when buying it. They sell in a flash for pretty much what you paid for it. Why? Because they are prestigious watches that are difficult to come by (6 month waiting list at some ADs i know). The same cannot be said of the Tudor.

    • DebugOutput

      I agree entirely, side by side the Rolex is the watch that I want. You definitely don’t want to have any regrets. The only ‘problem’ with the sub is that they are so exceptionally common.

      • Just watch me

        True about Rolexes. There are four of us in my office with them. I’ve got the only Sub though. Panerai and the IWC Portuguese chrono seem to be most popular with the banking set in Canary Wharf, London, now. Guess I’m just old school. The Sub works for me. Not bothered if other people have them as I don’t see them too often. I’ll probably go more left field as I grow a collection.

  • Pierre Savard

    Both very nice watches. The only thing I would improve on the sub no date is the amount of text: I don’t need to be reminded that 300m = 1000 ft every time I look at the watch and one or both of the lines “Superlative Chronometer”, “Officially Certified” could be removed. I wish that along with the “no date” they had a “less text” version”… For the Tudor, I would change the hard to grip bezel (the sub did it right), the crown, and I don’t really like the hour hand but I guess you can’t change it since it is part of the brand’s identity.

  • SuperStrapper

    Ve never had either on the wrist, but I would take the tutor every time. That rolex handset always turns me off.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    If someone ( who didn’t know any different ) came up and said ” I like your Rolex and in fact i was wearing a Tudor i would die of embarrassment. As for my personal preference ( even though am not to keen on the model ) i would always opt for the Rolex, no question.

    • Really, you’d die of embarrassment? That would be the perfect opportunity for you to explain the subtle nuances and histories behind the brands. I have a colleague at work who calls every watch I wear, “A Rolex” regardless of what it is. I was wearing an Eterna Kon Tiki on Friday, and he asked, “What kind of Rolex is that?” Over the years, I’ve kindled enough of his interest in watches that he stopped wearing his kid’s Timex Ironman and has begun to peruse Breitling brochures at lunchtime.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        An Eterna Kon Tiki is not even remotely similar to a Rolex. The guy certainly needs educated. I would steer him away from Breitling. To unnecessarily busy. Unless he’s a navy seal or something.

        • Nah, he just has delusions of grandeur who equates “shiny” with “luxury”. I’d like to see him pick up a nice vintage Speedmaster.

      • Jack Daniels

        Where’s my Cholex?

    • Gokart Mozart

      Just tell its a cheaper and better looking watch made by Rolex to look similar to a Rolex so that they can make even more money.

      They will not make the mistake again, and if they have sense (and money)and want a divers watch they can save money and buy the Tudor.

    • I can see no reason for you to die of embarrassment; your friends are obviously ignorant about watch brands. Cheers!

    • Joe0000

      Not sure what to make of your post “If someone ( who didn’t know any different ) came up and said ” I like your Rolex “, and in fact i was wearing a Tudor i would die of embarrassment.”

      Why? You are not wearing a Rolex, just say, “it’s not a Rolex” (because it isn’t). It’s not like you are wearing a ‘homage’ watch.

      Anyone who know enough about Rolex to see a crownguard-less diver and think “Submariner!”, knows enough about Rolex to know that is a Tudor.

      No one is going to confuse a BBB with the dozen Subs you see on the morning train.

  • Pandybelly

    I am currently contemplating my next major purchase and am very keen on the Tudor North Flag. I like the power reserve indicator and the flash of yellow looks good. It is very well made and the in-house movement is proving to be very accurate according to users on other forums.
    Then the dealer received a Rolex 104060 Submariner no date. Now that is all I can think about as a next watch. The build quality, case, bracelet, history and reputation are all appealing to me in a way I didn’t think would happen. After all, its just a watch, right?
    I never thought much about Rolex as a brand until my AD showed me an Explorer I in mint condition one day. All that weekend it gnawed at my mind and I took the Monday off work and drove 100 miles to buy it. (not many AD’s in Ireland)
    It is the same with the Submariner, it has gotten into my head and I cant get it out. This review hasn’t eased my pain either and it is looking like I will make an approach to the AD to talk loyalty discount.
    BTW – @word_merchant:disqus In Ireland, there are several AD’s that stock Rolex and Tudor,

    • smoothsweeper

      I was very, very attracted to the North Flag until I saw it in person and actually wore it. Suffice to say, I’ve since bought an 114300 and never looked back. Despite all the fat-lug hate, I’d say Rolex proportions work much better for me than Tudor’s. Tudors are just too chunky for me.

  • I waited most of my adult life to buy a Rolex Sub, because that was the watch of my underwater adventuring heroes. When I finally made it to the point where dropping that kind of money was feasible, I walked out of the Rolex store on 5th Avenue, empty-handed and disappointed. Rolex had just made the change over to the new case shape which looked, for lack of a better word, stupid, on my wrist. It was big, clunky, and top heavy on a bracelet that, while substantial and mechanically advanced, was disproportionately tapered in relation to the watch head. I loved the ceramic bezel. I loved the maxi-dial. I loved the Chromalight lume. I hated, and still hate, the way it sits on my arm. It’s the lugs. Probably the worst design choice that Rolex has ever made, after the new Airking.

    Flash forward a few years (meaning like two months ago) when I picked up the Tudor Black Bay. To my eye, it’s absolutely perfect in proportions, and for the price, can’t be touched.

    I’m going to throw another choice into the mix: The Seadweller 116600. Thankfully, Rolex kept the new SD’s dimensions the same as previous iterations (that is to say, it doesn’t have the same hideous squared off lugs as the Subs and GMT’s) and combines them with all the newest “under the hood” goodies.

    • A_watches

      Similar feeling I have with the new sub, the squared lugs have a bit of the fugly tudor hydronaut to it! I purchased the 16610 instead with the classic proportions. The 16610 will appreciate in value over time as people revert back to normal sizes where the watch doesn’t take up your whole wrist real estate.

      • I ended up with a 16800 that had amazing, creamy patina, myself.

    • Chaz

      Partially why I bought a new generation Explorer II. Beautifully proportioned case-to-bracelet ratio (though sized up to 42mm) and perfectly sized hands with the nostalgic orange GMT hand. That’s one watch I felt they really knocked out of the ballpark and why it’s become a watch that has seen many thousands of miles traveled with me to become the venerable “beater” status.

  • A_watches

    The new in-house Pelagos makes a better comparison and overlap to the modern sub as opposed to this heritage vintage styled Black Bay. All solid watches though that have their own markets.

    • For price and features, the new Pelagos is the Sub-killer.

      They just have to get rid of that novel-length dial text.

      • A_watches

        Yes for me the text is OK on the Rolex Sub but seems too much on the Pelagos. But, I think they will never remove the text, Rolex have gone down that route and they are an extremely stubborn lot. 4 lines of text is the absolute minimum these days “Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, Officially Certified, Superlative Chronometer”

      • DR

        Let’s start a sub-thread discussion:

        Why, oh why, did they put THAT text on the dial?

        My contribution attached. 🙂

        • iamcalledryan

          Actually the “professional” text is far from superfluous. It denotes the hand-wound caliber and higher status, whereas the speedy reduced has a modulated ETA/D-D movement and is less ‘special’.

          http://www.fratellowatches.com/speedy-tuesday-speedmaster-reduced-versus-speedmaster-professional-moonwatch/

          • It’s an arbitrary designation though, and by no means universal. My Seiko SKX has the word “Professional” on the dial, but I doubt it’s qualified for space flight. Maybe to Europa.

          • iamcalledryan

            Agreed, the actual term is not owned by OMEGA and risks being arbitrary when applied more broadly, but what it means on OMEGA watches is not arbitrary.

            Having said that, there is still an argument for the word not needing to be printed on the dial. Take the Lange ‘pour le merite’ models. All of these models contain a fusee & chain – so there is more than just superlative in mind when naming one – but you will note that they keep the dial uncluttered.

            But that’s the difference between the tool and the dress watch. Just look out the window of a plane when you are seated near the wing – it is covered in labels “not a step” “screw here” etc etc – watches with excessive labels evoke a sense of procedure and functional importance!

          • I’m surprised the “inspired by aviation” watchmakers haven’t added “not a step” to their dials yet.

          • Jack Daniels

            I thought I saw one with NO STEP on it somewhere. Can’t recall the brand.

          • DR

            Ryan,

            I fully appreciate what you’re saying, but don’t you think the watch would look better without the text?

            It’s fine on the classic Speedy Moon, but I think it looks ridiculous on this version.

            DR

          • iamcalledryan

            yes 🙂

          • Gokart Mozart

            Please do the same for the same photshop for the Submariner. Maybe some one at Rolex will see it.

          • DR

            You’re welcome. 🙂

          • Gokart Mozart

            Thanks DR!

            Much nicer, both of them. There is less of a distraction without the text.

            Its a bit like looking at the (sapphire) back of a watch at a dealer and then they take the cellophane wrapper off with the price sticker on it, and you can see it properly.

          • It’s superfluous. It’s arbitrary. It’s not owned by Omega. I have a TAG that also has “professional” written on the dial, and I’m sure it hasn’t been qualified for space flight.

          • iamcalledryan

            Yes we all agree, but it’s also been explained that on an omega it carries meaning.

          • Yes, but I think the meaning is lost on everyone except those in the know, so it’s purposeless and incredibly pretentious at best.

            -Hey, what’s that on your watch? Professional?
            -Oh, yes, it means I can go out to space with it. But only on my Omega, on my TAG it means… Well I don’t know what it means on my TAG, but it’s very Professional you see.
            -…

          • iamcalledryan

            They can’t reinvent history. They used that designation in the 60’s. With hindsight I am sure that would have coined something that they could protect but I personally have no issue explaining to someone that the word professional has some meaning on Speedmasters alone. And if that person goes around assuming that it means their TAG has a manual wind calibre and has been to space that’s fine by me!

            It would be good to see them use a more apt word or better yet a symbol, but this is what happened. It is still a word that has meaning on this watch and has done for decades – therefore not superfluous.

          • Anything you write on a superfluous piece of jewelry that tells you the time, is superfluous.

            I see, so, back in the 60s there were a regular and a Professional version? Or the Professional version was created and then all Speedmasters became Professionals? Nowadays there exist both versions?

          • iamcalledryan

            Well that is the purist/philosophical way of looking at it!

            There are both versions today. I am not an OMEGA historian but the link I already posted does a good job of summarizing. A truly superfluous label would be one that had no purpose, that signified nothing, and that failed to differentiate it from others under the brand.

            There are more truly superfluous labels out there – your TAG carries one. Happy to agree to disagree if you can’t see the difference with the Speedmaster. I personally don’t care for excessive labels, it’s just that I can think of about 100 I would cite before this one.

          • I get the difference and purpose now, thanks for explaining!

            On a personal note, I’ve come to hate all and any text on a dial (except when it serves a utilitarian purpose, such as “start/stop”).

          • iamcalledryan

            I agree. Part of the joy of appreciating watches is discovering how to use them, how to read them, and what to press when. Over-explanation is for the window-shoppers – a label that you ought to be able to peel off when you take it home!

            I always think of AKIRA, the Japanese Anime. The guy has this extremely cool motorbike, but it’s setup is so complex that anyone else riding it crashes immediately. It’s the opposite to the Apple way of guiding you through the ownership process. I love getting set up on an iPhone, but that is not what I look for in a watch!

    • Joe0000

      The Black Bay now has the new next gen movement so the Sub is relegated to a distant second in that regard. It may be year before the Sub gets a next gen movement.

  • Richard

    even with the sub par bracelet I drop my coin on a clean two liner 14060

  • TrevorXM

    Very good! I’ve been asking for a comparison like this. Thanks.

  • iamcalledryan

    Lots of fun to read this David! But like reading the school reports from both of my kids, I always knew it would never shake my love both of them!

    • David Bredan

      Haha, thank you for your kind words!

  • Troy A Richards

    What are the hands of the black bay made of? Brass or Gold? And on the bronze, are the hands bronze? Thanks

    • egznyc

      Great questions – I have also wondered. Looks like the bronze has bronze hands and the others are gold colored except the blue dialed variant, which appears to be in steel. But these are only best guesses. I really don’t know.

  • Jerry Davis

    The fact remains the you don’t need to spend anywhere near $3425 to get a very good
    dive watch that is “not a Rolex”

    • TrevorXM

      That is an inescapable fact, but it has not prevented Tudor’s return to the United States (and revitalization elsewhere) from being a big success. People like the classic styling and, combined with the massive advertising and hype blitz, they have managed to find a lot of buyers. This is the Rolex play book, and always has been: Offer a good quality watch, spend as much money as you can to sell and hype it beyond anything else (even lie — er, stretch the facts — if you have to), and remain pretty conservative and resistant to change when you’ve found a look that sells. Stick to incremental improvements.

      Through much of their history, Rolexes were good watches, but rarely the best mass produced watch you could buy and lost out time and again to competitors in everything from military contract competitions and chronometer competitions (real, subjective testing, in other words), and their marketing was largely fabricated or shady (Sir Hillary actually stated that he “carried a Smiths” to the top of Everest, for example. Or the fact that the Fifty Fathoms and the Zodiac Seawolf were the two first dive watches both created and then sold a year before the Submariner. Many, many more examples which drive Rolex fanboys into fits of denial).

      Value for money is not a particularly strong argument to make for a Rolex. Even a Tudor isn’t the best for that argument. But, in the end, hype and marketing paired with a good watch have won out for Rolex and now Tudor on their return. But no matter what I don’t think that anybody can say you aren’t getting a very good quality watch these days.

      • Shinytoys

        agreed…

      • radikaz

        well said!

      • Sevenmack

        Pretty much. Rolex isn’t an innovator or the best at producing watches. But it has proven strong at branding, customer care, and serving the desires of its conservative clientele.

    • Sevenmack

      This is certainly true. You can buy a G-Shock that has greater utility and is better at timekeeping than either a Tudor or Rolex. But people buy Rolex and Tudor because they equate to luxury. A G-Shock, wonderful as it is, does not.

    • Joe0000

      I would not agree, a good Seiko diver will cost more than $3425 and you are not paying a brand premium as with Rolex.

  • Big D

    Wonderful and complete review on those watches! Really great job! I think it will be more fair to compare the new Tudor Pelagos in black with the Rolex submariner date, because both of them have a ceramic bezel, in-house mouvement. What do you think about the Pelagos ?

  • Ryan B.

    These are very nice homages to Invicta.

    • scy

      Invicta? Seriously?

      • mrw55

        I’ll give Mr.B the benefit of the doubt, and go with sarcasm.

        • Shinytoys

          One man’s floor is another man’s ceiling. There are more than a few people who, “in their eyes and mind” feel that Invicta is one of the best values in the watch world. Obviously not a Rolex customer, or maybe they simply don’t know about Rolex, can’t afford a Rolex, and to them, the differences would never justify the cost difference. And dare I say that with quartz accuracy from a Swiss Rhonda movement, the Invicta is a more accurate time piece? (Putting on my bulletproof body armor as we speak…)

          • Shinytoys

            and my Kevlar racing helmet 🙂

          • I did that once, and once the dust settled, me, the vest, and the helmet were all full of holes and wondering about ever posting an opinion here again. I got over it though. 🙂

          • Shinytoys

            absolutely, just hang it out there, bro…

      • Ryan B.

        yeah sometimes I forget that I’m not commenting on Reddit.

        Thanks to those who do get the humor behind it.

        • Shinytoys

          you’re in good company, Bud…

    • SuperStrapper

      I see what you did there.

      • Boogur T. Wang

        Ditto.

    • Bruce

      Thanks for the lols!

  • funNactive

    I’d like to see a comparison between Rolex Sub & Tudor’s higher end Pelagos

    • smoothsweeper

      The Pelagos is an very different beast though. Much larger, titanium, more tool-like. IMO The closest Rolex has to the Pelagos in terms of style and function is the Seadweller, not the Sub.

      • funNactive

        Price wise below both the Sub & Seadweller but stat. wise, in between the two (on the tool watch end). Strictly dive watch speaking – the Pelagos is a great buy. Versatility wise, I’d go with a Sub or Seadweller.

  • Sevenmack

    One is a Rolex. The other is a clone of that very Rolex. As with all desk divers with marked bezels, the choice will ultimately depend on how much you care to have “Rolex” on the dial.

    • smoothsweeper

      Maybe, but the article made several points for the Rolex that extend beyond the name. Keep in mind no one’s buying either of these pieces simply “because they need a watch”. They’re both luxury items and both are showcases for the law of diminishing returns. The Rolex is just higher up on the scale where you pay more for increasingly marginal benefits.

      But as luxury items, marginal benefits can make all the difference.

      • DanW94

        Agree, but the question still begs, are people choosing the Rolex at double the price because they see the value in those marginal benefits or are they paying premium price for the name cachet only?

        • Oh no, you don’t understand! The smooth bezel operation is totally worth all those extra thousands! You’re so naive.

        • Sevenmack

          Both. The collectors pay premium primarily for the marginal benefits, but also for the name. The rest pay primarily for the brand name, but also appreciate the marginal benefits.

        • @blackdominoes

          Buying furniture is the same. You can buy an Eames chair for $6k from Herman Miller. You can also buy a similar looking chair from the same company that looks like a ”family member” and has similar design language. Or, you can buy a vintage original. None are that much better than an IKEA version, from a functionality standpoint…but collectors and people interested in furniture design will know and care about the differences…

    • Gokart Mozart

      A clone made by Rolex to cash on the fact that not everyone can afford to buy a Rolex. ie to make as much money as possible.

      • Sevenmack

        Which makes the Tudor little different than a Steinhart or any other Submariner-styled diver. Of course, Rolex is smart in cannibalizing the sales of its main brand to its own corporate benefit.

        • PeteNice

          That’s the beauty of it. I doubt it cannabilizes anything. If anything, it pulls from other brand imitators. If you can afford a proper Rolex, you certainly aren’t purchasing a Tudor.

          • Joe0000

            Hmm. Visit any Rolex forum and then get back to us.

  • ILOW

    Nice article. For those of us up-to-date nothing surprising when comparing these two. It would be more interesting dare I say to make a comparison with watches outside the Rolex group.

  • smoothsweeper

    The movement winding and bezel action is what puts me over the edge for the Sub. It makes other expensive watches feel like toys in comparison.

    • Shinytoys

      butter like smoothness…I hear you…

      • Boogur T. Wang

        “Like butta I tells ya…like butta!”

    • Joe0000

      For winding action “MT5601”. For ‘butta smooth’ bezels, please never try a $300 Seiko Black Monster, it will shatter your world view.

  • Cesar Castro

    Very good article. You can now clearly see why Tudor is a good brand, but not great as Rolex.

  • Shinytoys

    First, a huge shout out to David Bredan for his extremely well researched article regarding the two pieces. Talk about having two foxes in the henhouse, this is a fine example of marketing done right as to not encroach on the other’s market value. I like the Porsche analogy, but I have an easier one to add. Look at Scion, Toyota, and Lexus. From the “Cradle to the Grave” approach when it comes to designing and marketing a car. I currently drive a nice Lexus, but I certainly didn’t begin with Lexus, I drove a gaggle of Toyota’s for many years ending up with the Cressida which was their top sedan, now known as the Avalon. All of these cars are super well made, it just depends on your definition of super and how much money you have in your pocket. As much as this makes complete sense in the car industry, Scion after all these years will disappear from the showrooms. Why? There are too many Toyota’s in the lower price range like the Corolla that make it cost de-fective to have these two lines exist. It’s expensive to tool and dye up for a complete line of auto’s. And if the Lexus / Toyota/ Scion people can’t make it work profitably, other companies and their products become suspect of future offerings. I would attribute much of this to the economy and the general overall health of the United States and how we are linked finacially globally to other international countries. The picture is not glamorous, it’s not even pretty economically. I think there is enough “watch real estate” out there for Tudor and Rolex to co-exist under the same rooftop, but it still takes a person to reach in their pocket and pay for the privledge of owning either of these offerings. Kudos to Tudor and Rolex, and let’s hope that the “Ghost of Scion” doesn’t visit you anytime soon…

  • Questwatch

    Great article, but how was the underwater legibility, crown operating and wearability ??

    • Chaz

      LOL!!!

      As if these would EVER see water!! Silly naive young Questwatch!!

      • Questwatch

        so 3,5K or 7K NOT to get it wet ?? grazy stuff loooollll

  • ap patek

    Breathless intro aside (“This is a big one, and something that took a long time to come together…” LOL), neat characterization of the merits of each.

    That Cerachrom bezel makes all the difference.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      IMO, an important accoutrement, but maybe not a deal breaking one.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Let me state the obvious here. Their is ZERO comparisons between these two watches.Granted , if you were a one eyed man with glaucoma they may look similar,. Ask anyone which one they wanted for free…………………no choice.

    • Gokart Mozart

      If i could not sell any of them afterwards the Tudor for sure.

      • Joe0000

        Exactly! You read my mind.

  • Gokart Mozart

    That is an interesting article, and does neatly show where your extra money on the Rolex is going, but not $3000 dollars worth especially when you take into account the Tudor in house movement. Style and desirability is a very subjective issue that for this type of watch that I will ignore for this post.

    I can see where you are going with the Porsche/911 analogy, but it is not really an accurate case in my view, for the reasons below.

    It is very easy to inter-change Rolex with Oyster and Submariner, and Explorer etc etc The Cellinis are not really thought of as a Rolex for the majority of people who buy or own Rolexs. That is a different mode if you like but one that is not really promoted by Rolex. All of the Oysters are Variations of the same watch eg the Airking is your base 911, Submariner the Carrera S, the Daytona the Turbo, Sky Dweller the the GT3 RS etc. ie bigger wheelarchs (crown guards) extra equipment (dura glide clasp) more power etc, but all basically the same car.

    Porsche do a range of cars the Cayman, Boxster, 918, Macan , Panaamerica etc. All very different but using some shared parts.In the past there was the 911, 924, 944, 928. Rolex do not. Porsche with the 911 have been daring in the past air cooled to water cooled engines, first super cars to use Turbos and to use 4 wheel drive. Except for the waterproof case and the date ring both many many years ago, Rolex only do incremental refinement, durability changes that other watch companies do as well. The advancements made my Rolex are usually after some one has come up with it first and then subtlely improve it. Like Apple for example.

    Don’t for get Rolex is such a big company it can be a hell of a lot more innovative, or have a bigger range of watches than it does. Tudor do a much bigger range of watches than Rolex.

    The Tudor/Rolex thing is more like Volswagen and Skoda or Seat. If you are reading in the US, these are brands owned by Volswagen that were originally from Czechoslovakia and Spain respectively. Now they are basically the same cars chassis wise but but with (some) different engines less impressive (but still very good) interior quality and tuned more for comfort or handling. Ironically these are usually better looking and cheaper and nicer to drive than the VW counterparts.

    • PeteNice

      Rolex isn’t about innovation. Innovation is needed by those whose designs remain incomplete. Rolex, like it or not, remains the standard and is easily the most-aped of all brands. Does that make it the “best?” Maybe not, but you aren’t wearing a Rolex necessarily for strictly horological reasons.

      • Gokart Mozart

        Most Rolex owners probably don know what horology is!

  • wallydog2

    Almost $4000 difference? Which would I buy? Are you kidding?

    • Joe0000

      But…but… this one says ROLEX right here on the dial, that’s what to be worth at least $3,995 more.

      And…. it has 32 hours less power reserve that the Tudor, oh wait, that’s not a positive.

      • Muie Voua

        Go home, bubba. You’re boring already

  • keaboing

    Dear David,

    OCD is noun not an adjective. If you had OCD then the alignment of the hands would probably not bring you joy but perhaps temporary relief from whatever delibitating anxiety you were feeling at the time.

    There’s no joy in having OCD so please do not use it to describe how fastidious you are to details.

    Enjoyed the watch comparison, but I felt compelled (ahem) to speak up. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate, stigma does!

    BTW, It’s the Tudor for Me.

    Cheers.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      Stigma makes a fine watch also.

  • Marius

    I don’t understand why this article uses so many bombastic adjectives such as “beautifully crafted case,” “fantastic,” “beautifully tapered links,” “superb Tudor bracelet” “near-flawless aesthetic” or “from its exterior all the way to its fantastically accurate movement, it remains largely unrivaled.” You would think that these two watches are God`s gift to the world. Practically speakind neither of these watches is that amazing.

    The Tudor is a mid-tier watch, using a slightly modified ETA movement and having a decent case and dial. Arguing that the Black Bay is a “superb watch” is an exaggeration. The only superb aspect is the amount of money Tudor is pumping in watch blogs to hype its watches.

    The Submariner, on the other hand, is a solid watch, but nothing really amazing. It is a mass produced watch (Rolex produces around 1 million watches per year) with a meat and potatoes movement developed at the end of the 1980`s, and a good case and bracelet. Arguing that it’s almost unrivaled is simply not true since at the $8,000 price point there are quite a few watches that have much finer movements and cases.

    • Jack Daniels

      Good article. Seeing all the side-by-sides is neat. Good pictures.

      I hate the Tudor hands. Always have, always will. The bracelet, case, bezel and crown are much less nice than the Rolex. The Sub needs a 60 hour reserve at this price point.

      • Joe0000

        The Tudor in the article (Black Bay “Black” as Tudor calls it) now has a 70 hour reserve.

        I guess Rolex in your estimation will still have the ‘nicer’ things you mentioned, even after falling short (see what I did there) in power reserve.

    • This review is more amazing, fantastic, flawless and superlative, than the original article. Which I also found to be too much flattery for things that don’t deserve it. The author is delusional I think.

    • Sevenmack

      This is true. There are equal or better watches below $8,000 — including Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive and Automatic GMT, any number of Seiko Brightz, SARX, and SARB watches, and Eterna’s KonTiki line.

      But no one buys a Rolex because it is the best. A person buys a Rolex because it is the best-known and because the company is the most-consistently good in customer service at its price point.

    • Joe0000

      Marius, how has your opinion changed now that the Black Bay has a next gen movement that is arguably better that the new Rolex movement (which is not even offered on the Sub)?

      • Marius

        That’s an interesting question. You are right, the new Tudor movement is technically superior to the Rolex 3135, although I would say that overall, Rolex has a slightly better fit & finish.

        Nevertheless, the interesting aspect is that Rolex also has a new movement, namely the 32XX series that has similar characteristics to the Tudor — free-sprung balance, 70 hr reserve, increased accuracy, etc. The real question is when will Rolex equip most of its watches with the new caliber. They started with the Day-Date, then moved to the TT Date-Just. In my opinion, in maximum three to four years, most Rolexes will be equipped with these new movements. So, if you want to buy a new Rolex, you should wait a little because it would be better to get a 32XX watch.

        • Josh

          and pay double for the same thing with more boring aesthetics !

  • Bruce

    Another well-researched and fantastic article. This is one of the few times in which I’ve seen a good use of the 1-2-3 page system.

    The $4000 price difference to me is what sets apart those who gravitate towards a “brand name” and those who just love the look. Now I understand that it’s unfair to generalize, but this was the first thing that came to mind after reading the article.

    In the end, I wouldn’t choose either– still hoping and praying for a BB with a date. Maybe Baselworld 2017?

    • PeteNice

      Part of this is the Rolex is an investment — cash on your wrist in a pinch if need be — and you won’t lose much if any on resale depending on model. Tudor is the millennial rehash; the consolation prize for not being in a financial position to get the real thing. And let’s be honest: Rolex IS as much about the statement as the horology.

      • Agreed.

      • Joe0000

        “And let’s be honest: Rolex IS as much about the statement as the horology.”

        A sad indictment of the brand if I ever saw one.

  • Bill W

    For the next comparison will you please do the Apple Watch vs picking up a parakeet turd and duct-taping it to your wrist? It seems to be a tight race. 🙂

    • Boogur T. Wang

      One must remember – Always pick up a turd by its’ clean end.

      • Bill W

        I usually go for the north side as it sees less sun.

    • Joe0000

      I gather you belong to the OROoAM Offended Rolex Owners of America. Perhaps the European chapter? 🙂

      The Sub doesn’t even have a next gen movement (you’d have to go to the DD to get that), the Tudor does.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    Very nice article. But, I find it difficult to compare these 2, as they are designed by origin not to compete in the same market segment (quality of material, brand image, etc). But that said, the Submariner is the most copied design outthere, so kudos to Rolex for getting a piece of that pie.

  • crezo

    Reallt nice write up as always. It’s interesting that you thought the BB was large. I find it really small on the wrist compared to my collection of other divers which are much larger.

    What did you think of the weight difference? I’ve come close to buying the BBC several times but it felt incredibly light weight on the wrist, almost half the weight of all my other divers. Especially when not on the bracelet.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    EXCELENT Review Mr. Bredan. Outstanding and VERY Informative. Well Done !

    The Tudor comes off very well against the Legend that is the Submarinewr.
    From your piece, it seems that the biggest thing the Sub has in its favor is the “legend” it has created over the years. And its’ bracelet with the GlideLock feature. (not a small thing by any measure). By the way, the reason I bought my first Sub was because of its’ excellent bracelet.

    Rolex has its’ share of naysayers – some justified, most not – but the fact remains.
    It is the standard to which other marques are compared.

    As for me, I’ll take the……

    • beardedman

      …Rolex. Every time. Tudor is really a great watch, and possibly even more so now with in-house movement. Yet in my mind, and I admit this may not be a completely rational mind we’re talking about, but in my mind I would always feel I’d settled for #2 with a Tudor. If I were going to go non-Rolex it would not be down but across to another manufacture I feel as strongly about.

    • DanW94

      Well played sir…leave ’em on the edge of their seat!!

    • Howie Boyd

      http://www.its-not-its.info/ Sorry, thrice in one comment. You were begging for it.

      • Shinytoys

        Correct grammar is what separates us from the animals in the jungle 🙂

  • JC

    I appreciate the thought that went into the layout of this article.
    Super good/helpful photo comparisons…

  • cg

    Great comparison but I’ll stick with the only Rolex worth wearing: The Milgauss. ?

  • IVA the LT

    My personal debate, being that I don’t have an unlimited budget and their designs are so similar, was always whether to get a Sub or a GMT, but both was never really in the question. The Black Bay Black made that decision all the easier as for me; it’s at least 80% of the Rolex wearing experience (20% being the nicer bracelet and the brand recognition from strangers), at less than half the price.

    Now I just gotta get that GMT…

    • commentator bob

      The GMT is THE Rolex to get. The Submariner came out a year after the Fifty Fathoms, and the same year as the Zodiac Sea Wolf. The GMT on the other hand was the first watch of its kind (although it definitely owes its rotating bezel to the Glycine Airman, which came out first), and the official watch of Pan-Am. No hurry since it is going to be a few years at least until the steel GMT gets a Pepsi bezel again.

      • IVA the LT

        The Fifty-Fathoms is one of my favorites; hit the lottery and it’s one of my first purchases. Absolutely LOVE the sapphire bezel. But for $15k, plenty of other watches I would buy first.

        As far as the GMT goes…I’m torn on buying a new model as I really like the all brushed look of the older models. I talked to an AD once and they said for $2k I could get an all brushed Oyster bracelet and it should fit, but I would have to swap in the original any time I wanted a factory service because it would somehow void the warranty. And of course that Pepsi bezel…dunno if they could get me one from the white gold model or if I would want to pay that premium…

        Vintage GMT may be in my cards when it’s all said and done.

        • commentator bob

          What Rolex will do is charge to ‘repair’ any unauthorized changes. Not sure if they would be as petty as to apply that to a bracelet, but probably not worth risking it. Definitely if you buy a used ‘pepsi’ bezel GMT that is supposed to have an all black bezel that is how you are going to get it back from Rolex.

        • Chaz

          Any decent watchmaker shop with some polishing wheels can turn a bracelet all brushed in a short time and, I’d reckon, for a HELLUVA lot less than $2k!

          Check out minus4plus6.com

      • iamcalledryan

        The Master II is my favorite, and the Explorer II a close second. The biggest issue I have with them is the cyclops. If they made a no date version of either of these two watches I would already have one…

        • Bill W

          Oh yeah. I would love if they made a no-date GMT. And maybe change the number font on the bezel back to the old one.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Good article with a nice healthy amount of reviews.

  • Lawrence

    I would buy a tag before that un inspiring Tudor…

    • Bossman

      With Tag’s ‘copy and paste’ philosophy you will probably get one that looks exactly like the Tudor…. Has Tag ever done something original?

      • Lawrence

        They have a cheap tourbillon. They have the connected one. They have the Monaco. If I wouldn’t have the sub. I would buy the new 43mm aquaracer. For 2k dlls. Sub was 8k+.

        • PeteNice

          They have the Seiko movement, awesome

  • Yanko

    Please don’t get me wrong: Rolex is one great watch. But every time I look at Submariner with its “century” unchanged design, I recall the image of the Pope. The Pope! Take a look at this old man , being carried in his palanquin under a canopy, in his triple crown, now just as a thousand years ago, as if nothing in the world had changed. Is there anything more boring than this?

    Sometimes mask is preferable to the face. I will go with Tudor.

    • Mountainous Man

      The same could be said about Levis 501, Rayban Wayfarers, Chuck Taylors, Porsche 911s, etc. Every once in a while, a design is so loved and respected that it transcends time, and the Rolex Submariner has accomplished this…although I think it was ruined with the current ceramic/big lug model.

  • Jeff

    Speaking on movement updates, Rolex Datejust 41 has a new Calibre 3235 which features a 3-hand clock and a date. Do you think the Submariner would upgrade its movement as well from 3135 to 3235?

    • Joe0000

      Tudor already updated the Black Bay to a next gen movement, Rolex Sub fans will just have to wait. Even if it gets updated, the reviews I’ve read indicate the MT56XX Tudor is technically superior to the new Rolex movement.

  • Love the Tudor look more but I can’t justify paying that much for an aluminum bezel in 2016. Give it a matte ceramic to marry the old and new.

  • Troy A Richards

    Mr. Bredan,
    What are the hands of the black bay made of? Brass or Gold? And on the bronze, are the hands bronze? Thanks

  • Larry Holmack

    Well…it’s like asking a GM lover which SUV does he prefer…the Caddy or the Chevy….depends on disposable income. As for me…I’d rather not buy a GM nor would I buy either of these two watch brands!!!

    • Larry…. tell us how you really feel! 🙂

  • Chris Johnson

    The money for the Rolex is not for a piece of metal on your wrist, is for the membership fee to a club. The same goes for most watches discussed here. Time keeping was important in the past but is next to irrelevant these days. Why somebody would want to pay $3000 for Tudor, not sure, it seems to me that you buy only a piece of metal that says that you would like to have more money. For a nice watch sapphire crystal is probably the only important thing, but is available for less.

    • ILOW

      If one of the main reasons to buy is for “club membership” that is cringe-inducing (but does seem to be the driver behind 80% of Rolex sales). If I had a budget earmarked for either of these, it would be the Black Bay, and not because of financial deficiencies.

    • John Effing Zoidberg

      Some people love ugly hands and retro-style machining.

    • Drewski

      Some people simply want the best. That is what Rolex represents here. Not value, perhaps, but overall, it is consistently the best.

      • Josh

        Rolex is no where near the best! Are you kidding? Patek, VC, JLC, Zenith

        , etc..

    • Joe0000

      I quote esteemed Rolex forum contributor -padi56

      “Truth be told today many don’t wear a watch, they just wear the brand.”

  • Middle

    I always enjoy the look of these watches in images, however when I go to try them on they never seem quite right on my wrist. I first noticed it when trying on a Milgauss a few years ago. It must be something about the case that Rolex and Tudor share. Is their case more blocky and squared off than others? Maybe it’s the way the lug location is flat with the watch and not the slight curve that many other watches have? Am I crazy?

  • @blackdominoes

    Good comparo between two nice watches!
    And surely the Sub has many things the BB does not (rehaut engraving, lots more shine and flash, the Rolex name on the dial.)

    What eludes the author is that these are precisely the reasons I picked the Black Bay, not the Rolex.
    Not everyone likes shine or flash or extra features, most of which at least to me are irrelevant or detract from the overall design.

    I have a Black Bay on my wrist as I write this, and it’s not due to a lack of funds available for a watch purchase, but because I appreciate the cleaner design and stealth footprint of the brand.
    Yes, I could have bought one of the million homages or similar watches, but this way I have an authentic example from the creators of the design, yet I do not support what Rolex has become in the last 20 or 30 years.

    Thanks for the article and pics.

    • Mountainous Man

      Like or not, if you bought a Tudor, you’ve still supported Rolex and what they’ve become.

      • pete NYC

        Mountainous Man, I hear what you are saying, but repsectfully disagree. Rolex and Tudor are simply brands owned by the same corporate entity, whose only concern is making money. As Tudor’s popularity continues to increase due to honest, unpretentious designs such as the Black Bay, and potential Submariner buyers keep choosing the Black Bay over the Submariner, regardless of cost, the parent entity is certainly taking note, and I predict funds will be shifted between the two brands for greater design development and increased production for Tudor. Who knows, perhaps one day Tudor will then be “too popular”, and the cycle will reverse.

  • GatorWatch

    Fantastic comparison. Well written and well done!

  • Cuppa Joe

    Fantastic comparison! I prefer the Tudor myself (more tool, less bling). Unfortunately, the max lug-to-lug length I can handle is 48mm (small wrist) and the Tudor is simply too big for me. My fingers are crossed for a return of smaller 38-40mm divers.

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  • Big D

    Is there a chance to see one day a ceramic bezel on the BBB?

    • christosL

      There already is a ceramic version out.

  • PeteNice

    Tudor: Rolex’ version of welfare.

    • Joe0000

      LOL, never heard that one before. Now I’ll HAVE to get one.

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  • Just out of curiosity, why do neither of these watches use the gas tube lume? Sorry if that is a stupid question.

    • David Bredan

      Good question. I’d say because these tubes are thicker and require greater vertical space between hands; don’t glow nearly as bright as Super Luminova or BGW9; and probably also because there may be some additional requirements for after sales services working with radioactive material of any kind or level of radiation. Also, there is only one major supplier to these tubes (MB Microtec that you can read our manufacture visit here on ABTW), and relying on just one major supplier is a considerable risk factor.

      • Ah… I see. Thank you for clearing that up for me David!

    • Sheez Gagoo

      You can`t simply put a gas tube lume in a watch. You need a guy that has a radiation education and a whole lot of shit due to regulation. This is quite expensive. It`s tritium in the gas tubes, the same material used for h-bombs.

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  • Ben Wilde

    I am lucky enough to own both watches (for what it’s worth, I bought my SubC first). If I could only own one, it would be the Rolex. It is updated for sure, but to me it remains the iconic dive/tool watch.

    The reason I purchased (two) Black Bays (Blue first, then Black) is that the Tudor brand ‘flies under the wire’ so much more. When travelling as much as I do, this is a real consideration. I can wear my Tudors knowing that most will not recognize their value, conversely everyone the world over knows the Rolex brand. I have my Black on an Isofrane and I actually dive with it but also wear it casually. My Blue is on the steel braclet and as Mr. Bredan points out is somewhat less serious in nature…

    …what’s on my wrist right now? The Rolex of course 😉

    • Mikka

      I’ve worn my 1998 Sea-Dweller practically every day since buying it and in some of the dingiest places on the globe – my take on stainless Rolexes is that only watch people notice them, for the rest of the world they are practically invisible.

  • pete NYC

    I think @blackdominoes sums up how many of us feel. I’m fortunate to own my father’s 1973 Rolex 5512 Submariner, which I cherish and wore for decades, untiI I recently started to see more and more douche bags, who know nothing about watches wearing brand new Subs, simply for the status. These same fools look at a worn and scratched 5512, and think, “Poor chap wants to be one of us but can only afford that ratty old thing.” On top of that, young, talented and creative people whom I respect, but also don’t know much about watches, just think I’m one of the douche bags because I’m wearing a Rolex! I’ve put the 5512 away for my sons. While I admire and respect the design, quality, and craftsmanship which made Rolex so popular, I’ll never buy a new one. Oh, which brings up another type of douche bag, the vintage, Rolex douche bag. These guys are just as bad, and are aware of almost no other great vintage watch brands. Wearing my Tudor Black Bay Noire (Black), along with the rest of my modest but interesting collection, is part of my anti-Rolex statement. It’s not about the price, it’s about the decadent and shallow clientele the brand has cultivated.

    • leo tam

      Reminds me of this in Gone in 60 Seconds

      Memphis: Roger, I have a problem…
      Roger the Car Salesman: Yes?
      Memphis: I’ve been in L.A. for three months now. I have money, I have taste. But I’m not on anybody’s “A” list, and Saturday night is the loneliest night for the week for me.
      Roger the Car Salesman: Well, a Ferrari would certainly change that.
      Memphis: Perhaps, Mmmm. But, you know, this is the one. Yes, yes yes… I saw three of these parked outside the local Starbucks this morning, which tells me only one thing. There’s too many self-Indulgent wieners in this city with too much bloody money! Now, if I was driving a 1967 275 GTB four-cam…
      Roger the Car Salesman: You would not be a self-indulgent wiener, sir… You’d be a connoisseur.
      Memphis: Precisely. Champagne would fall from the heavens. Doors would open. Velvet ropes would part.

      • Mikka

        I’d do just about almost anything for a ’67 275 GTB four cam 🙂

        My ’98 Sea-Dweller has rarely garnered any attention positive or negative in the 18 years I’ve had it – the only time I can recall it causing a fuss was when I was at a party and a female FX trader loudly berated me for buying a fake Rolex because it didn’t have the Submariner cyclops date bubble – I was going to explain that Sea-Dwellers don’t have that feature when I recalled my father’s advice that you shouldn’t waste your time educating idiots.

        • leo tam

          Had a friend who had a SD and had the same issue – some guy insisted it was fake because of the lack of cyclops – I wouldn’t even be defensive about it

          • BeardieTheDuck

            Those kinds of idiots are the audience for the new Sea-Dweller, hahaha.

    • Mike Orme

      Jesus man everyone but you is a douche bag. Wear the damn thing and stop whining. 🙂

      • pete NYC

        I didn’t say, “Everyone but me is a douche bag”. But I did say, as have others in this thread, that I neither like the direction the Rolex brand has taken over last few decades, nor most of the people it has attracted in that time. I’ll be putting my Rolex away for a few decades, but thanks for telling me what to do and when to whine. Back atcha 🙂

    • Muie Voua

      Nah, man. You don’t have a Rolex watch there. I can recognize the wanker with no money bashing Rolex…

      • Josh

        funny cause i just recognised a Rolex fangirl….Sheeple who just follow brand names without awareness

        • Muie Voua

          Steinhart fartfag? How many Steinharts do you have there peasant?

      • sgstandard

        I bought a new Rolex Submariner in 1968 before shipping out to Vietnam. I only wore it for 2 days before it became so erratic, I couldn’t use it. So I ordered a Rolex GMT-Master from Tiffany’s, and had it shipped over there. It cost $168, and was perfect. The Submariner, even after having it fixed years later, NEVER ran good enough to even use……I bought my girlfriend a stainless & gold Rolex Ladydate, and one of the hands fell off. I bought a solid gold men’s Rolex Date, and the gold bezel fell off. For a short while, I had a new Rolex Air-King, and it just stopped running after less than a year. Many years later I ordered a new Explorer, and the lume was grey, so it was sent to Rolex in NY. The schmucks replaced the hour and minute hand, but didn’t chande the GREY-colored second hand. I was so furious, I returned it. my biggest problem with Rolex, is that they forgot why they were invented. They became famous for their special-purpose watches, and your average military person could afford one. Now, they’ve priced those people out of the market. There is NO reason under the sun that a s.s. Rolex should cost over $6,000. Some Navy SEALs in Vietnam were issued Tudor Submariners……….I’ll buy one of these in a heartbeat over a Rolex…..and it’s not sour grapes. Though I believe in the free market, I resent Rolex forgetting the people who got them there……..they’re living on their laurels, IMO.

  • Mountainous Man

    I found the best thing to do was split the difference between these two watches and buy a 16610. It still looks classic, it’ll last my whole life, and it doesn’t bring the same vibe as the newer, ceramic Subs.

    • Joe0000

      But you’d have to deal with the tiny Mercedes hands.

  • leo tam

    The Black Bay was meant to be a nice retro piece – so why on earth did they “update” it with the shield, and the bajillion lines of text?

  • Thomas Halvorsen

    This is like pitting perez hilton against mike tyson in a boxing match.

    The only thing you’re telling the world while wearing a BB (unless you got the onlywatch version, in which case you’re insane) is that you wanted a rolex but couldn’t afford one.

    • Bradly Hill

      Or, and this is a crazy thought here, you actually prefer the Tudor (especially the ETA version) to the Rolex. I find the dial and the hands much more interesting that the staid Rolex dial and passé Mercedes hands. I’m not anti-Rolex, but I the aesthetics don’t swing with me.

      • Thomas Halvorsen

        The words passé and classic get conflated a lot under tudor articles.

    • Joe0000

      Well, wearing a Rolex Sub clearly tells the world that you can’t afford a Day Date (the only Rolex with a next gen movement like the one in the BBB).

      • Thomas Halvorsen

        Wearing a day date clearly tells the world that you have terrible taste.

        • Joe0000

          Well, wearing a… actually, I agree.

        • Josh

          There are many many better watches than a submariner…Rolex sub is a poor man’s AP diver using your silly logic..

          • Thomas

            Lol, because these two watches look alike and are made by the same company. You do not seem to grasp my logic.

          • Josh

            So how can it be a knock off if its made by the same company? …and are you saying that a Submariner is a Fifty fathoms knock off? lol..you have no logic.

          • Thomas

            Lol, you need to learn which came first. Sorry about your tudor, next time spend a little more.

          • Josh

            I don’t have a tudor and you don’t have a brain.

          • Thomas

            You just vehemently stick up for the saddest tudor ever made in comments sections on the internet.

            Next time, don’t buy an overpriced knockoff.

    • Josh

      ridiculous comment

      • Thomas

        No matter how much you spend on a knock-off sub, it’s still a knock-off sub.

        • Josh

          So is a Sub a knock off Fifty fathoms? Again, a ridiculous comment since the Tudor submariner was created the same time as the Rolex (and before the Blancpain)

          • Thomas

            If it helps you sleep at night, the blackbay is a knockoff tudor submariner instead. However, if this article was about the FF vs a Sub, I would’ve brought it up.

          • Josh

            No you wouldn’t have..cause you are a Rolex fangirl.

          • Thomas

            Your tears are delicious

          • Josh

            Are compensating for that ugly face of yours by being Rolex fangirl?

          • Thomas

            You literally just wrote that in your mind the sub preceded the FF. You have no business commenting on anything watch related ever.

          • Josh

            The FF preceded the SUB idiot…

          • Thomas

            This is a thing you just wrote: “So is a Sub a knock off Fifty fathoms? Again, a ridiculous comment since the Tudor submariner was created the same time as the Rolex (and before the Blancpain)”

            So were you retarded a few minutes ago or are you retarded now?

          • Josh

            If you read the first sentence, I clearly imply that the ROLEX was before the FF..obviously, you wouldn’t be able to notice that…therefore, the second part of the comment is a TYPO!!… I know you are grasping for straws cause you lost the argument..

          • Thomas

            What argument? All I’m doing is gleefully watching a monkey at a zoo throw poop at the glass. The tudor “heritage” series is the saddest thing ever, and that’s mostly because guidos like you keep buying them.

          • Josh

            Enjoy looking into the mirror, do you?

          • Thomas

            I AM RUBR U AR GLU.

            Seriously, it’s 2017. Learn how to post

          • Josh

            How do you go about living with a face like that…seriously?

          • Thomas

            It’s totally my face as well. Why the long face people ask me IRL. It’s because my face is SO LONG.

            It’s ironic because you said something about grasping at straws, and now your argument is counting on that the image I uploaded is an image of me.

            Stop making me sad for the future of humanity.

          • Josh

            Im revealing how you can’t even consider counterpoints because you are simply a self absorbed individual without the ability to conduct logical thought. You are nothing but an ugly Rolex fan-girl.You made incorrect comments with regards to Tudor Pelagos being a knockoff of something that is not even original (i.e., the FF)..had you stated that the Black bay was a copy, I would have let that go..but in this case you are totally wrong..deal with it. It’s 42mm, titanium, a different beast

          • Thomas

            Wow that was a lot of words you just wrote about how inferior your tudor is to the real thing (rolex)

          • Josh

            Again, I do NOT own a Tudor…stop being a pest.

        • Muie Voua

          Agree

  • christosL

    The Tudor I would go for is the Pelagos, a much more individual design. And not like a Rolex wannabe. It’s also bigger, which I like.

    • Joe0000

      It is admittedly a Tudor Submariner wannabe i.e. a Heritage piece. But most current Rolex owners would not recognize a crownguard-less Submariner even if you hit them over the head with it.

  • Joe0000

    Things I never thought I’d see #23: A watch reviewer indicating he misses the Rolex rehaut engraving.

    It’s the end of the world as we know it.

    • Matt Montplehan

      why do folks not mention that Tudor has +1 per day, which is great. I did not buy a rolex, rather a tudor, to me most important is, accuracy, and power reserve. I do miss the 914L, but even my dealer said that Rolex’s scratch just as easy, but the matte finish is nice. Other then that, my opinion is, most average folks don’t know what a Tudor is, so my co-workers wearing a $50 watch will not think i am trying to be better or offending anyone. Both great watches. My take Tudor and an extra 200 plus ounces of .999 silver from Engelhard.

  • Dadavid

    I am currently wearing a Tudor Submariner (blue face with snowflake hands) which I have owned and worn since I was given it in 1976. Clearly, if back then I was offered a Rolex sub, I would have grabbed it in a second but over the years, as more and more have bought subs for status rather than utility and they have becoming really common in my circle, I have appreciated the fact that the Tudor is unique. Back when I received my watch it was clearly marketed as the “cheap” Rolex (full retail was $167.00) and the watch has a case, crown and bracelet all marked “Rolex” with the only part of the watch identified as “Tudor” being the face of the watch. Although I own a number of watches, including a few Rolexes, the Tudor sub has always been my go to watch.

  • Jon Hew

    That Tudor is something else. I saw a beautiful pre-owned on on ebay. I know its not exactly the first place one would buy a Rolex watch, however most of their merchants are vetted and they do provide certain buyer protections. Anyway I thought this one was great and loved the price
    https://goo.gl/KSKUSR

  • papadakisk

    I think both watches have their merits; that being said, i think the comparison is a bit unfair for the BB as it is a beautiful watch with all things considered and with new in house movement is in my view the best buy in the price range. I think that people that have the sub in mind to buy are unlikely to be persuaded by the BB offering.

  • Paul S

    It has always looked to me like somebody put the wrong hands on the Sub; its dial is out-of-proportion. Watch hands should be the most visible element on the dial. The static hour markers are just reference points by which to judge the hand positions; they don’t need to be giant clown buttons that visually overpower the hands. I think the Sub has one of the best-looking case designs, ever, but never liked it because of the dial.

    Tudor gets the dial/hand proportions much better; their versions have both thicker hands and smaller markers.

    The modern Rolex has ruined their classic tool-watch designs by pimping the details. Raised hour markers with shiny, precious-metal borders look completely out-of-place on what used to be a watch for professional and military divers. Look what they did with the classic Explorer dial! The modern Rolex’s ostentation seems so foreign to the company’s historical origins.

    The comments that pete NYC made about the audience this seems to attract, match my feelings pretty closely.

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  • Mike Darwin Brown

    King and Prince relationship period!

    • Muie Voua

      That’s spot is on considering Tudor first sub was Oyster Prince

  • Josh

    Surely the new Pelagos will beat a subC!

  • Solar Cycles

    A bit late to the party but a fascinating read nonetheless, sadly some of the comments here represent all what is wrong with a minority of Rolex owners who appear to have mummy/daddy issues or simply have no interest in horology other than wearing their watch as a badge of honour.