Hands-On With The Tudor Style Watches, A New Dress Watch With Casual Elements
When I say Tudor, you probably think of the Black Bay and Pelagos – the diver that needs no introduction. But, earlier this year, Tudor launched a new line of watches – the Tudor Style collection. In the official press images, these watches come across as pretty dressy, but you might be pleasantly surprised to find that they cover a wider range of categories in the metal. What do I mean by categories? We’ll cover this a bit more in-depth further down, but I’m talking about categories that “watch guys” often consider, like venue, wardrobe, and heritage. For example, there are four different size options, from 28 mm to 41 mm, you can opt for a leather strap or metal bracelet, and the classic design is surely a plus. Because there are many brands offering a wide range of dress watches in this price range ($2,000 to $3,000), the element of versatility is precisely what the Tudor Style has going for it.
In this hands-on review, we take a look at the stainless-steel models, though additional models are available with two-tone cases and bracelets.
The Tudor Style was designed for first glances. The polished case and dial reflect light from almost any direction. In particular, the dial reflects light beautifully (easier to photograph in the silver sunray version), including the black dial with a lacquered finish.
The first nuance I couldn’t help but focus on is the design and finishing on the hands and markers. There is some serious faceting at work here. The dauphine hands are equally contoured on three surfaces, resulting in a unique look. The applied batons are beveled on four sides, allowing for a rather elegant glimmer.
The batons are also slightly elongated and trapezoidal. Why did I like this? First, I liked it because of the fact that it brought to mind a Grand Seiko (and just as quickly dismissed it). More importantly, I liked it because it was the first hint of vintage appeal.
Other (predictably) reflective components of the watch are the bezel and mirror-polished lugs. While they do a fine job of mirroring light, it’s important to note the double-bezel. The outer is polished and the inner is brushed. I was expecting to have mixed feelings about this, but I didn’t – although others might.
I liked the defining border between the satin and polished bezels. The satin bezel calls to mind the opaqueness that is often defined by the thick edge of a vintage acrylic crystal. While that may seem like a bizarre comparison, you’ll know what I mean if you’ve handled or ever will handle a late ’50s Tudor Oyster Prince.
The Tudor Style sports thin lugs and a calf leather strap that make it easy to wear. Calf leather is also the less dressy choice, which further adds a vintage appeal and speaks to my earlier point of versatility. The watch can become significantly dressier on the bracelet – note the black-dialed version and its center polished links.
On a bracelet, and from certain angles, you’ll notice that the brushed portions of the bracelet can conflict with and/or overwhelm the polished sections. At first, I thought to critique that incongruence (admittedly, I was looking for something to critique) but then I realized that I shouldn’t, because that’s what this watch is about – a balance of dressy/casual that one wouldn’t immediately expect from it.
The brushed sides, trapezoidal batons, and conservative date window at 3 o’clock somehow offset the polished, dauphined, and lacquered elements.
I actually dislike the fact that I can’t critique the date window. As much as I’d like it to be a ’50s Tudor Oyster Prince, I can’t be upset, because it draws so much from a ’60s Tudor Prince Oysterdate – that’s where its heritage originates from.
Flipping it over, the standard brushed case back with simple engravings does the trick. Inside the Tudor Style 34 mm, 38 mm, and 41 mm beats Tudor’s modified automatic 2824, while the caliber 2671 beats inside the 28 mm. Both are reliable movements, easily serviced, and beat at 28,800 bph for about 38 hours when fully wound.
The clasp on both the leather and the bracelet feels solid, with a good balance of finishing throughout and attention to lines where polishing ends and brushing/engraving begins.
Without a doubt, price is an attractive aspect of the Tudor Style. For around $2,000 to $3,000 in stainless steel, the watch is a solid contender in its category. While the finishing is on par with other options in this price range, the dial execution and details are another thing. It blends the vintage feel with modern finishing aspects pretty well. The watches come in four sizes (28 mm, 34 mm, 38 mm, and 41 mm), which aim to please all wrist sizes and both genders.
Lastly, some may find the design of the Tudor Style to be convoluted and “too” versatile given that it meshes a plethora of both lively and subdued vibes. I thought that at first, but after snagging another look at the quasi-glimmering bezel and the satin silver dial on calf-leather, I realized that the Tudor Style aims to upgrade the quiet coolness from half a century ago. And I liked that intent for what it was. The moment called for a three-martini lunch in some smoke-filled bistro on Madison (and, yes, I’ve never had one of those).