Once again I find myself swooning over a watch that for me, just checks all the boxes. This Tudor Prince Oysterdate does just that. It’s the perfect size at 34mm, it’s understated, funky yet classy and has historical and horological significance.
Tudor was first created by Rolex in the 50’s to offer a more working class option for people wanting the brand recognition and style of Rolex but not wanting to fork over too much cash. The cases and bracelets on Rolex and Tudor watches are almost interchangeable as well as the quality of the dials and hands. The big difference is the movements, which on Rolexes, starting from that time, were made in-house, whereas the Tudor watches used ETA and sometimes AS movements. These are great movements that have stood the test of time but the quality is a little more industrial and a little less elegant.
The service went well and it was apparent by how dry the movement was, that it had been quite a while since it had seen another watchmakers touch. The movement is an ETA 2784 which is the older cousin to the famous ETA 2824. It is also a high beat movement ticking away at 28,800 bpms. The little differences are in the setting mechanism and the calendar works which have noticeably been upgraded to a more “watchmaker friendly” set-up. The 2824 has fewer little springs to deal with that sometimes find their way into the abyss…
The bracelet is a beautiful folded linked Oyster dating from the late 1960’s. You can read about this interesting history of these bracelets in this nice article from Hodinkee.
I would’ve loved to have polished the case and bracelet up but I didn’t upon the request from the customer. This one definitely shows its age but I can understand wanting to keep those memories intact. When I was reassembling the bracelet, I realized that I hadn’t recorded the exact size that the bracelet was set. This was an easy problem to solve as the worn out parts of the bracelet were exposed leaving the untouched parts underneath the clasp. This made it easy to determine the original sizing.