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Vintage Watches

Monday Morning Find: Is This Funky Blue Tudor Submariner Better Than Its Rolex Cousin?

A good snowflake Sub can be rare indeed

The Rolex Submariner might be a near-perfect watch, but it's also ubiquitous. This blue Tudor Submariner with geometric snowflake-style hands gives you the best of its more well-known brother with a little more personality. 

While vintage Tudor watches are largely made from Rolex components (Tudor is a lower-priced alternative owned by Rolex), and you can even see the Rolex coronet logo on the crowns, casebacks, and bracelets in many cases, Tudor's designs have always been a little funkier. This 1970s Submariner has a bright blue dial and bezel as well as the unusually shaped "snowflake" hands.

The Rolex crown on this Tudor Sub.
The Rolex crown on this Tudor Sub.
Source: 10PastTen via Bloomberg

You can see just how sharp the edges of the case are and how thin the chamfers are on the lugs, both signs of good quality. The tritium on the hands and dial have become a sort of soft Wisconsin cheddar color that's even throughout. Against the blue dial and faded blue bezel it looks even better than it would on black. The bold square markers and angular hour hand are the signature of this design and something totally unique to Tudor. This watch is the inspiration for the modern Tudor Black Bay, too.

The lugs on this watch are insanely sharp.
The lugs on this watch are insanely sharp.
Source: 10PastTen via Bloomberg

The bracelet on this model has slim folded links and a Tudor-branded clasp. Sure, the solid links in later bracelets are sturdier and objectively better made, but they're not nearly as charming or as comfortable (thanks to a satiny finish that develops over time). Counterintuitively, the Tudor clasp is actually rarer than the Rolex clasps that were often used during this period.

A rare blue Tudor Snowflake Submariner.
A rare blue Tudor Snowflake Submariner.
Source: 10PastTen via Bloomberg

A few years ago the Tudor Submariner was considered a second-rate cousin of the Rolex Submariner, but that perception's long gone. There's a dedicated Tudor collector community, and in some cases a good snowflake Sub is even harder to find in good condition than a basic Rolex Sub. And it's not going to get any easier soon.

This blue Tudor Submariner is available from 10PastTen for $5,900.

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