Tudor, Rolex

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TUDOR

Tudor was created by Hans Wilsdorf as a brand that would give Rolex-level quality but at a more accessible price. The name reflected his anglophile leanings, having spent a few years living in London as a young man, where he met an English woman named Florence who would become his wife. Despite the modest-sounding origins, Tudor has always refused to live in its big sister’s shadow, making a reputation of its own for innovation, and more recently for making some of the most stylish watches around. The Tudors released over the last few years, leveraging the brand’s past and bringing it right up to date, have been some of the best-loved watches among press and public alike. The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight has a 39mm steel case and a chronometer-certified automatic movement with a 70-hour power reserve. Water-resistant to 200 metres.

£2560 on bracelet and £2430 on leather or fabric strap. www.tudorwatch.com

ROLEX

When there is any discussion of fancy watches, no name comes up as much as Rolex. The brand has been so endlessly talked, sung and rapped about that you would have to go pretty deep into the rainforest to find someone who hasn’t heard of Rolex. How well the name travels was a big consideration for the founder, Hans Wilsdorf. When the young Swiss watchmaker started the company in the early 20th century, he chose a word that was easy to pronounce no matter where you came from. And soon it was tripping easily of tongues all around the world, even if Mr Wilsdorf perhaps hadn’t anticipated the Japanese difficulty in coping with the letters R and L. You might think that the dominance of one company would cause people in the industry to gnash with jealousy at the behemoth that is Rolex. But in fact there is none of that. Not to say that other companies do not want some of the magic, but the way senior people from other watch companies talk about Rolex is always in tones of quiet awe for the way it has consistently been at the top of the watchmaking game for so long, continuing to make watches that people lust after and consider selling vital organs to acquire. Two of this year’s most talked about new watches are two versions of the GMT-Master II, one in steel, the other in Rolex’s proprietary Everose gold. The GMT dates back to the 1950s when Pan-Am – another glamorous name, but one that is sadly no longer with us – requested a watch to help TUDORTudor was created by Hans Wilsdorf as a brand that would give Rolex-level quality but at a more accessible price. The name reflected his anglophile leanings, having spent a few years living in London as a young man, where he met an English woman named Florence who would become his wife. Despite the modest-sounding origins, Tudor has always refused to live in its big sister’s shadow, making a reputation of its own for innovation, and more recently for making some of the most stylish watches around. The Tudors released over the last few years, leveraging the brand’s past and bringing it right up to date, have been some of the best-loved watches among press and public alike. The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight has a 39mm steel case and a chronometer-certified automatic movement with a 70-hour power reserve. Water-resistant to 200 metres. £2560 on bracelet and £2430 on leather or fabric strap. www.tudorwatch.comtheir pilots keep track of two timezones simultaneously. The result was a major new addition to the Rolex line-up, with another hour hand for the second timezone. Over the years the GMT-Master has been developed into various different versions, along the way finding its way onto the wrist of stars such as Sophia Loren and Clint Eastwood, to name but two. Some of the most popular GMTs have featured the so-called ‘Pepsi’ blue and red bezel, like the new steel version (pictured). The variations in types of dial and bezels are some of the things that Rolex lovers enjoy talking about. And those discussions are never ending. Everyone may have heard of Rolex, but they can’t have heard everything about Rolex, because that stuff runs really deep.  

The Rolex GMT-Master II has a 40mm case in Oyster steel (£6800) or Everose gold (£10,350). It has an in-house automatic movement with 70-hour power reserve and is water-resistant to 100 metres. www.rolex.com