Wilsdorf started a dedicated marketing push behind Tudor with the launch of the Oyster Prince line, although Tudor at the time was really designated as an opinion that “our (Rolex) agents can sell in a different cost level than our Rolex watches,” Tudor has its own group of specialized firsts for which it could be proud, its history of scientific investigation (at 1952, 30 Tudor watches joined the Royal Navy on a historical scientific journey to Greenland), and its own group of collectors. Still, it was significant that, even in advertising, Tudor seem more approachable than Rolex. Therefore, while an ad to get a Rolex might show a well-to-do man playing golf or riding a horse, then a Tudor ad may demonstrate a man working on a street, or in a mine.Thinking about a man working in a mine sporting a Tudor today might look a bit silly, but one must recall that in the 1950s and 60s, every guy wore a mechanical watch, also Tudor represented a very genuine, very workable option.So what was the difference between Tudor and Rolex watches back then? The bracelets and cases of Tudor wristwatches were all but equal to those of a Rolex. In fact, it might be argued that the sole difference, especially in the ancient days, was using motions offered by ETA opposed to Rolex-crafted moves. Tudor watches carried Rolex-signed cases, bracelets, and crowns all the way up until the 1990s. However, since Tudor and Rolex shared so much – including several model names even – it was challenging for Tudor to be considered anything but a less expensive alternative to your Rolex. They had been sold exclusively through micro dealers and had small identity of their own – however they had been the first to signal Tiger Woods as an ambassador, prior to leaving for TAG Heuer, just to return to Rolex last year.
A move that is both surprising and mystifying, Tudor chief executive Philippe Peverelli will leave his job later this year for one at Tudor’s parent company Rolex.
In the job since 2009, Peverelli has gained respect within the watch industry for revitalising Tudor and building the foundations of a vertical integrated manufacture. During his tenure the brand notched up several accomplishments, including its first in-house movement and a price that smashed records for the one-off Black Bay One. Peverelli also strengthened the business with international expansion to diversify away from the Chinese market, which now accounts for less than 60 percent of sales, compared with over 90 percent in 2010.
An outsider to the Rolex empire who arrived via Blancpain and Chopard – Peverelli once described himself to your correspondent as not having “green blood”, a reference to the Rolex corporate colour – the Tudor chief executive will depart to run Roledeco, the Rolex subsidiary that handles store design and visual merchandising for both Rolex and Tudor. Slated to be replaced by Rolex executive Eric Pirson, Peverelli’s departure is the latest amongst several management changes in Tudor, including that of marketing head Davide Cerrato, who decamped to Montblanc last year.
Sources: Business Montres, Le Temps and Vintage Rolex Forum