The 1969 Tudor Prince Oysterdate is an iconic collector's item that holds a very special place in the history of this world famous watchmaker's repertoire. There is currently a high demand for this model and many prestigious dealers are sold out and are amassing waiting lists for availability. A quick glance at the history of the company gives an insight into why this watch is so beloved among current collectors.
History of Tudor watchmakers
What is known as the Rolex-Tudor watch company currently, first launched in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf in England. He produced watches of high quality and after a few years of success, decided to relocate the operation and in La Chaux-de-Fonds Switzerland, registered the company under the Rolex brand name. After establishing the brand in England, he relocated to Geneva in 1920. Some twenty six years later, Wildorf opened the Tudor company to honor this period in the history of England. The signature rose is signed into the dial of each Tudor watch until the signatory symbol was changed to the shield in the 1960s.
Rolex, Tudor or both?
There was a distinction between Rolex and Tudor watches and it became quite obvious with the introduction of the first Rolex Tudor Oyster. The movement was a departure from the Rolex version and was provided by Ebauches SA, ETA. Differences in Rolex and Rolex Tudors include departures in the chronograph movements, case depth and the use of plastic crystals. The similarities are mainly found in the dials, cases and hands. The Tudor brand isn't offered in the United States but it is still available in Canada, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Is the Tudor watch still a Rolex? Yes, decidedly so. They are made by the same manufacturer and the quality and likeability is just as high among some watch collectors.
The Evolution of the Tudor Logo and more
1969 was a year of change in Tudor watches. This is the year that the Tudor Prince Oysterdate was introduced. The logo which was formerly signed as the Tudor Rose was replaced with the Shield in its' place. The company made changes in the aesthetics and the technology which was introduced in their new product lines and collections. The Shield represented the characteristics of reliability and solidity. These are the factors that combine to make the 1969 Tudor Prince Oysterdate such an influential and highly prized watch.
The 1969 Tudor Prince Oysterdate
The Tudor Prince Oysterdate was created to reflect the new modern changes which were coming with advancements in technology. It was met with a measure of enthusiasm and quickly gained in popularity. Every bit as popular as the Rolex models, it became an iconic symbol as the first to display the Shield logo as well as the first Tudor to feature the self winding rotor along with the waterproof Rolex case.
The maker of this watch is Tudor and the model is Prince Oysterdate. It was crafted with a stainless steel case that features a smooth bezel. The dial is a medium gray sunburst color that adds a special ambiance and sense of classic styling. The Tudor Shield emblem accents the dial with placement at the twelve o clock mark with bright white indexes. It is complemented with a Rolex Oyster bracelet with folded style links. Although differences are obvious, there are many components which are genuine Rolex parts.
The dimensions are thirty four mm diameter and it is ten mm in thickness. It is missing the Sapphire crystal and instead is made with plexiglass. The Lume is Tritium and the caliber is the automatic movement ETA 2784. It also features a lug width of nineteen mm.
We located a company that offers the 1969 Tudor Prince Oysterdate and the asking price is $1,500.00. The only real problem is that their inventory has been sold out. Serious contenders may place their names on the waiting list and will be notified when one becomes available. This gives an indication of the popularity of this particular watch among collectors. The condition of the watch has a great bearing on the value and the asking price. This is why there is a wide difference in the price range. Vintage watches are the most valuable when they are the closest to mint condition. The age of this model alone indicates that the majority of pieces available will show varying degrees of use and wear. The average price range for this watch is estimated to be between $800 and $1,200.
Was it ever sold at an auction?
We see a few 1969 Tudor Prince Oysterdates available on popular auction sites including Ebay. The asking price is commensurate with the estimated value of between $800 and $1,200 with some going a bit higher. The overall condition of the watch is taken into consideration when assessing the true value of the accessory. It isn't the most expensive collector's watch, but it is so popular that many vendors sell out shortly after they've made the acquisition.
The 1969 Tudor Prince Oysterdate and many other Tudor watches are considered by many to be copy cats or knock off versions of the Rolex brand. What they are not considering twhen making these judgments is that the Rolex-Tudor company is a blend of the two and some Rolex parts are used in the construction of Tudor watches. For some more high end customers, the notion of using cheaper materials is a turn off. For others, they may see the durability and strength of the stainless steel version with plexi glass as an evolutionary move that has added to the value of the time piece.
For those who don't believe that the Tudor Prince Oysterdate is as much a Rolex as it is a Tudor, we maintain that it is a version of the Rolex which has been manufactured by the Rolex-Tudor company and that the two are the same company. The main differences lie in the materials and design disparity. While expensive precious metals were foregone in the Prince Oysterdates, they do maintain a unique presence in the realm of high end luxury watches. They contain some genuine Rolex components and they bear the engraving on the case that confirms their place within the Rolex family of luxury watches.
Written by Garrett Parker
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