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Dive wristwatches with a difference 

Rolex Submariner watches do not need any introduction; same as Tudor Black Bay watches. You cannot talk about the category of dive wristwatches without mentioning these names. 

These are dive wristwatches most watch enthusiasts love dearly. Of course, every watch enthusiast with a sound knowledge of dive wristwatches will love these two.

For Submariner watches, they are products from the most productive watchmaking brand in the world, Rolex. As for Black Bay watches, Tudor simply delivers a timepiece that also catches the eye effortlessly. This timepiece is something somewhat similar to the Rolex Submariner watches. 

However, the question that continues to linger amongst wrist watch lovers and critics is: Are the Tudor Black Bay watches better than Rolex Submariner watches? Read on to find out.

The Shared History Between Rolex Submariner Watches And Tudor Black Bay Watches

You should keep this in mind. The comparison between Rolex Submariner watches and Tudor Black Bay watches will come from both the technical and aesthetic angles. 

Nevertheless, before we begin this trip, we should first explore the shared history of these two dive wristwatches. It is a rare occurrence to find two wristwatches sharing a familial bond. But, that is the exact case here.

A Brief Overview Of Both Dive Wristwatches

Historically, the maiden version of Rolex Submariner watches went into production in 1953. Ever since, these dive wristwatches continue to carve a niche for themselves. The Rolex Submariner is one of the earliest modern dive wristwatches all over the world.

Furthermore, the Submariner continues to grow in strength, fashionability and fame in general since that time. More so, the initial aim behind the design of these timepieces was to assist those with more physically challenging daily life. Nonetheless, this wristwatch is now a mainstream watch desired by all.

Additionally, the watch is so universal in contemporary sophistication that James Bond donned one of them. He did this in 1962 while featuring in his maiden appearance on-screen in the movie, “Dr. No.” 

Till now, the Rolex Submariner remains one of the most distinguished timepieces for both military officers and divers. This is thanks to its power to endure tough underwater situations.

On the flip side, Tudor Black Bay watches are, in numerous ways, a true child of the Rolex Submariner. Due to the Rolex Submariner’s widespread fame all over the world, several watchmakers tried to reproduce it. These watchmakers hoped to repeat its success for their own brand’s benefits. Therefore, it simply makes enough sense that Tudor tried out this possibility as well.

Note:The Tudor brand is another watchmaking brand owned by Rolex too.

In addition, Tudor Black Bay watches are one of Tudor’s most distinguished timepieces. Plus, in numerous means, this watch goes on with the legacy of what the founder Hans Wilsdorf originally hoped for. Hans hoped the company would accomplish this same feat right from when he founded it in 1926. 

Moreover, Tudor’s aim was always to be a more accessible edition of a Rolex timepiece. And Wilsdorf, always the cautious businessman, wished to ensure that he was an all-rounder. 

He wanted to provide timepieces for every demographic of the watch industry’s population. These are what you can see in his array of timepieces cutting across Rolex and Tudor.

The Shared Familiar Bond

Simply put, Tudor Black Bay watches are the “little brother” Hans created for Rolex Submariner watches. Tudor Black Bay timepieces took a ton of inspiration from the Submariner timepiece. Due to this, it is only normal that the Black Bay enjoys a close status of fame as the Submariner. 

Overall, both of these dive wristwatches are the flagship creations for their different watchmaking brands. However, the Black Bay is most probably in the top three of the best selling timepieces for the Tudor brand. Hence, Tudor Black Bay watches are more vital to the continuous success of Tudor than the Submariner is to Rolex.

We now have a better understanding of the familial bond between the Tudor Black Bay and the Rolex Submariner. Hence, it is worth reviewing them from a more technical perspective. How do these two dive wrist watches fare against one another technically? Keep reading to find out.

Tudor Black Bay Watches: A Product Of The Dominance Of Rolex Submariner Watches

Over time, a common misconception continues to grow about these Tudor watches. It is a wrong notion that Tudor is some kind of cut-price brand for Rolex watches. What is true instead is that the brand produces timepieces that are considerably cheaper but with similar quality.

Furthermore, the ties these Tudor wrist watches have with Rolex are way beyond skin deep. The Tudor brand began operations as a watchmaking brand in 1946. The father and owner of this watchmaking brand from inception was Hans Wilsdorf himself.  

Does that name sound familiar already? Yes, that’s because Hans Wilsdorf was also the founder of Rolex some 41 years before then.

Furthermore, Rolex clearly earned the title of being Wilsdorf’s flagship brand. Now was the right time to launch what will pass as Hans Wilsdorf secondary dream. This dream is a slightly more affordable watchmaking brand that is not only cheaper; but also presents varieties.

Different names came to mind and he tried out with a few brand names. Some of these brand names include: 

  • Marconi
  • Royal 
  • His own name, Wilsdorf

Eventually, his unending love for all things British enabled him to come to a decision and we had the name, Tudor.

When the first Tudor timepiece hit the market, it truly stuck to the aim for which it started. Ultimately, this truly was an accessible option, as Wilsdorf himself wanted it to be. Hence, in a 1952 full-page newspaper ad, Hans Wilsdorf confirmed this in his own words. He said, ‘I have been considering a watch that … could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches…’

The Development And Growth Of The Tudor Brand And Its Big Brother 

Tudor Black Bay watches

From the beginning, Tudor timepieces had several components in common with their Rolex brethren. Some of these components includes:

  • Cases
  • Crowns
  • Hands
  • Dial design
  • Crystals and 
  • Bracelets

They nearly had everything in common. However, where the price reduction came from was in the design and make of the movement. The brand made use of inexpensive, less precise off-the-shelf workhorses created by ETA and formerly, Fleurier. 

Therefore, this affordability together with the reliability of a Rolex enticed numerous military buyers. Subsequently, Tudor provided timepieces for the likes of the US, Canadian and French Navies.

But, these stories take a slight twist as the quartz crisis hits the watchmaking industry. So, with the effects of the Quartz crisis, there came the gradual fall of Tudor. Tudor as a brand, experienced something like a hibernation era. 

This was the time when Tudor pulled out of the market of several countries. Naturally, that left Rolex with all the room to develop on its rising fame.

Do you want to ask if Rolex truly grew? Well, the facts are staring right into our faces. Right from the beginning of the new millennium, the value of the Submariner doubled. Plus, Rolex as a brand progressed in its fame and status. 

Meanwhile, in 2010 Tudor got something that would mark the comeback of Tudor wristwatches 

  • The Comeback Of Tudor Black Bay Watches

The comeback of Tudor Black Bay watches

The question on the lips of every watch lover at the time was: Can sister company Tudor bring a cut-price competition that will rival for the almighty crown?

In no time, the Heritage collection kicked off the climb back of Tudor’s timepieces. And, it all began with the Heritage Chrono.

Certainly, 2012 was the best year for the brand. Moreover, things changed with the shocking introduction of the Tudor Black Bay watches. The Pelagos also dominated the Baselworld watch show alongside. 

Meanwhile, with the Pelagos we had something new on the table. As for the Heritage products, these watches took numerous innovations from the brand’s history. These wristwatches featured additional color and grandness compared to Rolex watches

Overall, these Heritage products are the signals the world needed to confirm that Tudor was back. With time, the line broadened. Now, the Tudor brand provides us with numerous color options. All of these new color choices joined the initial and existing burgundy red, and this black and gold type. 

Additionally, taking inspiration from the classic Tudor Submariner 7924, the designs were more colorful and bigger. They came in bigger sizes compared to the conservative products from the more modest yet bigger brand, Rolex. Those in charge of the brand were opened up and ready for a younger, and less-expensive audience.

Side-by-side Comparison Of Tudor Black Bay Watches And Rolex Submariner Watches

Rolex Submariner watches with a difference

In this section, we will sit back and check out the Black Bay and the Submariner side by side. It will be a comparison that exposes what’s what. 

  • Size and Design Of Tudor Black Bay Watches

Considering the physical qualities, the Tudor comes with more diameter size and more height. That might not seem like so much. Yet, that is what makes a substantial distinction on the wrist. That might be what some people will like and the same thing some will not.

Moreover, the additional thickness is in some ways an essential need for the structure of these dive wristwatches. Still, the taller case flanks are most certainly an informed styling choice. It helps the wristwatch get closer to the wrist than the Submariner’s. 

Ultimately, the eventual decision rests solely on your preference as a person. You just can never go wrong with either of them in this aspect.

Note: The Tudor might not really contest the Rolex for quality. However, with its vintage elements adding allure, it stands a chance in a different light.

  • Size and Design Of Rolex Submariner Watches

You will have to look closer to discover where exactly the money’s spent on the Rolex Submariner watches. The biggest part of all of these will be on the engraving of the iconic name ‘Rolex’ itself. But, that is not all. There is more to that.

Starting with the hand stack on the Rolex you have a tighter element. Similarly, the hands as well take the form of a white gold piece. Also, it comes in a shape similar to a delicate bend. For the Tudor timepieces, you have parts spaced further separately. 

In addition, the ridges featured on the Rolex’s bezel are more sophisticated and adequately refined. Relatively, the ceramic bezel with platinum presents a vibrant and more striking image compared to the Tudor’s aluminum impacts. Likewise, on the Rolex, the crown is way ahead in sophistication. Plus, the crown logo in relief greatly surpasses the Tudor Rose inscribed into the Black Bay’s design. 

  • Movements Comparison

As for the movements, Rolex employed an exact movement base for a rather lengthy period. And we find the 3130 movement variant utilized in the non-date Submariner. 

Although this is not the most outstanding calibre ever made, yet, it’s elegantly designed and adorned. On the flip side, the Tudor in-house calibre MT5602 came newly in 2016. This movement replaced the classic ETA. This is a far more industrial movement with a basic blasted finish protecting the workings of this movement.

This is one strong movement. More so, it features the same COSC-level accuracy as the Rolex Submariner watches. Plus, it boasts an extra day of power reserve. Hence, you have a total of 70 hours of power to function.


As we stated repeatedly, the eventual decision between Rolex Submariner watches and Tudor Black Bay watches rests on your preference. The price difference is rather a significant and considerable factor. Yet, both dive wristwatches will deliver awesome quality and overall value for every penny.

And for the designs of both watches. Each of these dive wristwatches have a few distinct design features. Yet, due to their familial connection, they feature majorly similar design attributes. Overall, design-wise, these two dive wristwatches are not far off.

Therefore, the eventual answer to the big question is here. You just cannot go wrong with any of these two dive wristwatches. So, the decision is now up to you.



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