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1956 Tudor Oyster ref. 7934

Created to be Rolex’s more affordable junior line, Tudor was always destined to be less popular than its flagship sibling company.

However, that is precisely what makes Tudor watches so wonderful. In the latest installment of our video series Under the Radar, Craft + Tailored’s own champion of the unsung, Tyler Vanes, digs into a beautiful 1956 example of a Tudor Oyster ref. 7934 and explains exactly why this watch is such a sleeper within today’s market.

Tudor’s relationship with Rolex dates all the way back to the very inception of the brand, when Rolex’s Founder Hans Wilsdorf established Tudor in 1926 to be a more affordable alternative to his flagship timepiece company. From the very beginning, Tudor was able to achieve its lower price point by using Rolex-manufactured cases fitted with reliable third-party movements. While many vintage Tudor models often have cases that are similar to Rolex’s designs – with some even featuring winding crowns and case-backs that include Rolex’s famous coronet insignia – Tudor watches always somehow managed to retain their own unique design DNA. It’s a design language that makes them immediately familiar to Rolex fans, but sets them decidedly apart from their Rolex-branded siblings.

As for the Tudor Oyster reference 7934 from 1956 that is featured in this week’s episode of Under the Radar, it is a classic and clean example of early waterproof watchmaking that still remains free from the modern-day hype that plagues many other vintage Tudor models. While the majority of Tudor’s sports watches have become popular targets for collectors, the fact that the Tudor Oyster 7934 offers such a different aesthetic from a dive watch or chronograph means that it frequently gets overlooked and now represents a great value proposition in a market where many buyers are increasingly getting priced out of Tudor’s vintage catalog. 

Collecting these older Tudor Oyster watches can be incredibly fun and exciting because while there are a decent number of them out there and they’re available with a wide range of variation, there aren’t all that many examples of any one specific configuration. Rolex’s legendary Oyster case is arguably the brand’s single greatest innovation, and the Tudor Oyster watches that were produced during the golden era of the mechanical wristwatch allowed this crucial technology to be made available to a significantly larger segment of the population.

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