Tudor Submariner 'Snowflake'
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Tudor Submariner 'Snowflake'

When Tudor re-introduced itself to the U.S. market in 2013, it did so through its heritage collection, a line that is essentially re-creations of their most classic and successful designs from the 1960s and 70s.  And for good reason.  The Tudors of that era are by far some of the most interesting and beautiful vintage sport watches out there.   

Originally produced by Rolex to respond to a growing base of sports watch consumers, Tudor was conceived as a more economic way to buy a quality tool watch.  This was achieved by using generic ETA Swiss movements and housing them Rolex Oyster cases, utilizing Rolex-signed crowns and Rolex crystals.  These ETA movements were simpler and more common, making them easy to service and locate parts for today.  

As time wore on, collectors and enthusiasts began to appreciate the designs that were exclusive to Tudor's Submariner line.  The most famous of these, the Tudor "Snowflake" Submariner, was released in 1968, and represented the first time in Tudor's history that they sought to differentiate themselves visually from their parent brand.  The name 'snowflake' was derived from the unique shape of the hour hand and seconds hand and the presence of squared Tritium hour markers on the blue or black matte dials.  

Though relatively modest in price when it was released, the Snowflake Submariner has become a grail for many, causing values to climb within spitting distance of Rolex subs of similar vintages.  

What many forget is that Tudor produced fewer Submariners than Rolex, making sharp Tudor subs rarer than the equivalent 5513 or 1680.  Rarer still are honest examples that have bested the use that they encountered - so many were destroyed on the wrists of sport divers over the ages - and retain original dials, hands and bezels that have patinated with age and use.

This particular piece is a true survivor.  The original dial has taken on a lovely matte blue hue, and the Tritium hour markers have faded to a light cream color.  The bezel, now a light blue, counters the darker dial nicely and, sporting its original pip, picks up the lume perfectly.  The Oyster case must have been loved, because the lower right lug shows signs of heavy polishing, probably done in an effort to repair wear from from heavy use.  Still, with its original roulette date wheel (odd days in black, even days in red) and a perfect overall patina, this Snowflake should be on the radar of any fan of vintage Tudor.      

Details

Stainless Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Tudor Reference 7021/0. ETA Caliber 2484 self-winding movement. C. 1968.

Overall Condition: The watch is in great condition over all, with signs of polishing present on the lower right lug. Original tritium dial has light cream-colored even patina and is free of pitting, spotting or discoloration. Original handset is excellent condition, with no signs of hour hand lume sagging or cracking. Original bezel had lightened with age, and has slight chip near the 20-minute mark, but retains original pip. Original Rolex-signed crown and case back. Original cyclops crystal has been replaced with Rolex non-magnified acrylic crystal showing some light wear near 3 o'clock.

Comes on Rolex Ref. 7836 Folded link bracelet with 382 end links and folding clasp and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

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