Tudor Oyster Prince

Tudor Oyster Prince

On March 6, 1946, Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf announced his intention to create "a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex is famous." Thus, the Tudor Watch Company was born. Six years after the birth of the Tudor Watch Company, in 1952, Tudor launched the Tudor Oyster Prince. From the very first Tudor Oyster Princes that rolled off the assembly line, the model featured two technical innovations that were theretofore exclusive to Rolex: automatic movements and the trademark waterproof Rolex "Oyster" case. The advertising campaign that announced its introduction featured men working in harsh, forbidding conditions--miners or construction workers, all with a Tudor Oyster Prince strapped to their wrists.

The Tudor Oyster Prince's reputation for sturdiness and dependability was tested almost immediately. In 1952, the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom organized a scientific expedition to the northernmost reaches of Greenland. Contrary to popular belief, it was not the Longines "Greenlander" (Ref. 23088) that accompanied this expedition, but the Tudor Oyster Prince, one for each of the thirty crew members. 

In November of 1953, one of the crew, Captain J.D. Walker of the British Royal Engineers, sent a letter to Rolex expressing his "extreme admiration" for the Tudor that he was issued.  In that letter he wrote:

"...My duties necessitated many varied activities, from stores humping and hut building to driving 'Weasels" and dog sledging on the icecap.  Temperatures varied from 70ºF to -50ºF, and on many occasions during the thaw period the watch was unavoidably immersed in water.  Despite these trials, occasional time signals broadcast from England proved that my Rolex Tudor Prince watch was maintaining a remarkable accuracy.  On no occasion did it require to be wound by hand.  When on the ice-cap away from Base for several weeks at a time, it was of inestimable value to have on my wrist a watch whose accuracy could be depended upon at all times..."

The present Tudor Oyster Prince may deviate somewhat from the look of those fabled thirty Oyster Princes that accompanied the British North Greenland Expedition, but be assured: it sacrifices nothing in terms of the sturdiness that Tudor aficionados have come to know. True, the case is gold-plated instead of stainless steel, and the applied markers are gold as well. But that case is a Rolex Oyster Case, as proclaimed proudly on the case back, and the Rolex coronet logo is emblazoned on the winding crown. It's powered by an automatic ETA movement, stalwart and dependable. For a lover of vintage Tudors, the Tudor Oyster Prince can't be surpassed, because it combines an elegant exterior with all the hallmarks of dependability that make a Tudor a Tudor. 


Gold-plated case is approximately 33.5mm in diameter (excluding crown). ETA 25-jewel automatic movement. Circa 1960s.

Overall Condition: The case is in good condition overall with signs of use in keeping with its age, including degradation of the gold-plating on the lugs. Dial is in excellent condition overall, showing signs of wear on the 12 and 9 baton hour markers. Hands are genuine replacement hands from Tudor, correct for the model, and in similarly excellent condition. Stainless steel case back, signed "Original Oyster Case by Rolex" shows signs of factory brush finishing, and signs of light use; signed Rolex crown.

Includes one 20mm brown crocodile leather analog/shift strap with stainless steel buckle

SKU: AS01390

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