Tudor Prince Oysterdate

Tudor Prince Oysterdate

Watchmakers are artisans. Although it can be hard to realize in this age of mass machinery, the actual business of making a watch (let alone making it run, which is another matter entirely) takes an enormous amount of skill. And we’re not just talking about those watchmakers in the highest echelons of haute horology, the F.P. Journes and Philip Dufours of the world who are celebrated the world over for the intricacy and elegance of their designs.

Take Tudor, for example. Although it started as Rolex’s gateway brand, the quality of Tudor’s products were by no means inferior to Rolex’s. In fact, the use of many of the same parts as Rolex (including dials and the patented Oyster cases) ensured that the consumer was getting Rolex quality at a slightly lower price point.

It’s in vintage Tudor models like the Tudor Prince Oysterdate 34, particularly, that this is most apparent. From its inception, the Tudor Prince has been shrouded in a mantle of sheer uncompromising toughness. Early ad campaigns stressed the watch’s resilience, and its participation in the British North Greenland Expedition brought awareness of the brand to the world.

For all this talk of toughness, one might think that these watches lacked a certain elegance, but watches like this Reference 7914 prove that that just isn’t the case.

In looks and spirit the Reference 7914 hearkens back to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date, at the time Rolex’s entry-level date model. The stainless steel case is the same as those used by Rolex, as evinced by the presence of a Rolex crown. Although modest at 34mm, the case is beefy with long lugs, and wears larger than the size would suggest.

But perhaps the most beautiful feature of this watch is the dial. Textured dials like this one are a holdover from the times when every component of a watch was constructed by hand, or milled on a hand-powered machine. This particular type of textured dial is known as 'honeycomb' or 'waffle', due to the impression the crosshatch pattern gives.

Difficult to construct, these dials are also difficult—one might even say impossible—to refinish, and are thus highly prized by collectors as a sign of the watch's authenticity. 

Wearing such a watch, and viewing how the light captures the texture of the dial—lightly touched with patina—one realizes that, although it might not bear the signature of a contemporary master, it’s no less a work of art.


SKU: AS02378

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 34mm (excluding crown). Reference 7914. Circa 1950s.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition with some signs of moderate use and wear. Dial is in very good condition with some signs of age, including patina. Rolex crown.

Includes one 20mm grey leather strap.

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