Tudor Submariner 'Snowflake'

Tudor Submariner 'Snowflake'

Tudor was conceived by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf as a more economic way to buy a quality tool watch. This was achieved by using generic ETA Swiss movements and housing them in Rolex Oyster cases, utilizing Rolex-signed crowns and Rolex crystals. These ETA movements were simple and robust, making them easier to service and locate parts for today than the Rolex equivalents.   

In 1952, Tudor launched the Oyster Prince, and it was a resounding success. From the very first Tudor Oyster Princes that rolled off the assembly line in 1952, 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 the Oyster Prince's 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 (Reference 23088) that accompanied this expedition, but the Tudor Oyster Prince, one for each of the thirty crew members. 

Following the success of the Oyster Prince, Tudor launched the Oyster Submariner in 1954, taking design cues from the Rolex Submariner but housing an ETA movement in the Oyster case. Aside from the movements and the brand name on the dial, Tudor Submariners remained virtually indistinguishable from their Rolex counterparts. That is, until the late 1960s, when the Tudor Submariner Reference 7016 debuted with the design features that would set Tudor Submariners apart from their Rolex cousins. 

For the first time, the dial of the Reference 7016 was offered in blue rather than just in the usual black. Instead of the Tudor rose that had adorned Tudor watches since the 1940s, the Tudor logo was now a shield. Also, the indices and hands attained a distinctive, triangular shape which earned this model the nickname "Snowflake." 

Yet Tudor, despite the Snowflake hands, still took design cues from the Rolex Submariner. When Rolex added a date window to the Submariner Reference 1680 in 1966, the Tudor Submariner also featured a date wheel in alternating red and white, dubbed "roulette" by collectors. Along with the Reference 7016, the reference with the date wheel, Reference 7021, ran until the mid-1970s when it was replaced by Reference 94010 and 94110, respectively. 

The Reference 94110 and 94010 Snowflakes are notable for their strong dials that retain their crisp colors after years of wear and use. This is because, with these references, Tudor used better-quality dials than with the Reference 7016 and Reference 7021, which were prone to dial rot that manifested itself as bubbles underneath the dial's surface. The blue dial of our Reference 94110 Snowflake is still crisp, and the only testament to its age is the yellowing of the tritium on the hands and indices. 

As time wore on, collectors and enthusiasts began to appreciate the designs that were exclusive to Tudor's Submariner line. 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.


Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Tudor Reference 94110.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel Oyster case is in very good condition, with only minimal signs of use or wear in keeping with its age, including some light scratches and tool marks on the sides of the case and on the backs of the lugs. Matte blue dial is in very good condition with fine even patina to the luminescent elements on the hour markers. The hands have been professionally refinished to match the hour markers. The date wheel is original. Rolex signed crown; Rolex case back has some light tool marks but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle

SKU: AS01570

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