Longing to emerge from the shadows cast by big brother Rolex, Tudor is a brand striving for a sense of ineffable cool. The magic bit of alchemy that just lures customers in. Plaza Watch meets David Cerrato, Tudor watch designer and brand manager, to discuss the brand and its future.
David Cerrato does not look like the sort of man who partakes of the kind of ‘action man’ lifestyle that the watches he designs suggest. Immaculately groomed (not wishing to fall prey to stereotype, but he is Italian) in sharp shoes and an elegantly floppy bow-tie, Cerrato was designer for his mother- land’s mega-brand Panerai before taking up what some might see as a tougher challenge: reviving Tudor, Rolex’s often overshadowed little brother.
Tudor, some might know, came into this world in February 1926, when watchmaker Veuve de Philippe Hüther registered the Tudor name for Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex’s founder, with Wilsdorf taking control of the name and launching the first watches to bear the distinctive rose logo in 1936. And then, as many more know, in a mighty demonstration of the power of brand, for several decades made Tudor watches to much the same stand- ards and using much the same parts (the likes of the Oyster waterproof case and rotor mechanism) as his Rolexes, but sold them as their more affordable alternative. The similarities in all but name and price led some to cast aspersions. With something of a spell off the radar for Tudor, have times changed?
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