The 1970s inspiration, understand the sporty-chic watch with integrated bracelet, is more fashionable than ever. This makes no debate and many brands, from high-end to accessible, have entered the race. Driven by the market’s enthusiasm for icons such as the Royal Oak and the Nautilus, we’ve seen multiple alternatives being presented in a more reasonable segment of the industry. Latest in line is Tudor, which presented earlier this year a collection with an unmistakable 1970s vibe. Today, we give some wrist time to the collection’s highlight, the perfect replica Tudor Royal Day-Date 41mm watch with blue dial.
Unlike many watches in Tudor’s collection, the Royal is not a re-edition of a past model. Yes, the name itself has been used in the past but the watches using it were nothing but sporty-chic models with integrated bracelets. They were simple, time-only dress watches with (let’s be honest) low significance. Even though the connection isn’t really clear and no vintage model has been used as a base for the design, the new Tudor Royal Day-Date 41mm still plays on the vintage trend, or at least on a style that was once defined in the early 1970s and has become since a must-have in a collection. The sports watch with integrated bracelet is hot, so why Tudor should stay away from it…?
However, Tudor chose for a slightly different approach than, for instance, Maurice Lacroix, Frederique Constant or Wempe. All of them are clearly identified as sports-chic watches, with the “sports” word being emphasized. All are sharper, more robustly-designed and in line with the basic principles of the 1970s sports watch. The Swiss made fake Tudor Royal is, on the other hand, a surprising mix between 1970s codes and the icon of Rolex that is the Day-Date watch – and not only because of its display. And since the watch bears Roman numerals, a notched bezel and two-tone options, the intention is clearly to be more on the “chic” side of things than on the “sports” side. And add to that a slight dosage of outdated coolness… All in all, the Tudor Royal Day-Date 41mm is a watch apart.
Starting with the case, the Royal is 41mm in diameter with a reasonable 10.5mm height. The case is made from a solid block of stainless steel and there’s no denying the usual quality of construction provided by Tudor. The watch is neatly executed and built to last. The case is brushed on the flat surfaces, while the casebands are polished. Good point despite the dressy intention of the watch, the crown screws down and the water-resistance is rated at 100m.
The most surprising point of this watch is its bezel, with a texture that somehow recalls some of the watches produced by the Crown (without being the same either). The bezel shows a combination of polished surfaces and cut grooves. The pattern is stamped yet with a precise definition of the texture. In terms of style, this is clearly the element that brings this outdated coolness to the watch (or outdated uncoolness, depending on your position).
The second element that positions this Tudor Royal Day-Date 41mm in a slightly different category is its dial, and the display that goes along. The sunray-brushed blue colour is certainly a classic for a sporty-chic watch, however, the applied Roman numerals are more traditional. In the same vein, the use of a typically-Rolex day-date display, with an arched day-of-the-week window at 12 o’clock, is once again a proof of a more elegant vocation. All the elements are well executed and sharply defined, yet not particularly striking. Best Tudor replica could easily improve the style of this Royal Day-Date with something a bit bolder and less old-school.
Inside the watch, like most entry-level models produced by the brand, the Tudor Royal Day-Date 41mm relies on an outsourced movement, the ETA 2834 – basically a day-date version of the tried-and-tested ETA 2824. This automatic movement with 4Hz frequency and 38h power reserve is a no-brainer and allows to maintain this watch in an attractive price range. Its robustness and precision are not to be demonstrated anymore.
The most striking element of the Tudor Royal’s design is, of course, its integrated bracelet. Once again here, Tudor chose for something with more elegance than the traditional 1970s style, due to the 5-link profile with thin and polished intermediate links. No debate once again concerning the overall quality, precision of the assembly and robustness being undeniable. The bracelet is closed by a folding clasp and safety catch.