Tudor Snowflake
All content copyright DeskDivers 2006
No text from this article can be reproduced without prior permission from DeskDivers
As such all text on this page is protected by enforceable copyright.
Regarding the pictures on this page - DeskDivers either owns the rights to these pictures, has permission to use these pictures or has taken every step possible to contact the owner of any borrowed pictures – As such all pictures on this page are protected by enforceable copyright.
Tudor Submariner Snowflake
Its been said a number of times but there really is only one Rolex Submariner, the rest are all just clones…but one watch is less of a clone than the others…. The Tudor Submariner.
For those that don’t know there is “actually” very little difference between the design and conception of Tudor and Rolex. Apart from Tudor watch movements generally having fewer jewels, their conception and construction were virtually identical to those of Rolex. Rolex felt strongly that in producing a “second line” of watches, the public perception of Tudor had to be equivalent to that of Rolex. As such, they even extended the Rolex warranty to all Tudors at the time. All early Tudors, until the mid-1990's, featured Rolex crowns and cases. Rolex bracelets were used until 1971 when the first Tudor signed bracelets appeared on women’s watches.”
The only general difference in the Rolex and Tudor brands was that the newer Tudor models used ‘modified’ ETA movements instead of the in-house Rolex movements.  The detail differences are many as the cases of Tudor watches whilst aping the Rolex’s of the time are generally slightly different (case backs are usually subtly different and are, of course. Engraved) and all recent Tudor cases are made of 316L stainless steel, whilst Rolex cases are made of 904 grade stainless steel
The Tudor Submariner range began in the 1950s with the 7922 / 7924 and later the 7928 – these were fitted with the famous Rolex calibre 390, a 17 jewel movement based on the Valjoux 722 automatic. The 7928 used the same bezel as the Rolex 5513 Submariner and was produced until 1966.
Then started the Submariners we are looking at here – The models with the snowflake handset and blue dials with square military-type indexes.
Model No. 7016/0 and 7021/0 – These models appeared in jewellers between 1966 and 1968 and were the first of the models to use modified ETA movements – ETA 2461 (25 jewels) for the 7016 (successor to the 7928) and ETA 2484 (25 jewels) for the model 7021 which also had date complication and included a Rolex style cyclops lens. The 7021 also came with an alternating date wheel of red and black numbers.
Model No. 9411 – in 1973 the last of the Tudor Submariners was launched. It replaced the model 7021 and was identical to it, with the exception of the movement, which was now an ETA 2784 (25 jewels).
During the run of the Tudor Submariner, Tudor was a major supplier of specialised divers’ watches for many armed forces, most notably the French Marine Nationale (M.N.) and the US Navy. These watches were supplied as early as the 1960s, with Reference 7928, and continued through the mid eighties with the current model of Submariner being issued.
For collectors the Issued watches were the first to present a problem with fakes – All that differentiates them from the civilian watches was decommissioning papers (its only a printed card) and the case back engraving.  
Since then unscrupulous people have been creating fake Tudor Submariners and selling them into the WIS community, mostly through eBay.  Sadly the Snowflake Tudor Submariner is a rare watch these days and it’s often difficult to locate any model for sale, let alone a genuine one.  The good news is that so far the fakers haven’t managed to completely replicate many of the watch’s detail features, although this will change over time, perhaps due to the fact they save money by starting with a copy of a Rolex Submariner case.
The early fakes were based round the model no. 7928 as this was seen as the most collectable of the range due to its use of the Rolex movement. However as collectors became wise to this the fakers moved to copying the 7016/7021 models with the snowflake hands, especially in Military guise as Tudor collectors perhaps didn’t use the same level of crosschecking as the Rolex collectors who were spending greater sums of money.  Over time the fakers are now moving down to ripping off the casual collector of Tudor Submariners and are now faking the civilian models.
Most real Tudor Submariners will come on a more recent bracelet (marked 9315T) this is a folded Oyster bracelet with flip lock clasp with Rolex Emblem, pre 1971, and Tudor shield after.
Some Tudor Submariners have the Rolex Submariner trip lock crown and tube installed – this is often done by an RSC if there are crown thread issues.
It is the experience of the author that Rolex Service Centres no longer wish to service these watches.  This is due in part to the ongoing ‘issues’ between Rolex and Swatch which effects the supply of ETA movement parts for Tudor watches and also Rolex’s decision to no longer support watches that are 30+ years old.
Here is a link to a Web page with lots of NM and Civilian Tudor Submariner pictures for comparison with fakes.
Telltale signs:
    •    A slightly wrong looking case with the wrong crown guards (1) – this is a common fault with Rolex Submariner copies.  Some cases are modelled on the later Rolex Submariners and are smooth with no spring bar holes and if you cant see the case numbers (between the lugs) and the seller wont show you them…. Start walking….
    •    Incorrect hands – slightly too long, thin or fat minute hand and a lopsided looking hour hand.(2)
    •    Second hand diamond over the hour markers (3) and the hour hand tip closer than one hour marker width away from the markers (4)
    •    Dial – the seller will probably tell you its been refinished but anything that looks new with nice neat coffee colour indices is wrong.
    •    Bracelet – the numbers on the clasp and the bracelet will not match
    •    Case back – the engraving will probably not look deep enough and some fakes are just lightly etched          and have never seen a pantograph.  The Tudor text is done with a flourish that belies its era and the modern scripts are obvious giveaways.
    •    Crown should look crisp – all fakes seem to be badly cast (5)
    •    Crown tube with a trip lock conversion should have an o-ring visible when unscrewed
    •    Date magnification - the date magnification for original Tudor Submariners is equivalent to that of the Rolex Submariner (ie. 2.5x) but most fakes / non Rolex replacment crystals offer only 1.5x magnifcation
Our advice is that if you are in doubt about a particular watch, or a seller, you should walk away from the deal.  Whilst these watches are rare, they do appear often enough that you will find the one that’s right for you sooner rather than later.
Home PloProf.com
Contact Us About