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Rolex vs Tudor: How The Models & Brands Compare Against Each Other

Discover how Rolex and Tudor watches compare against each other and the difference between both the Tudor and Rolex brands.

Rolex vs Tudor

Some of the best comparisons in the watch world are between Rolex models and Tudor models. This isn’t a surprise because Tudor is owned by Rolex and every now and then Rolex DNA slips over into the Tudor brand. One brand, Rolex, is built and marketed to luxury market and the other, Tudor, is meant for more practical tool watch applications. Both Rolex and Tudor have been proven to be wildly successful with their respective target markets. Now let’s see their similarities and differences compare against each other.

Brand Comparison: Tudor vs Rolex

In this article we will compare like models between both the Rolex and Tudor brands. Some comparisons will be similar and close contents and other will be clear winners. At the end of the day both manufactures create quality watches that owners should be proud to wear.

Rolex Submariner vs Tudor Black Bay 58 : Rolex vs Tudor

Rolex Submariner vs Tudor Black Bay 58

The Submariner and the Black Bay 58 are respectively the flagship watches of both brands. Both watches command waitlists, are purpose built tool watches, and are engineered to perfection. When you compare the Rolex Submariner to the Tudor Black Bay 58 you’ll notice that they are quite different and speak to different buyers.

Where these watches differ the most is people’s perception of them. Over the years the Rolex Submariner has turned into more of a luxury watch rather than an everyday tool watch. Many point to the ceramic bezel as a clear indicator of the switch but we’ve concluded it’s mostly due to brand status. Personally I think the current Submariners are every bit of a tool watch compared to the older references. For the Tudor Black Bay 58, the consensus is that most buyers perceive it exactly as they view the older aluminum bezel Subs, which are tested and durable watches that are meant to wear tough.

Although the Submariner is universally considered the better watch, I think most would agree that the Black Bay 58 is the better value. Yes I know what you’re thinking, the Submariner is worth $4k more on the pre-owned market, but here me out. The Submariner starts roughly $6k more at MSRP. When you consider everything that the Black Bay 58 brings to the table for $3,700, one can make a great argument that it is a better value than the Rolex Submariner.

Comparing the Submariner to the Black Bay 58

SpecsRolex SubmarinerTudor Black Bay 58
Case Size41mm39mm
Water Resistance300m200m
Rolex GMT Master II vs Tudor Black Bay GMT : Rolex vs Tudor

Rolex GMT Master II vs Tudor Black Bay GMT

In 2018 Tudor released the Black Bay GMT to great success. It almost completely resembles the Rolex Pepsi GMT, which is what we are comparing it to. At first the Tudor GMT was extremely difficult to find and instantly were being sold for a premium on the pre-owned market. After about a year that quickly faded. Although the Black Bay GMT is a fine watch, it doesn’t come close to comparing to the Rolex GMT Master II. I know for many of the Tudor GMT owners reading this, you may see it our way but if you were honest about the two watches I think you would agree.

View our full review of the Rolex GMT Master II Batman, Pepsi, or Root Beer.

As a travel watch the Rolex GMT Master II is more equipped compared to the Tudor Black Bay GMT and we’ll mention a few reasons why. For starters, the Tudor is simply too heavy. The goal of traveling is to travel light, not lug around a heavy wrist watch. Secondly it is important to get the date function correct. Many Tudor GMT owners complain and even sell their watch because of the misaligned date window and its rate of failure. Compare that to the Rolex, which in my opinion got everything correct, the Rolex is the hands down winner.

With all this being said, I do understand the desire to have a Pepsi bezel. The Rolex Pepsi is almost unobtainable at MSRP and selling for 2x of what it does new on the pre-owned market. If you are willing to look past a few things to get the style/design you want, go for it. After all, I’m not sure if there is a watch that anyone can love 100%. We all compromise a bit to get what we want.

Comparing the GMT Master II to the Black Bay GMT

SpecsRolex GMT Master IITudor Black Bay GMT
Case Size40mm41mm
Water Resistance100m200m
Rolex Daytona vs Tudor Black Bay Chrono : Rolex vs Tudor

Rolex Daytona vs Tudor Black Bay Chrono

It’s amazing how strikingly similar both the Daytona and Black Bay Chrono are. When compared at first glance, they seem related and it’s evident that they share the same DNA. Obviously when you compare their popularity, quality, and value the Rolex Daytona is the clear winner. That doesn’t mean that the Tudor Black Bay Chrono is an inferior watch.

Both watches are COSC certified, are most popular in stainless steel, and are preferred with a white dial. Where the Daytona and Black Bay Chrono differ is the the chronograph, sub dials, price, and bezel.

The Rolex Daytona costs $13,150 compared to $5,225 Tudor Black Bay Chrono. What is impressive about the White Dial Daytona is that it sells for roughly $40,000 on the pre-owned market, which tells us this reference is one of the most popular watches on the planet.

The chronograph function on both watches are slightly different when compared to each other. The Daytona has a 12 hour chronograph timer which differs from the 45 minute time on the Black Bay Chrono. This difference eliminates the need for a 3rd sub dial for the Tudor.

Lastly the bezels are made from different materials. The Daytona bezel is constructed from ceramic compared to the aluminum of the Black Bay Chrono. In todays market, ceramic is more in-demand because of its shine and highly scratch resistant properties.

Comparing the Daytona to the Black Bay Chrono

SpecsRolex DaytonaTudor Black Bay Chrono
AvailabilityExtremely RareCommon
Case Size40mm41mm
Water Resistance100m200m
Rolex Explorer vs Tudor Black Bay 36 or 41 : Rolex vs Tudor

Rolex Explorer vs Tudor Black Bay 36

The most comparable watches between Rolex and Tudor are the Explorer and the Black Bay 36. At first glance you might mistake one for the other and that to some is a good thing. The Tudor Black Bay 36 is often purchased by many because they love the look of the Explorer but can’t either buy one new or can afford one. With an MSRP of $2,950, the Tudor Black Bay 36 is a high quality less expensive alternative to the $6,450 Rolex Explorer.

When comparing the two watch’s aesthetics, there isn’t that much of a difference. Even though the indices are different they actually seem quite similar. Where these two watches differ the most is the movements powering them. The Explorer is housed with the in-house calibre 3230 which is COSC certified compared to the outsourced T600 movement in the Black Bay 36. You’re going to get a much more accurate and longer lasting watch out of the Rolex than you are Tudor which to many will make the Explorer the superior watch.

For a more in-depth comparison, check out our Rolex Explorer vs Tudor Black Bay article.

Comparing the Explorer to the Black Bay 36

SpecsRolex ExplorerTudor Black Bay 36
Case Size36mm36mm
Water Resistance100m150m
Rolex Sea Dweller vs Tudor Pelagos : Rolex vs Tudor

Rolex Sea Dweller vs Tudor Pelagos

The Sea Dweller and the Pelagos are both brands deep sea divers. If you’re judging these watches on specs alone the Rolex Sea Dweller is going to win simply due to the water resistance of 1,220m compared to the 500m of the Pelagos. There are more to these watches than depth ratings and let’s be honest, very few owners of these watches will ever be 50m under the water.

When comparing these two watches outside of the depth rating, the Tudor Pelagos matches up very well against the Sea Dweller. After much thought, I think you’ll find that the majority of watch enthusiasts prefer the Pelagos for all the right reasons. The simple and pure fact is that the Tudor Pelagos is a true all around tool watch unlike the Sea Dweller. Yes the Sea Dweller stacks up well on paper but it has swung over too far to the luxury watch category. Pelagos owners love this titanium watch because it has the look and feel of a watch that can be worn anywhere doing anything. The Pelagos is extremely legible, lightweight, accurate, durable, and the titanium makes it less scratch resistant than steel. I think it would be fair to say that even though the Sea Dweller has a better depth rating, the Tudor Pelagos at $4,575 MSRP is a better value and tool watch.

Comparing the Sea Dweller to the Pelagos

SpecsRolex Sea DwellerTudor Pelagos
Case Size43mm42mm
Water Resistance1,220m500m
Rolex Day Date vs Tudor Royal : Rolex vs Tudor

Rolex Day Date vs Tudor Royal

We’ll keep this one short and sweet, the Rolex Day Date is a vastly superior watch compared to the Tudor Royal. The Day Date has been a symbol of luxury, success, and wealth for decades. There simply isn’t many watches that can compete with the Rolex Day Date.

The Tudor Royal was recently released and has done quite well at Tudor authorized dealers. The style of the Royal has a very vintage feel and being priced at $3,350 makes it much more affordable alternative to the Day Date. You can see that some of the Rolex DNA made it over to the Royal but not much. Still the Royal is a nice alternative to the Rolex Day Date if you’re more likely to afford a $3k watch than a $36k watch.

Comparing the Day Date to the Royal

SpecsRolex Day DateTudor Royal
Case Size40mm41mm
Water Resistance100m100m
Rolex Datejust vs Tudor Style Rolex vs Tudor

Rolex Datejust vs Tudor Style

The Rolex Datejust is one of the most recognizable watches in history. This collection projects class, style, and sophistication. It has been and will be a must own for many watch enthusiasts now and for years to come. With that being said the Tudor Style, even though it slightly resembles the Datejust, doesn’t even compare to the Rolex Datejust. This opinion is just us being honest and not trying to offend Tudor fans. If you’re honest with yourself the Datejust should win every comparison 100/100 times.

What makes the Rolex Datejust stand out from the Tudor style is the history surrounding the watch, execution of the jubilee bracelet, date function, configuration options, 3235 calibre, case design, clasp, and much more.

Comparing the Datejust to the Style

SpecsRolex DatejustTudor Style
Case Size41mm41mm
Water Resistance100m100m

Which Is A Better Buy: Tudor vs Rolex

When comparing which brand is the better buy between Rolex or Tudor, Rolex is the far superior brand and is a much better buy. Rolex is a better buy because of the quality of the product, design, and ownership value. This doesn’t mean that Tudor isn’t a great watch brand because they are. Tudor makes many quality watches that many would love to own but they simply don’t stack up next to a Rolex, which is by design. Tudor, owned by Rolex, is strategically manufactured and priced to sell at the entry level market compared to Rolex which is aimed at a higher market.

Which Brand Is A Better Value

Even though Tudor watches can be purchased for significantly less than Rolex watches, Tudor watches do not hold their value anywhere close to what Rolex does. In todays market there isn’t a Rolex that sells less used than they do new and you won’t find one in a case at an authorized dealer. When buying new, you’ll almost always never lose money buying a Rolex and that is what makes Rolex a better value than Tudor.

To learn more about the value of each brand and their models, check our our Rolex or Tudor investment and value data.

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