I have a confession to make. I profess to know very little about vintage Tudor aside from the fact as a collector of vintage Rolex, now and then one would appear in a parcel of goodies and I would stop, examine, admire and politely decline. But that blindness to deviate away from the familiarity and comfort of what I understood was a mistake and with hindsight it feels like 2015 could be the time when we all stand up and notice the Tudor Chronograph ref 7031/7032. I have documented on many occasions my belief that the Rolex Daytona is an asset class in its own right, it’s an icon of watch making, but prices continue to rise steadily as supply of good vintage pieces diminishes. In the Tudor 7031/7032, a design itself very similar to that of its Rolex counterpart, real value can be found and I suspect so will growth as the modern Tudor makes a resurgence.
Passionately referred to as the “Homeplate,” due to the unique design of the tritium markers resembling the home plate used in Baseball and fitted with a manual wind Valjoux Calibre 7734, I can think of fewer watches whose dials represent such iconic 70s design. However unlike Daytona of the period here is a watch that brings all the traditional Rolex qualities of robustness in a slightly larger case and crucially with a date window. In fact that very date window is a standard cyclope that is fitted half way compared to that of ordinary Rolex. Quite simply it’s a practical and striking watch and it can be found at a great if relative price point for vintage watches especially when considered that the production run for ref 7031/7032 was a mere two years.
Rolex is increasingly investing in Tudor and whilst modern watches have not found their cult hero like the Daytona or Submariner I can think of very few brands that have such a dynamic twist on the pieces found in its heritage. With a clever use of marketing and social media however Tudor is now beginning to once again find its feet, it’s no longer the relative that no one refers to. Once that appreciation gains some ground then the vintage market will once again come under the spotlight and that arbitrage in price between a good ref 7031 and a Daytona 6263 of some £15,000 to 20,000 will seem excellent value. Put simply here is your Daytona with a Date and it’s my value pick of 2015.
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