A gold Tudor? A Tudor that costs $16,800? With an exhibition caseback? As incredulous Brits would say, pull the other one, it’s got bells on it. And yet there it is, in all its golden glory, exploiting the horological gold rush. The real problem here . . .
A Tudor that costs more than a Rolex is like a Toyota that costs more than a Lexus. It just doesn’t make sense – assuming that the foundation that owns Rolex and Tudor hasn’t lost its collective mind. Which is entirely possible given that Rolex has never, ever experienced so much demand for all their products. Then again . . .
That doesn’t mean the Gold Tudor Black Bay 58 won’t sell. It will. And how. Lest we forget, over half of all Swiss watches are now sold in the Asian market. China especially.
Gold is a BIG THING in The People’s Communist Dictatorship of China. In case you haven’t noticed, the Chinese flag is red and gold. Over at quora.com, Steven Lee explains its ancient appeal:
Gold became royal color in Tang Dynasty though the regulation was not strictly enforced. But in the Song Dynasty, if one wore gold color clothes, he/she would be executed to death, because he/she was regarded to plot a rebellion, at that time, gold was a de facto exclusive royal privilege . . . Nowadays, Chinese people have forgotten how they begun to love gold or simply don’t care. They blindly believe that gold brings good fortune/luck.
Mr. Lee also points out that “If someone purchases a champagne color iPhone to impress, he/she is likely to be labeled a ‘Tuhao’ (nouveau riche).” Of which there are now millions in the PRC, in no small part thanks to the American market for cheap Chinese goods.
The gold Tudor ain’t cheap – it’s roughly five times the price of the steel version. As Zach Blass points out at timeandtidewatches.com, you don’t even get a gold bracelet for your 17 large (though the buckle is gold).
As we’ve pointed out, expensive watches like the gold Tudor Black Bay 58 are expensive because they can be (perception is demand, demand is price) – not because they cost more to make. Besides, the gold Tudor Black Bay is still cheaper than a gold Rolex.
Chrono24.com is selling a 1995 gold Rolex Daytona for $33,228. A 2021 Rolex Day-Date 40 Champagne Roman Dial President will set you back $40,995. Oops! They’re also flogging a new Rolex Datejust 41 Rolesor Yellow Fluted Jubilee with a black dial for $14,779.
If the gold Tudor Black Bay strikes you as a bit bizarre, what are we to make of the new silver case Black Bay, only slightly more expensive that the Black Bay Bronze ($4300 vs. $4150)? We can certainly guess which one will look better after tarnishing. But will the new gold and silver watches tarnish Tudor’s bargain basement Rolex rep? Not where it counts: China and Tudor’s bottom line.
“Executed to death” feels like a fitting sentence for a green and gold dive watch.
I caught that too! Sic!
Is the Chinese consumer even interested in this sort of thing? I was led to understand that they keep the Cellini and the Constellation alive, and that dive watches were for old fat white guys like me.
A lot of people like dive watches for their robustness.
Reason number one in fact. Reason two: it makes them seem rugged.
I think the real interesting story is not where the market for these watches is, but who they are selling to: collectors. If Tudor is producing silver and gold variants of watches with no other value add, they are clearly selling to a shrinking market that consists of at least partly of die hard enthusiasts that they have to cater to.
Not too common to see dive watches worn in China (but I’m guessing the reviewer has never been there…). More popular in SE Asia.
I’ve been to China, but it’s been a while. Look forward to my next trip.