The Legendary Submariner Snowflake

Affectionately nicknamed the “Snowflake” by collectors, the Tudor Submariner in all its glory has been around since 1954. From its inception until about 1969, the resemblance to its older brother, the Rolex Submariner was uncanny. It is around this time that a legend was born; the Snowflake Submariner set itself apart from its older nuisance of a sibling by introducing some never-before-seen features on a professional dive watch: square hour markers, roulette date wheel (black and red alternating colors for the date), square on the seconds hand and, the final piece of the puzzle, the Snowflake hour hand. We know that Tudor’s oyster case and dials are both signed Rolex, signifying that the watch is made, and quality controlled by similar standards to the Geneva Manufacture. 

The Tudor Snowflake Submariner Reference 7021/0 presented here features an ETA 2824 self-winding movement finished to the highest standards. Although the present example does not have its original bracelet, we do know that the original bracelet on the 7021/0 was a Rolex signed Oyster ref 7836 with folding links. The Snowflake remained in the catalogue for Tudor until 1981. 

Tudor

Tudor was trademarked in 1926 by one Hans Wilsdorf, yes the same gentleman that founded sister company and older, bigger brother Rolex. Wilsdorf created the brand ‘Montres Tudor SA’ in 1946. The brand was meant to have the same quality as a Rolex but a lower price. Tudor is known for making robust tool watches for the likes of the Marine Nationale, The Navy Seals and the Israeli Defense Forces. They boast quite the pedigree for being the ‘other’ brand in the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation portfolio. There are many similarities between the two brands. Tudor watches go through a near identical quality control process as Rolex and both brands are notoriously secretive. Many Tudor watches are equipped with the very same oyster cases as Rolex watches (early Tudor models even had Rolex branding on the case back and crowns), but the difference is that the Tudors have off-the-shelf movements while the Rolex uses ‘in house’ movements. Today, Tudor has become a force on its own, releasing in-house movements, and becoming a coveted manufacture. Many aficionados will say that Tudor today is what Rolex was 40 years ago building watches that are no-nonsense tools, meant to be worn.

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