In the heady years of 2019, when things seemed hopeful and optimistic to make the halls at Basel world collectively rub their eyes in disbelief, but a watch that had more in common with a ship’s hull than it did a Swiss timepiece.
But this was no sudden brain fart at the studios of two designers. This new black baby zero one found its form in the pages of history, but are those pages as squeaky clean as to desist? They are so we can keep on making grape watch videos.
I’d, really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel, if you already are it really does help? Thank you. Through decades of mild evolution, we’ve, become extremely used to the form factor of the tea to divert helps in no small part by the success of its more expensive cousin.
The rolex submariner Tudors form factor has become as familiar to those who partake in risk warm timekeeping as the pale patch of skin. Their watches cover. In fact, the Submariner, in both its brand guises.
Is such a common image in the community that I’d, wager that most could have a pretty good crack at drawing it from memory? So imagine the horror when Tudor comes along and plunks the p01 down in front of everyone with its let’s, say challenging, looks and these looks are not without reason.
The P afterall stands for prototype and that’s. Exactly what to DES says, the p01 is based on a US Navy. Prototype built in 1967 thing is Navy, prototypes, aren’t exactly abounding, with public information being secret, military projects and all, and so the story that goes with it is fairly thin on the ground.
This is all you get. There was a patent in 1968 for the bezel locking mechanism leading to four prototypes in total, two went to the US Navy. Two were kept by Tudor. The project went no further and nothing more was ever said about it.
There was nothing more to be said about it. Presumably the US Navy decided against the watch after all and went with something else. These things happen just take a look at the Rolex Cosma graph and the attempt to get it to the moon, but that’s, not the end of the story, because in 2004 a near identical, wash surfaced with this time it was branded Rolex.
What made matters even more confusing is that Rolex flatly denied all knowledge of the watch whatsoever that this and the Tudor can both exist and be so similar is weird to say the least. It can be understood that Rolex wants to keep military clientele business under wraps, but half a century later very odd.
Tudor don’t seem to mind and being part of the same company as Rolex Rolex, but clearly they do. What this raises is the question of the Rolexes provenance: it exists so who made it and the Tudor prototype that exists as well and looks mighty similar to the Rolex.
So how did that come about? The only difference is that the Rolex appeared on the private market and the Tudor is nestled safely in Tudors archives, where it has been waiting to see the light of day once again, what’s really unusual is that, although it matches the questionable Rolex Prototype in almost every way in the details is quite different.
The lokes on the Tudor are thicker. The bracelet narrower the crown guard. Doesn’t, extend as far around the case. They’re, clearly inspired by the same ethos, but the execution is different in almost every detail.
So what does that mean for this new p01? Well, it’s. Definitely real! That’s for sure, but I think it will always have a loch ness monster vibe about it. Thanks to the mystery, if it’s passed, it sure is a great story.
This wild and wacky beast emerging from a soup of confusion and controversy, and I can imagine for many people that will only heighten the interest in it. So let’s, see if we can understand what the p01 is all about.
Exploring the p01 very quickly begins to unravel how strange a watch it is and only goes to raise more questions as to the purpose of the original prototype. We’ll start with the main feature: the bezel locking mechanism it’s, a complex hinged device that bites down into the exposed teeth of the bezel itself, which double as grips for, turning it and requires leaving open in order to activate It’s, not the most complex, locking bezel of the period.
Don ‘ T forget that this was the same era as the Omega play off a hideously over-engineered watch that took too long to make and cost too much to buy. That has a bezel held in place with a mechanism that needed a button press and hold to unlock, although that was a much more elegant solution than the Tudors thing.
Is the military doesn’t like complex? It ones simple, robust easy to fix in the field all this newfangled doodad er II only runs the risk of being more likely to break, so that makes the bezel locking system a very unusual approach to the design very over-the-top by Rolex and Tudors usual standards of Keeping things simple and strangest of all, it was built alongside a successful design that was already approved for use by the same US Navy, the rolex sea-dweller.
Perhaps Tudor was taking a similar approach to Omega and the play broth going completely overboard in the hope that it could cover itself off in the future. But the strangeness is only just getting started because the bezel itself isn’t without its fair share of confusion.
You don’t have to be a diver to know that the point of a dive bezel is to count the minutes for decompression stops dive time, etc. But this bezel isn’t in minutes it’s in hours. I can’t for the life of me think why the US Navy would need a dive watch with hours on the bezel.
Instead of minutes, I get why the bezel locks, so you can’t remove it by accident, but why would it bezel with ours need locking? I just don’t know. Then there’s, the crown it’s, lowered down around 4 o’clock, not unusual in itself, but certainly unusual for a Rolex Group product.
It could be argued that it’s a bit more protected down there, but the crown guards do a good job, no matter where it is so, it seems like a lot of work just for that, perhaps in making the tooling for the new locking Bezel, the buds that Tudor thought they might as well change everything else, while they have the chance it’s.
Just such a strange watch and the more time I spend with it the more questions I have. What was the brief? Did you to go? It cold and hope the US Navy would like it between them and Rolex. They already had a good enough relationship with the US military to not need to make this watch from scratch without speaking to them.
First or maybe the US Navy did ask for it and they only needed a couple for something massively secret and experimental, something that needed our markers and not minutes. It all plays in very nicely to the military, secrecy and tension of the 1960s.
And even if the story is all a load of hooey, the fact that Tudor has taken a chance with it only demonstrates why credit cards get waved in the direction of this brand. More and more, can you think of a better conversation starter than one of these? It’s, not sleek.
It’s, not elegant, but come hell or high water. This thing is unique. The way it looks the way it works, even the way it came to be, is so rich with rumor and intrigue that it has to make the p01 one of the most interesting watches to have come out of any major brand in long time.
There are people out there who think it will be the end of tinder. I think it’s. Just the beginning, discover more exceptional watches at watch finder. Thank you so much for watching this video. If you enjoyed it, please do consider giving it a like and subscribing to the channel.
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