Tudor Snowflakes

by Ross Povey - Dec 31 2017

We have always loved the king of Rolex and Tudor sports watches – the mighty Submariner. Gilt 5512s, Maki 5513s or the awesome Big Crowns; each has a special place in our hearts. The Tudor Subs have an additional twist, an extra element that takes that dna to the next level…the snowflake hands.

Navy Design

The origins story is now well established; the Tudors were developed in partnership with the French National Navy – the Marine Nationale. Following the Big Crown and the mercedes hand 7928 Subs, the divers requested a more legible dial and hands for dark diving conditions. Tudor’s response were the large square hour markers on the dial and the oversize hour and minute hands – the shape of which led to the nickname Snowflake.

With Or Without The Date

The first series began appearing around 1970 and were in the guise of non-date reference 7016 and a date model reference 7021. The 7021 was the first time that the date was introduced on a Tudor Submariner and it featured the iconic ‘roulette’ date wheel where even dates were in red and odd numbers in black. Eventually the references were updated to 9401 (non-date) and 94110 (date).

Black and Blue

Early black dials were prone to ‘dial rot’ or bubbling. This was down to one of two things – moisture ingress or a reaction of the plant mixture. Either way, Tudor responded by producing beautiful vibrant blue dials. These blue dials have become highly sought after by collectors, as a cool alternative to the black dials that were synonymous with the Submariner watches from both Rolex and Tudor. Early black dialed watches are, however, very sought after especially when in military watches.