Tudor Submariner “Lollipop” Non-Date

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DETAILS

This Tudor Submariner “Lollipop” reference 94010 with stunning blue dial and “Ghost” bezel is amongst the rarest of Tudor Submariners produced. Most of these non-date reference 94010s were made for the French Marine Nationale with only a small number ever sold commercially. This example was originally retailed by Bernard Mitchell Jewellers in the Isle of Wight and comes with the original purchase receipt showing the sale of the watch in 1990. It is also accompanied by its original box, guarantee paperwork and booklet which is rare to find with these watches.

The original blue dial is in excellent condition. The original tritium luminous on the dial and “Lollipop” hands are showing a nice patina. The Rolex Oyster 40mm stainless steel Submariner case remains unpolished and retains visible chamfered lugs. It features the original “Superdome” plexiglass and the original blue bezel insert that has nicely faded and referred to as a “Ghost bezel”. The watch houses the original ETA cal. 2484 movement signed Montres Tudor S.A. The movement is fully functioning and keeping excellent time.

The watch comes with its Rolex Tudor Oyster folded link bracelet ref. 9315 with 380 end links. The inner Rolex clasp is stamped G dating to circa 1982 however we believe the bracelet is original to the watch as Tudor were using the old style and old stock of Rolex 9315 bracelets. The bracelet is in very good condition with light scratches & wear.

The watch has been serviced by our Rolex authorised watchmaker and comes with a one year mechanical warranty.

Overall, this is a great original example of one the rarest Tudor Submariner’s.

BRAND

Tudor

MODEL

Submariner "Lollipop" Non-Date

REFERENCE

94010

YEAR

1990

MATERIAL

Stainless Steel

MOVEMENT

Automatic Calibre 2484

CASE DIAMETER

40mm

BRACELET/STRAP

Original 9315 Rolex Tudor Bracelet

CONDITION

Excellent (Not Polished)

STORY BEHIND

Tudor’s Origin 

Founded in 1926, Tudor began life as a passion project of Hans Wilsdorf, one of the co-founders of Rolex. While Rolex had begun to grow in desirability, prestige and price, it began to bother Wilsdorf that his watches were becoming inaccessible. To alleviate this problem, he devised a solution. By creating a sister brand that could pair Rolex externals with off-the-shelf internals, Wilsdorf created what was effectively a Rolex but with a more affordable price. With this mission to produce watches for the everyday man, Tudor continued to grow alongside Rolex and offer watches closely linked to Rolex’s offering.

Following the adoption of Rolex’s Oyster case and automatic movements during the ’40s, Tudor began to venture into tool watch territory. With the Oyster Prince’s success, Tudor’s version of the Oyster Perpetual, Tudor began to work with the French Navy on creating a dive watch. The French Navy would use the watches Tudor made and provide reports on what could be changed about the design to hopefully lead to the perfect dive watch.

The Submariner’s History

Eventually, in 1954, that perfect dive watch materialised and became the Tudor Submariner. Debuting just a year after the iconic Rolex Submariner, the Tudor Prince Submariner shares an incredible array of similarities to the Rolex Submariner. While Rolex originally ran three references from the get-go, Tudor only released one, the ref. 7922. While just as physically robust and aesthetically similar, the ref. 7922 was set out as the more affordable thanks to its third-party movement, the Fleurier cal. 390.

Following on from the ref. 7922, the ref. 7923 and ref. 7924 came into the market with slightly updated aesthetics and some functional changes. For example, the ref. 7923 featured a manual-wind movement, while the ref. 7924 featured 200m of water resistance. Rounding off the first generation of Tudor Submariners, we have what is often described as the most iconic vintage reference, the ref. 7928. With its larger case size, 39mm versus the previous 37mm, and discounted price tag, the ref. 7928 became an incredibly popular watch even though it lacked a chronometer rating. From there, the Tudor Submariner continued to evolve as an offering all the way up until it was discontinued in 1999. Now existing as a snapshot of what Tudor once was, the Submariner’s design continues to control the dive watch market thanks to its sheer popularity amongst collectors.

Design and Aesthetic

Sharing a design language with a watch like the Rolex Submariner can’t be easy. It’s a bit like playing on the same football team as your uber-talented older brother, but that didn’t stop Tudor from evolving the Submariner as its own design. Ranging from things like a blue dial and bezel option, square lume plot options and snowflake hands, Tudor wasn’t afraid to push the boat out.

With that said, the Submariner’s overall design language is perhaps the most iconic of any timepiece. With its waterproof oyster case, three-piece oyster bracelet, and uni-directional anodised aluminium count-up bezel, the Submariner’s beloved design is beautiful while also providing aesthetic confirmation of the timepiece’s practical functions. A dive watch designed like an authentic dive watch, the Submariner does not hide behind fanciful flourishes. Hard-wearing as it was intended, the Submariner has a rugged design whose iconic status speaks to just how much wearers clicked with it over the last six decades.

Place in the market

With hyper-standardisation occurring across today’s brands, neo-vintage timepieces are experiencing an increase in their popularity as collectors seek the romanticism of when watches were tools and not just the streamlined luxury products they have become. Carrying these neo-vintage aesthetic and design cues in abundance, vintage Submariners have been at the forefront of that current market trend.

However, beyond their aestheticism, vintage Submariners like our example have also become sought-after thanks to their modern counterpart becoming as popular as it has. The Tudor Black Bay, a Submariner-inspired dive watch that Tudor offers, has become their most popular model and has sent collectors scrambling for the real thing. In fact, the Black Bay collection was one of their first collections that Tudor was relaunched in 2012 with, underpinning it and the Submariner’s importance to Tudor.

Occupying a unique position in the market, the ref. 79090 satisfies the desire for a neo-vintage timepiece while also satisfying the urge for the ‘original’ Black Bay and even the desire for a somewhat modern timepiece that harks back to Tudor’s roots as a utilitarian watch brand with nothing to prove.