During my visit, I happened to have the opportunity to sit down with Tudor’s head of design, Ander Ugarte, to talk about the development of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay, a sports watch whose very creation was an exercise in extracting and synthesizing the defining features of various successful vintage Tudor dive models.
While the parts that comprise Tudor’s current selection of in-house movements are manufactured offsite at a Tudor-owned facility several miles from the Geneva headquarters, a great many operations, including R&D, assembly, and quality control take place right in the heart of Geneva.
As a sister brand of replica Rolex, the fake Tudor unsurprisingly has one of the most impressive approaches to supply-chain management that I have seen in a Swiss watch factory. As I mentioned earlier, since 2015 Tudor has made its own movements for several of its watches. Here, you can see Tudor’s in-house MT5602 movement being fitted with Tudor’s own escapement, which is equipped with a silicon spring.
Along the way, the dial and other parts are inspected for quality. Quality control is, in this way, built into the manufacturing process. If there happened to be an issue with the particular dial seen above, then the technician would be obliged to have the example sent back to the department that had forwarded it on to him.
The machine shown below is used to find the accurate midnight position on watches with a date function before fitting the hands. It turns the crown until the date jumps. The noise of the date jump stops the revolution of the crown, and the machine comes back slowly to the exact midnight position. The hands are fitted in the midnight position by another machine after that. This process permits the Tudor to fit the hands as precisely as possible.
Next a technician performs a manual check of the hands that our hosts called “control the mark.” So as to make it, the crown is turned to bring both hands up to the twelve o’clock position. However, the movement is fitted into the case and secured on the perimeter of the movement with some screws.
I’ve toured a lot of assembly facilities in the course of my years writing about the famous best replica watches, and the fake Tudor’s struck me as one that was remarkably well-suited to the mission it carries out. The operations performed by Tudor depend on both technology and the human eye to make sure that its famously reliable watches will remain so, all while keeping prices in line with Tudor’s younger clientele.