7016/0 Tudor Submariner
In the 70s and 80s, the Tudor Sub went through way, way more evolution than Rolex’s. Tudor couldn’t decide on a formula: snowflake hands or mercedes, square plots or round, shield logo or rose, PCG or SCG or NCG? This is all not even to mention the RCNs or Marine Nationales amongst other military configurations. No, early Tudor Subs are as indecisive as a nun in the trolley problem. Like the trolley problem or any philosophical quandry, early Tudor Subs are all about nuance. But some are a little more nuanced than others. Today, when I hear some people saying there’s nothing left to discover in watches, I disagree. Maybe not a discovery, but finding out why this exact 7016 is special requires some legwork that feels like it.
The 7016, or 7016/0 here, was the successor to the 7928 and first time an ETA movement made an appearance. But to muddle the waters, there were five different dial variants over its lifetime: rose, maxi rose, shield with circular plots, black snowflake, and blue snowflake. This shield dial was the first time we ever saw the Tudor Shield, but this dial was only produced for around one year near 1970, as the snowflake 7016/0 soon followed. See what I mean about indecisive? This shield dial is pretty scarce by production volume, features maxi-style plots and even a lollipop seconds hand, yet isn’t snowflake money because it isn’t as recognizable. Still under 10K. Try finding a snowflake under 10K and it will end in tears these days.
Without this Sub, there is no Black Bay. There is no Pelagos. There is no modern Tudor as we know it. While all the design iterations are bit bewildering, they each stumbled across elements which would find their way back home in Tudor design later on. That said, nothing modern is ever going to have the allure this one does; cream tritium perfectly matched, a gunmetal blue ghosted bezel, and coronet on crown with a Rolex signed back. This shield dial 7016/0 is something of an unsung hero today, because it takes a few hours reading @tudorcollector, @bazamu, or @vintage.robi’s thoughts to know just what this is and why it matters. My favorite sort of watch; vintage is greater effort, greater risk, and to my sensibility often greater reward.
This is one of the best examples I’ve seen in some time. The dial is undamaged, with great tritium tone and none fallen through. It’s a T Swiss T as opposed to earlier Swiss only. The bezel is a gem, with pearl even. The case is full, proud bevels. It comes from a well-regarded German retailer.