Hybrid Royal Canadian Navy 94010 Tudor Submariner
For many years, Tudor hardcores had been noting Snowflake Subs with an odd combination of round hour markers, snowflake hands, and shield dials. They all seemed to emanate from Canada and often retired Royal Canadian Navy personnel. Scholars had known for many years that there were Tudor Submariners issued to the RCN, from the early days of the 7021 until the 79090. But what were these watches with snowflake hands and circular plots not seen anywhere else?
We didn’t know. That is, until a few years ago when scholar and gentleman Ross Povey of Tudor Collector dug up a vintage advertisement showing just this: a snowflake handset on a 94010 with circular plots and shield dial. It was previously assumed that the military had swapped the handsets to meet criteria standards. This was now confirmed as possible from Tudor originally. Interestingly, this happens to be the same layout as the modern Black Bay, and in many ways is the first iteration of that now foundational design.
RCN Milsubs are quite a tricky beast, as provenance plays a large role. ‘Proof’, if there is such a thing, is a little more difficult than MN watches or even Rolex Milsubs. They may appear with sterile casebacks as seen here, engraved with name and rank, engraved with the watch serial, or engraved with Navy stock numbers. All of the above iterations can be correct. These mismatched hand-dial Milsubs are known as ‘Hybrid’ RCN Subs. They all appear within a reasonably narrow serial range of 88XXXX- 89XXXX and most known examples have consecutive serial numbers. Hybrid RCN Milsubs represent one of the places in the watch world I most adore: where knowledge is incomplete but growing. So, until it’s complete, you can enjoy a damn attractive Milsub with what is perhaps the most important design Tudor ever stumbled on.
This example is worn hard, but beautifully so. The bezel is completely ghosted, somehow it still has its pearl. The case has a moderate level of surface wear throughout. The caseback is sterile. The dial is undamaged and all tritium is light cream in tone. This is a gorgeous state for a milsub, and one of the most interesting out there. It comes from a well-regarded California retailer.
Find this RCN Submariner here from Oliver & Clarke for 20500 USD.