The 34mm Tudor Royal With “Cheese” Shines On This Monday’s Breakfast Menu
“Do you know what they call a sporty, chic, steel Tudor with yellow gold accents in Switzerland? No. What do they call it? A Royal with ‘cheese.’” If you’ve ever watched Quentin Tarantino’s legendary movie Pulp Fiction, you will get this loose paraphrase of a famous dialog between Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega. Need me to refresh your memory? The scene in the car in which Vincent, who had to lie low in Holland and France, told his partner in crime Jules about the peculiarities of the European countries with the metric system after returning to the job in LA. Anyway, I got my hands on the latest 34mm Tudor Royal with its 18ct yellow gold bezel that looks as tasty as Gouda cheese and sank my teeth right into it.
The Tudor Oyster Royal was first “served” in the 1950s. The current Royal collection is an entirely new “recipe,” though. And when I say new, I mean a combination of well-established “flavors” that are very much to the taste of current watch buyers. I’m, of course, talking about retro flavors. The watches in the new Royal collection, which debuted in 2020, look like they originated in the 1970s. The engine-turned bezel, for instance, and the case shape immediately bring the Rolex Oysterquartz to mind. The classic luxury sports watch is all the hype these days, and the Royal with its 5-link integrated bracelet with a folding clasp and a safety catch, ticks every box.
The bi-color 34mm Tudor Royal with a new chocolate brown dial
The newest iteration of the Royal is the two-tone model. The combination of steel and yellow gold is not new; the chocolate brown dial is, however. And in brown and bi-color, the Royal looks more “Rolex” than ever before. It’s the mix of materials and colors, but also the presence of applied Roman numerals, that shine under the sapphire crystal. But don’t let the watch’s classic character mislead you; it’s still water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters.
“Would you like to supersize your Royal?”
Remember when the staff at McDonald’s asked you if you would like to supersize your menu? They don’t anymore because the menu option didn’t make them enough money – not because the fast food chain wanted to fight obesity. But you can supersize your Tudor Royal if you want. The collection consists of the 28, 34, and 38mm time-and-date versions, and the biggest one you can pick is the 41mm Day-Date. The Royal on my wrist is the 34mm (M28403-0008) snack-size version. It may wear like a snack, but it feels and wears like a large starter that can even double as a healthy main course. The watch wears like a 36mm timepiece, and that’s because of the proportions, colors, materials, and design.
It must be the 18ct yellow gold, notched bezel, the small steel bracelet links, capped with 0.2mm of yellow gold, and the screwed crown with a 0.1mm yellow gold cap that makes this watch look bigger than it is. And also, the polished and brushed surfaces play a part in the optical illusion. But the main reason might very well be the special Rolex magic— to me, Tudor was, is, and forever will be, a Rolex in disguise—that makes this watch feel, and wear bigger than it actually is. Maybe it’s something that happens in the brain when it processes something so familiar it is tricked into believing this watch is larger, more prestigious, more lust-worthy than it factually is. Especially when caught at a glance, the Royal in steel and gold with brown is a charismatic, attention-grabbing creation.
Other ingredients of the Royal
Inside the 34mm Royal, beats the automatic caliber T601, a Sellita base movement with a power reserve of 38 hours. Now that’s a bit “undercooked,” wouldn’t you say? Power reserves of 70–80 hours are more the norm than the exception nowadays. Maybe the Royal will get an upgrade in the near future to a Kenissi movement, but maybe that’s not a priority. The Black Bay and Pelagos watches are those on the wish list of watch fans and collectors. The Royal is a relatively affordable, all-round luxury watch aimed at people who want the looks and the quality, but don’t want to pay a premium price.
Tudor calls the Royal “the epitome of versatile, affordable, sporty-chic elegance.” The price you pay for that all-around beauty and functionality is €3,500. Is that worth the “cheddar”? Well, you get five years of warranty, the build quality is fabulous, and the styling won’t grow old anytime soon.
A Tudor to buy or to inherit?
All the time during which I wore the 34mm Royal, I liked what I saw when my eyes fell on the watch on my wrist. The bi-color looks are slightly campy, but when paired with soberly styled attire, it shines with surprising subtlety. For my wrist, the 38mm is too much. And the 41mm Day-Date version is well, like the watch equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet you have to finish all by yourself.
I never thought I would ever ask myself the question if I would consider buying a Tudor Royal. Well, that day has come. And to my grand surprise, I loved wearing the 34mm Royal with its yellow gold details and dark brown dial. It has a particular grandpa chic style that spoke to me. And maybe it’s because of that particular style—a bit boring and old-fashioned, but timeless and rich at the same time—that I see the Tudor Royal as a watch I would like to inherit, not buy for myself. This particular Tudor looks like it has been on the wrist of your favorite grandpa, the one who gave you candy when your mum wasn’t looking. The one who told you cool stories. The one who wore brogues, corduroy, and always the same light blue button-down shirt and a vest in the winter.
Maybe I should buy this Royal once my son becomes a dad and start dressing in appropriate granddad clothes to make this thought come true. What are your thoughts on the bi-color Tudor Royal? Is it just a quick, bite-size snack for the road, or is this watch a possible future heirloom?
More information about the Royale can be found on the official Tudor website.