the submariners: military divers’ watches
There is no better proof of quality for a tool intended for professionals than its adoption by organisations whose main activities push the use of the item to its ultimate limits. Acclaimed throughout their long history by the Marine nationale française (MN), the US Navy (USN) and other important military organisations throughout the world, which used them to equip their elite personnel, TUDOR Submariners thus extended their reputation for quality and robustness.
The TUDOR divers’ watches delivered to these military organisations were neither custom-designed nor specially developed. They were just references listed in the catalogue, which these organisations chose. As a rule, their only distinction was an engraving on the screw-down case back. Thus for example the TUDOR Submariners used by the Marine nationale française bear the initials M.N. accompanied by the last two digits of the year in which they were delivered.
Since they were used intensely in extremely harsh conditions for many years, it is very rare that examples surviving to this day are in perfect condition. However, the relative rarity of these watches, their respective stories and the world of visions they evoke, make them a highly prized collection theme. Here are detailed descriptions of a non-exhaustive selection of TUDOR Submariners engaged in military roles.
The TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner shown here, reference 7928, with pointed crown guards, was produced in 1964. On its screw-down case back it bears the engravings of supplies belonging to the American navy (US Navy or USN) as well as a date. The inscriptions were displayed on three lines: U.S.N., ST-2/015, OCT.68.
This example shows a dial without a circle around the minute graduation, and with white inscriptions. Its case does not show the characteristic marks of having been mounted on a metal bracelet, suggesting that it was mounted only on flexible bracelets – as was often the situation of military TUDOR Submariners. The bracelet shown here was not produced by TUDOR.
“marine nationale” 9401
Marine nationale divers were known to have used parachute belts to make watch straps, as on the example of reference 9401 presented here, dating from 1977. The elasticity of this material made the watch comfortable to wear and allowed easy adjustment over a diving suit. The back of this watch bears the engraving M.N. 77. The bracelet shown here was not produced by TUDOR.
1981tudor oyster prince submariner
“left hand” 94010
The singular example of reference 94010 shown here and produced in 1981 was a special order placed by a left- handed officer-instructor within the Marine nationale. The particular arrangement of the crown of this watch did not have a different dedicated reference number. All the other characteristics for this reference remained unchanged. The bracelet shown here was not produced by TUDOR.