1969, Tudor introduced the famous snowflake hand, which was originally aimed to bring functional upgrades to navy divers, but it finally helped Tudor out of Rolex’s shadow and became a world-renowned watchmaking brand that is equally popular, but more affordable than Rolex watches.
Although watch enthusiasts have different opinions on this design, after 50 years of baptism, the Tudor snowflake hand has become a signature feature of the brand’s sports timepieces and has gained many loyal fans.
The first generation of the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner watch was born in 1954, one year after the launch of the Submariner by the sister brand Rolex. The main difference between the Tudor Ref.7922 and the Rolex Submariner is that the former is equipped with an ETA movement, but the two models have many similarities, including the case design, screw-in crown, black diving bezel, and Mercedes. pointer.
In 1969, the second-generation TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner entered the stage of history.
The new watch features unusual snowflake hands and square hour markers and is available to consumers in two models: Ref. 7016 which only displays the time and Ref. 7021 which additionally displays the date. This is the first step towards a completely new design for Tudor.
The new dial design not only distinguishes Tudor from Rolex but also brings functional upgrades to diving users. Although TUDOR officially claims that the brand’s largest customer, the Marine Nationale, has only selected existing models from the product catalog, many collectors speculate that the French Navy has worked more closely with TUDOR to help develop unique Dial design.
The resulting angular hands and square hour markers can help divers to distinguish more quickly. At the same time, the hands and time scales expand the surface area and coat more fluorescent materials, so they can provide better readability in dark environments.
Until the mid-2000s, the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner watch has been widely used by French Navy divers. We can also see it on the wrists of navy divers in the United States, Canada, and Italy.
Because it looks like a partial snowflake, collectors in the 1990s gave the pointer a nickname of”snowflake needle”. Later, the name was officially adopted by Tudor watches and is still in use today.
The advent of the Oyster Prince Submariner watch with snowflake hands represents an important step for Tudor as an independent brand. With the release of the new watch, Tudor’s unique pointer and hour indexes, and the new shield logo (replacing the original rose logo) debut. All these design differences bring a new identity to the brand and also mark the true separation of Tudor and Rolex.
Just as Mercedes’s hands are the hallmark of Rolex diving watches, the snowflake hands are also the most recognizable design feature of Tudor watches. Today, the snowflake hands are loved by collectors, and the unique pointer and hour marker design have also been inherited and carried forward by the Pelagos and Black Bay collections.