Tudor Submariner Models – Complete Reference List & Production Years

Tudor history

Tudor Submariner Models – Complete Reference List & Production Years

The Tudor Submariner is one of the most popular models that Tudor has ever made, loved by collectors and enthusiasts.

Tudor’s Submariner collection is closely rooted in its relationship with Rolex, for obvious reasons. In its founder Hans Wilsdorf’s own words:

“For some years now I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that could attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex is famous, I decided to form a separate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the Tudor Watch Company.”

The concept of Tudor was to manufacture watches using Rolex parts and then use off-the-shelf, outsourced movements to achieve a lower price. As a result of this, early Tudor watches were very similar to Rolex’s models. As a matter of fact, Tudor used the same model names as Rolex in some cases, hence the name “Submariner”, which is a model that is most synonymous with Rolex.

Tudor produced 3 key model lines within the Submariner family, namely “Submariner”, “Lady-Sub”, and “Mini-Sub”. According to Tudor’s own data, most of these watches, despite being obvious Submariners, are categorized into the “Prince” and “Prince Date” family which is rather interesting.

“In total, from 1969 to 1999, more than 20 different references with numerous variations, all retaining the principal Tudor Submariner characteristics, would be produced.”

The first Tudor Submariner

Tudor released the first Submariner in 1954. The first Tudor watch to be a part of the Submariner collection was the TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7922. The Tudor Submariner 7922 used Rolex parts and hence basically looks like a Rolex big-crown from the same era with only a few visual tweaks, most noteworthy the printing on the dial. 

Over the decades, Tudor revised, reiterated, redesigned, and upgraded the watches in the Submariner collection to “ever better meet the specific requirements of the many types of divers who were clients of the brand.” In 1958, a major improvement to the Tudor Submariner was made when Tudor released the 7924. This took the water resistance from 100m to 200m, making it a true diver’s watch.

In Tudor’s own words, “it was in the first half of the 1960s that the general lines and technical specifications that constituted the TUDOR Submariner were established.”

The only Tudor Submariner to feature a manual-wind movement is reference 7923. This model can be identified with a slimmer profile due to the elimination of the rotor, but also the text “SUBMARINER” and “SHOCK-RESISTING” on the dial. This model was powered by the manually-wound ETA Calibre 1182, beating at a frequency of 18,000 beats per hour.

Tudor Submariner crown guards

The early Tudor Submariners were so-called “big crowns”, meaning that they had no crown guards protecting the crown, just like on the Rolex counterpart. But in 1959, the first Tudor Submariner to feature crown guards was introduced. the purpose for this was of course that the crown guards protect the winding crown from shocks and bangs which may compromise the water resistance. The first version of the crown guard Submariner was reference 7928, featuring so-called “Square Crown Guards” due to their square shapes. As a result of the crown guards, the size of the crown was also reduced to 6mm.

The watch was powered by the self-winding Calibre 390, just like all the TUDOR Oyster Prince Submariners in the 7900 series.

The square crown guards were replaced by the “Ponted crown guards” in 1961, and because this change was relatively small, Tudor kept the reference 7928. Lastly, “It would find its ultimate line several years later, with a rounded shape that would not change until the last of the TUDOR Submariners”

This is why you can find reference 7928 both with square, pointy, and rounded crown guards. The rounded crown guards were introduced in 1964.

The second generation of the Tudor Submariner

In 1969, the second era of the Tudor Submariner history began an era that would last until 1999 which is the year that the Submariner would make its last appearance in the catalog.

For the second era of the Tudor Submariner, the Calibre 390 was replaced by ETA self-winding movements. The new generation would also introduce what is perhaps the most iconic element of Tudor watches ever made, namely the “Snowflake” hands which are characterized by dials with square hour markers and matching hands. The watch would remain in the catalog until 1981, and in 1976, Tudor also started to produce models with smaller case diameters specifically for women, namely the Lady Submariner and Mini-Sub.

Tudor started the new era of Submariners with two new references, 7016 and 7021. For the new era of Submariners, the rose logo on the dial was also replaced by the Tudor shield symbol, which is still used today. Instead of featuring domed crystals, Tudor also started to use flat crystals.

The key difference between the 7016 and 7021 was the fact that reference 7021 offered a calendar function at 3 o’clock with a Rolex-signature cyclops magnifying lens above the date window for easier reading. Naturally, the 7021 needed a new movement for the date function, which was the self-winding ETA caliber 2484.

Replacing the old reference

Tudor replaced the reference 7016 in 1975 with the reference 9401/0. The key upgrade was a higher-performance movement, which was the ETA calibre 2776. The new movement also introduced a stop-seconds function, allowing for more precise time-setting.

This new reference was available in four different versions with different combinations of dial and bezel. These included blue or black with “snowflakes” hands and hour markers and blue or black with characteristic Submariner hands and triangular and round hour markers. This means that Tudor produced the 9401/0 with either Tudor’s iconic snowflake hands or Rolex’s iconic “Mercedes” hands simultaneously.

Furthermore, Tudor also offered this reference with two different bracelets, either the Rolex Oyster reference 7836/0 with folded links and a classic folding clasp or the Rolex Oyster reference 9315/0 which is the same bracelet but with a “Fliplock” folding clasp and an extension link system.

According to Tudor, the brand replaced the 9401/0 with the reference 79090 in 1989. This is interesting because according to Rolex’s own internal documents, the 9401/0 is indicated as having been discontinued in 1980, so there is a discrepancy here.

The 79090 was available either in blue or black, with a matching bezel. This model had Mercedes-style hands and Tudor’s shield logo at 1 o’clock. Furthermore, the hour markers were no longer rectangular at 6 and 9 o’clock, but instead triangular.

Tudor presented the reference 79190 in 1995. This is the last Tudor Submariner reference to ever be produced. This reference was launched with a number of new changes and improvements, most notably a sapphire crystal with a Cyclops lens. The reference was available in blue or black versions. The bracelet was a three-link Oyster-type with the TUDOR logo. The 39 mm case diameter remained unchanged. 

Tudor Submariner models

  • Tudor Submariner 9401/0: 1975-1980 (1989 according to Tudor)
  • Tudor Submariner 94010: 1979-1986
  • Tudor Submariner 9091: 1975-1977
  • Tudor Submariner 79030: 1989-1994
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 94401: 1981-1986
  • Tudor Submariner 94400: 1979-1986
  • Tudor Submariner 9440/0: 1979-1980
  • Tudor Submariner 9411/0: 1973-1980
  • Tudor Submariner 79190A: 1996-1996
  • Tudor Submariner 79190: 1995-1996
  • Tudor Submariner 79190N: 1995-1996
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96090A: 1991-2001
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96090B: 1991-2001
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96090N: 1991-2001
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96190A: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96190B: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96190N: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96190R: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96190V: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Lady-Sub 96093: 1991-2001
  • Tudor Submariner 75190N: 1995-2001
  • Tudor Submariner 75190B: 1995-2001
  • Tudor Submariner 75190A: 1995-2001
  • Tudor Submariner 75090: 1989-1994
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 73290V: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 73290R: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 73290N: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 73290B: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 73290A: 1998-2000
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 79190N: 1995-2001
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 79190B: 1995-2001
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 79190A: 1995-2001
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 73091: 1981-1994
  • Tudor Mini-Sub 73090: 1989-1994
  • Tudor Submariner 79090: 1989
  • Tudor Submariner 7922: 1954
  • Tudor Submariner 7923: 1955
  • Tudor Submariner 7924: 1958
  • Tudor Submariner 7928: 1959-1968
  • Tudor Submariner 7016: 1969
  • Tudor Submariner 7021: 1969
  • Tudor Submariner 76100: 1979-1988
  • Tudor Submariner 90910: 1977-1977
  • Tudor Submariner 76000: 1987-1988

Cover photo courtesy of Tudor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *