Wrist Game or Crying Shame: Tudor Submariner 79090

Posted by LEXIN on

We return to Wrist Game or Crying Shame where you tell us if a watch is worthwhile or simply a wild waste of time.  This week we take a look at the last of the line for an older style of watch, the Tudor Submariner 79090.  But first…

We return to Wrist Game or Crying Shame where you tell us if a watch is worthwhile or simply a wild waste of time.  This week we take a look at the last of the line for an older style of watch, the Tudor Submariner 79090.  But first…


I complained wildly a couple weeks ago that you readers were a bunch of softies who were willing to throw your hard-earned virtual cash at just about anything I presented.  After all, all you were doing was committing to a mouse click and everyone is so nice when they’re anonymous on the internet, right?  Well, I threw a meatball right down the center of the plate with the Hublot MDM 1810.1 Chronograph and you hit it right out of the park into the nearest landfill.  The Hublot, at less than $4,500, got trounced in a 90% Crying Shame loss!  Perhaps the diamond bezel didn’t help things, but I thought it kept things jazzy and interesting.  Ah who am I kidding?  I wanted a bloodbath and I got it!  So let’s bring things back to reality.  Today, with the Tudor Submariner 79090, we go with the opposite of wild and I am genuinely curious if that will strike your fancy.

In 1954, the first Tudor Submariner – reference 7922 – was released as a lower cost option to the all in-house Rolex alternative.  This watch kicked off a line of Tudor Subs with acrylic crystals that ended with today’s Tudor Submariner 79090.  We’ll ultimately ask you what you think of such a watch.

I’ve spoken about the uncomfortable balance of opinion that surrounds vintage Tudor and watches like today’s Tudor Submariner 79090.  The proponents of these watches talk about their stout build quality and the fact that, despite using purchased movements, these watches are 99% as good as their far more costly Rolex counterparts.  Plus, there’s the fact that Tudor has always allowed for a touch more life in their designs – but only a touch.  With optional colors such as blue and hands in the shapes of lollipops and snowflakes, these watches are a veritable drunkfest in the otherwise staid world of Rolex!  Naysayers, on the other hand, speak about overpriced Rolex copies with pedestrian movements and the hipster premium attached to what some call a more “real” dive watch.  Do hipsters dive?  And that build quality?  Well, a good look at things like dial paint longevity might lead one to believe that the B-team went to work on these at the Singer factory or the work was done after a local bierfest.  But like most things old and toolish, time has lent favor to the proponents and these old Subs have risen in price mightily.  Depending on the variant, they even duke it out with a traditional Rolex for pricing superiority.  Craziness, I tell you!

As mentioned, the Tudor Submariner 79090 is the last of the line when it comes to acrylic crystal Subs.  It went out at the end of the decade along with what is unequivocally the best music of all time: the 1980’s.  But what’s better than a plastic lens?  How about a matte dial with painted tritium indices?  Check!  What about a steady-eddie ETA 2824-2?  That’s a check and maybe one that you can put aside when considering the good looks of one of these 79090’s.  Of course, the 79090 is adorned with some rather familiar Mercedes hands in lieu of the aforementioned sweets or winter-inspired ones.  But, if this were a Rolex with a matte dial, assume the position for a 5-figure pat-down…so, those Merc hands are looking pretty good now, aren’t they?

What we have for you today is a Tudor Submariner 79090 that was perhaps sold in 1990.  It’s for sale in the land of lederhosen, aka Munich, Germany for 5,850 Euros and can be seen on Chrono24.  It apparently comes with all of its kit – gotta love that Tudor burgundy box – and seems to be in nice shape.  I notice some lume cracking, but your watchmaker could apply some sealant on the undersides of the hands to help keep further deterioration at black bay.  But overall, doesn’t this look nice?  Of course it does because it looks like a Sub.  By the way,  this late edition seemingly switched away from a folded bracelet (Tudor switched far later than Rolex – they switched the Sub in 1975) and I count that as a bit of a demerit, but I prioritized a piece with a decently strong case over finding a piece with a folded bracelet.  Such is life!

The Tudor Submariner 79090 was once a “sub” $4,000 (or Euro) watch.  Those days are sadly long gone and I told myself many times to just buy one some 2-3-4 years ago.  And…I didn’t.  The question is whether or not you still think this Tudor Sub is one helles of a deal or not…(that’s some self-authored Munich humor for the uninitiated)  Let’s have your vote!


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