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Tudor Oyster Prince Rotor self winding
J. Auricoste
Dutch military Universal Geneve
Ulysse Nardin Royal Dutch Navy



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Last modified: 06 okt 2000




Tudor Oyster Prince Rotor self winding

Material Stainless steel
Winding Automatic, Full rotor
Functions Central seconds
Reference number/model 7909
Dial Off-white textured dial with applied markers and numerals for 12, 3, 6 and 9. Markers and numerals appear to be white gold or white gold filled. Dauphine hands with lumniescent inserts. Markers have luminescent inserts too.
Movement Rolex based movement
Case Stainless steel oyster case, screw on crown, screw back. Marked Montres Tudor S.A. on inside of case back. Case number 149073

(click on the images for a close-up)


This watch was purchased in 1996 from a friend who wanted to part with it. The most striking feature of this watch is the dial, which has a rather "Explorer" like appearance. The dial is a bit dirty, but cleaning might ruin the vintage looks of it.

The watch is an excellent time keeper which runs like the wind, so to speak. The rotor seems to be touching the inside of the case due to a loose baring, but it doesn’t affect the winding capabilities. This problem seems to be quite common on this movement.

selfwinding.jpg (4427 bytes)
Detail of the dial

Some questions remain about the movement. Visual comparison leads to the conclusion that it is a Rolex 1030 caliber. It was suggested to me that this movement was used in Tudors for a short time, until they switched to ETA calibers for their automatics.

tudor_movement.jpg (29820 bytes)

The reason for this was suggested to be the costs, but I am still looking for confirmation on this.

This watch was my first "Rolex", although it is not really a Rolex. I had a number of authentic Rolexes which all have changed owner, but this one is still with me, and probably will stay with me. This is one of my favorites. Although, swapping for an Explorer 6610 might be optional ;)

Ernst Hampel wrote the following about the Tudor movement 390 in his book "Automatic wristwatches from Switzerland", page 301:

Caliber Notes

The Rolex firm sold reasonably priced watches un-
der the brand name of "Tudor", using dependable raw
movements of Ebauches S.A., at first made by AS and later
by Eta, in its Oyster cases.
An exception was the "Rotor-Prince" Caliber 390
developed by Rolex around 1950 especially for the Tudor
brand. It was a rugged and rather high automatic move-
ment with a central rotor winding in both directions. Its com-
ponents were markedly similar to those of the contempo-
rary Rolex Caliber 1030, including the shape of the rotor,
the Maltese spring to stop the rotor, and the sprung discs of
the twin click wheels (those of the older Perpetual move-

Caliber 390
D = 28.5 mm (12.5 lignes), H = 6.25 mm, 17 jewels
AUTOMATIC MODULE screwed to the basic movement,
central rotor with heavy metal ring and sliding mount, wiJ1d-
ing in both directions via twin click wheels with sprung
discs, two reduction wheels on the locking wheel.

See the bookreviews for details about this book