June 20, 20249 min Read

Mårten and the Rebel Who Wants to Break Free

By Niclas Berglund

The morning air is crisp, but the sun warms Biblioteksgatan in Stockholm. A man sweeps clean outside a store, a young couple stands and laughs further away. Suddenly, I’m in front of Nymans Ur 1851, the venerable kitchen store that has been around since 1851. I’m here to meet Mårten, who is a Tudor ambassador for the store. A meeting that will revolve around the watch brand Tudor, and what it represents today, about the joy of working with people and together finding the unexpected.

“Are you coming in to us?” I look up, the security guard smiles kindly.

He gestures for me to come in.

The hourglass-shaped store is inviting, and the blue carpeting creates a sense of calm. Soon, I hear Mårten’s voice.

– Hi, how nice to see you! Welcome. He extends his hand, and his smile is infectious.

I’m about to sit down at a table when he stops me.

– We can’t sit there today, Mårten says with a laugh.

I look at the table and read Audemars Piguet. That was a close call, I think to myself before we move on to a more suitable table for the day.

— I’m not quite sure how I ended up here, Mårten says with a smile.

He continues,

— I’ve never been a collector of watches, although I’ve always had a watch. I guess I’m more of a ‘one watch guy’. My first was a Citizen chronograph. I could spend hours playing with the feature. I’ve had a few watches over the years, but the absolute finest I’ve owned is the one I’m wearing today, says Mårten.

The watch on his wrist is something special; a Tudor, of course – a limited edition with a double-stamped dial, but more on that soon.

Mårten outside the Stockholm boutique, Nymans Ur 1851, located on Biblioteksgatan in the city center.

Mårten presents some of Tudor’s most sought-after models.

The Tudor Black Bay Chrono is a sought-after model by Tudor.

The Young Rebel Who Go Its Own Way

Mårten leaves to fetch some of Tudor’s most popular models. He shows me the Tudor Black Bay Chrono, Pelagos 39 in titanium, and Black Bay Pro, the latter reminding me of Rolex’s iconic model reference: 1655. Can one make that comparison today, Rolex and Tudor? I wonder, as Mårten expertly polishes the watches clean of something I can’t make out, then neatly lays them out in front of me.

– Yes, you can, but Tudor is today a brand that increasingly breaks away from its “big brother” Rolex. I see Tudor as the young rebel who goes its own way and plays more with its models than Rolex does, making it much more exciting. It’s also a brand that to a greater extent can listen to the audience’s wishes, says Mårten.

I ask him about the shadow that has long been cast over the brand and the old myth “if you can’t afford a Rolex, you buy a Tudor.” The brand has long had the arrogant nickname “a poor man’s Rolex.”

– That’s an outdated expression. Today, we have many customers who choose Tudor over a Rolex, even though Rolex will always be a step up in the luxury segment. Tudor should be the one challenging in different materials and design languages. The audience sees this today, and with that, the brand’s popularity has also increased significantly in recent years, explains Mårten.

The interest in watches has skyrocketed in recent years. It’s not just Tudor that has models with several years’ waiting lists. This becomes evident when walking on Biblioteksgatan in Stockholm – no fewer than five watch stores are housed within just a couple of hundred meters today. If one includes watch stores in the entire Stockholm City, the number is even higher. The increased interest in watches has also created a secondary market, where many see an opportunity to make a quick deal by buying a watch only to sell it at a higher price shortly thereafter.

– This is difficult to manage. All the watches in front of us today have a waiting list. We prefer that you have purchased a watch from us before we give access to some of the more sought-after models. It’s simply because we want to see that you are genuine and not looking to make a quick profit. We want the watches to be appreciated for what they are – a fine watch that one loves and values. Not something to make money on. We saw a significant increase during the pandemic, and I think many started speculating in watches then, just as on the stock market. Then, we at Nymans Ur 1851 are aware that unforeseen events in life can occur, making you need to sell your watch. In such a situation, the best thing you can do is come back to us so we can buy the watch back through our Pre Owned program. In this way, we build a good relationship together, and we hope that one day you will return to us.

Mårten, accompanied by his colleague, stands by the coffee machine inside the store, sharing a moment of camaraderie.

The store on Biblioteksgatan in central Stockholm quickly fills with customers.

Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue Dial: Where the ocean’s depths meet timeless craftsmanship.

Together Finding a Dream Watch

Mårten has been an ambassador for Tudor at Nymans Ur 1851 since 2021, and he explains that all employees in the store must be able to handle all the brands the store presents. Even though he, as an ambassador for Tudor, has overarching responsibility for the models in the store. He takes care of meetings with the manufacturer and ensures that the models that come into the store reach the right customer. But what lies closest to his heart is the meeting with people. 

– Getting to meet a customer and find the unexpected. The person might not be the classic watch enthusiast, and then to find a path forward to a dream watch together is something quite special. When I see genuine happiness because the customer has found what they were looking for, it’s unbeatable. People are fascinating, and I love that part of the job, says Mårten.

The coffee machine hums, and the scent of freshly ground beans spreads through the store. Mårten jokes with his colleague, who bursts out laughing. He continues to talk about the importance of meeting with customers while making coffee for us.

– When I see a customer come through the door, I never know what they’re going to ask for. I sometimes think I know what kind of customer I have in front of me, but I’m always surprised. It’s so much fun.

Our coffee is ready, and we go back to our table when Mårten suddenly says he has something for me and disappears.

To the left, Black Bay 58 from 2018 – to the right, “Big Crown” ref: 7924 from 1958. Photo: Unknown

Discover the sea’s allure with the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue Dial, your perfect diving companion.

A Turning Point for the Brand

Tudor was founded by Hans Wilsdorf (the founder of Rolex) in 1926. However, it would not be until 1946 that the first watches were introduced. His ambition at the time was to create a watch brand that resembled Rolex but was more accessible at a lower price to reach a wider audience. Yet, Hans Wilsdorf wanted to maintain the high level of quality for which Rolex was known.

In 1952, the Tudor Oyster Prince was released. The watch was packaged in a Rolex Oyster case with an automatic movement. This watch paved the way for Tudor watches to offer the customer something more than just the time on the watch, with an extra feature, like a bezel that could help you keep track of how long you had been underwater when diving. A few years later, in 1958, Tudor launched the classic dive watch Tudor Oyster Submariner “Big Crown” reference: 7924. This iconic model plays a significant role in Tudor’s success today. The release of the Black Bay Fifty Eight (58) model in 2018 was a resounding success. Since then, the Black Bay 58 has been released in several different versions. But the model with the clearest vintage aura around it is the black version, which is a tribute to Tudor’s “Big Crown” from 1958. Today, Tudor is strongly associated with its Black Bay line.

Tudor Black Bay 58 with double-stamped dial.

Elegance in every detail – the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue Dial combines sophistication with robustness.

Mårten walks along Biblioteksgatan in central Stockholm.

A Tribute to Nymans Ur 1851

Mårten comes back with a blue book under his arm, containing the history of Nymans Ur. He places it on the table and begins to flip through it when I suddenly see something in the book that I recognize. “Wait,” I exclaim. He pauses.

– Yes, exactly, that’s the logo of Nymans Ur from the first store in Västerås, explains Mårten.

I recognize the logo, but from somewhere completely different, and Mårten understands why I reacted to the logo and holds his watch towards me as he continues to talk about the model.

– Something happened when Tudor released its model Black Bay 58; I see it as a turning point for the brand. The model became a success and still is today. Many of our customers think the model is absolutely perfect in its execution. The case size is 39mm which for many provides a nice balance on the wrist. It has also come in several different materials and color options. The black one was the first released in 2018, and is still today the most popular option.

He himself wears a Black Bay 58, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s not a watch you see every day.

Tudor reached out to Nymans Ur 1851 to offer them a spot on the dial of the model Black Bay 41 with a blue bezel. They were offered what is known in the watch world as a double-stamped dial, which is highly sought after as it is seen as something unique and honorable. In this case, “Nymans” appears on the dial along with Tudor’s own logo.

– We were a bit lucky because the Black Bay 58 had just been discontinued as a new item by the manufacturer, which made it possible for us to come with a wish.

The watch store, which is active in Stockholm and Västerås, responded to Tudor with a wish; to have their logo on the Black Bay 58 model instead of the Back Bay 41. The response from Tudor came quickly. The rest is history, as they say. Nymans Ur’s logo takes place on a Back Bay 58 in blue, which was a natural choice considering the store is associated with the color blue.

Mårten takes off his watch and places it on the book next to the logo I just reacted to. Everything falls into place, only now do I see where the logo on the watch’s dial got its inspiration from. The logo we see at 6 o’clock is a tribute to the first Nymans Ur sign that was at the store in Västerås in 1851.

Limited to 51 pieces, and all the watches have the owner’s name engraved on the back.

Navigating the waves in style – Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue Dial blends marine inspiration with precision.

We were informed that everyone employed in the store had the opportunity to purchase this watch with this dial. Some of our most loyal customers were also offered the chance to buy the watch in this design, says Mårten.

He flips the watch over to show his name engraved on the back before he continues.

– It feels very special to have the chance to own something so unique. There were 51 made, and all the watches have the owner’s name engraved on the back, which for me is that little extra touch. All of us who’ve had the opportunity to buy this watch feel great joy, and this is a watch that will accompany me for the rest of my life ⏱

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🎥 See the trailer with the Tudor Black Bay 58