We are delighted to welcome a particularly rarefied Tudor Monarch wristwatch, highly suited to those with a penchant for the culturally rich and historically fascinating tradition of Chinese astrology. In the Tudor Monarch #38080, we discover not only a fine stainless-steel wristwatch from Rolex’s sister company but a timepiece that features a seldom-seen Shi Chen bezel depicting the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals.
A Swiss Watch Manufacturer Of Distinction
The luxury Swiss watch brand Tudor was first conceptualized as a sister to Rolex by Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex founder, in 1926. While Rolex drove at the helm among luxury and aspirational watch brands, Tudor was to cut a slightly different course—creating a more affordable selection of wristwatches that still aligned with the infamous quality associated with the Rolex name. Tudor was to become celebrated for its cultivated specialty in tool watches, favored among divers, military personnel, and submariners.
Over the years, innovations would cross over between the older and younger sibling brands, such as the waterproof Oyster case previously exclusive to Rolex in the 1940s and Rolex’s proprietary self-winding rotor in 1952. Both features were enjoyed and issues by the French and US navies, in the form of the Tudor Oyster Prince wristwatch in the 1950s and 60s. In the 1970s, Tudor released its first Chronograph in the Oysterdate. The Tudor Chronographs were nicknamed “Home Plate,” bearing reference 7031. In 1991, the Tudor Monarch collection was first introduced. Today, the brand enjoys a variety of celebrity ambassadors, including Lady Gaga and David Beckham!
Cycles In Time: The Chinese Zodiac
What do the animals of the Tudor Monarch #38080 signify? The ancient Zodiac found within Chinese astrology denotes a twelve-year cycle—correlated with the elliptical cycle of the planet Jupiter. An animal is assigned to each year, and those born within the year are thought to possess specific characteristics associated with the animal in question. Those who subscribe to the Chinese Zodiac interpret connections between the path of any given individual, and their relationship with the cycle itself—at its present stage, and in terms of their birth year.
At first glance, this may seem overly simple, however incredible intricacies unfold when we realize that people are assigned “inner animals” in accordance with their birth month, “true animals” in accordance with their birthday, and “secret animals” in accordance with their birth hour. Complex layers of traits build between each of the animals, defining any given Zodiac sign. To live in conflict with those traits is known as “Tai Sui,” which also describes the stars that can be found directly opposite Jupiter in its orbital cycles.
A Divine Origin Story
Those already enchanted with the Chinese Zodiac may not be aware of its unique mythology. A venerable Chinese tale describes the roots of the Chinese Zodiac as being within a great race, overseen by the Jade Emperor. This deity is one of the representations of the first God among Chinese traditional religions. The Jade Emperor decreed that several animals must race to reach him, crossing a river as they did so and that the order in which they arrived would seal their places within the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The Ox could easily cross the river; however, the Rat tricked the Ox into carrying him and jumped nimbly to the bank to secure the first spot. The dragon came only in fifth place because he went to the aid of a drought-stricken village, bringing rain to its people. And so, a whimsical tale of destiny manifests as each of the animals arrives, forming the Chinese Zodiac cleverly displayed on the Tudor Monarch #38080.
Tudor Monarch 38080 – A Rare Find From The Shi Chen Collection
Among the Monarch collections, an exceptionally small number were released to the Asian market, circa the 2000s, in the form of the Shi Chen Collection. In the Tudor Monarch Ref #38080, horological enthusiasts can take pleasure in a Chinese Zodiac bezel bearing miniature representations of the 12 animals of the Zodiac. The Tudor Monarch timepiece features a Silver Tudor Geneve Monarch dial with luminous baton hour markers and a date window at the 3 o’clock. In addition, it boasts a quick set date, sapphire crystal, and a Tudor screw-down crown. This wristwatch is Swiss-made, with an automatic self-winding movement, and comes on a stainless-steel Tudor Jubilee bracelet.
Visit Tudor’s site to learn more about their current models. If you enjoyed reading about the rare, special edition Tudor Monarch watch Ref #38080 with the Chinese Zodiac animal bezel, check out the Endless Appeal of Romain Jerome.