Ross Talks

Three ’72 Cotton Bowl Tudors

Three of a kind. Today we share three Tudor Cotton Bowl Classic winners' watches from 1972...

1972 was an important year for Tudor fans, as it was this year that the Cotton Bowl Classic winners received Tudor watches after five years of the winners being awarded Rolex pieces. In 1972 the winning side were awarded Tudor Oysterdate Prince watches with the reference number 7996/0.

These 34mm automatic Oyster watches featured a roulette date wheel (with red even numbers and the odd numbers in black) and the players and coaches had their name engraved on the case back. The watches each had a C&I rivet bracelet fitted. A few years ago I wrote about a cool Cotton Bowl watch over at Bulang and Sons, you can read about it here. Today I can share another two watches from the same year…

An original 1972 Cotton Bowl watch with an original ticket from the Cotton Bowl Classic in 1972.

The Classic

The Cotton Bowl is a stadium based in Dallas in the USA that, during the 1960s, was the home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cotton Bowl was built in 1930 at the site of the State Fair of Texas, one of the states key annual events since 1886. The stadium is used, still to this day for both college football games and rock concerts and was actually one of the venues for the FIFA World Cup in 1994. Its heritage is, however, in American Football and as well as the Dallas Cowboys, the stadium also was home to the Dallas Texans and the SMU Mustangs. One of the biggest events to take place there is the Cotton Bowl Classic.

The Classic was an annual American Football that ran between 1937 and 2009 and pitched two of the best performing college sides from across the US. Usually the winner of the Southwest Conference would play another major college team from another national league. Its key to note here, especially for non-American Football fans, that college games are major events. The average attendance at these games is 70,000; this is no minor event. The capacity is the same as a Manchester United game at Old Trafford!


Jim Scott's Winner's Watch next to his picture from the 1972 programme

Frank William's Tudor 7996/0 Winner's Watch next to his picture

1972 Cotton Bowl Classic

A lot of football ‘bowl’ games award rings to the winners, but the Cotton Bowl Classic was special in that the winners received a watch. The 1972 game was a big game, with 72,000 attendees, between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Texas Longhorns. Texas were winning 6-3 at half time, but in the second half Penn State scored 27 points and romped home to a convincing victory winning 30-6! Above are two of the Penn State team Tudors awarded after the game.

A 1972 Cotton Bowl Tudor with match day programme

Two Great American Sports Collide

John William Bach was the head coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions basketball club and he also got a ’72 Cotton Bowl Tudor with his initials on the case back. I presume he was given the watch as he was the Head Coach of the college’s sibling team. Bach among other things was former player of the Boston Celtics (48-49) and a three-time NBA champion as an assistant coach with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls (91-93).

A Tudor 7966/0 '72 Cotton Bowl watch belonging to John William Bach, coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions Basket basketball team

John William Bach's Cotton Bowl '72 Tudor case back engraving

Johnny Bach (far right) with Chicago Bulls Head Coach Phil Jackson (centre)

Photo Chicago Tribune

Cotton Collectors

The Cotton Bowl watches make a great collecting theme due to the different models and references that were awarded each year. I would love to share all you examples in a dedicated section over in The Collection, so please get in touch and share your watches!

An epic collage of Rolex and Tudor Cotton Bowl watches.


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