We might be in the middle of a pandemic but the Australian luxury watch retail space is heating up in a big way.
At the end of last year, Rolex opened a stunning new boutique in Sydney – their largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Other brands have been re-opening their doors and experimenting with interesting activations, such as Blancpain’s rare vintage dive watch exhibition in April.
Now, Rolex’s sister brand Tudor is getting in on the action. Teaming up with leading luxury retailer The Hour Glass, Tudor has pulled the curtains off a brand-spanking-new boutique in Melbourne – Australia’s very first standalone Tudor boutique and a new must-visit destination for Antipodean watch fans.
“We’re delighted to be opening the first Tudor boutique in Australia and New Zealand. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s luxury shopping precinct on Collins Street, the new Tudor boutique offers watch enthusiasts an immersive look into one of the most exciting brands in contemporary watchmaking,” The Hour Glass Managing Director Michael Tay relates.
Occupying the ground floor of Emirates House, the Tudor boutique exemplifies the sporty yet luxurious nature of the brand. Black and red feature prominently, a reflection of the brand’s signature colours, yet touches of wood and plenty of natural light make it modern, slick and inviting.
A distinct photo wall featuring historic photographs of the British North Greenland Expedition and the frogmen of the French Navy reflects Tudor’s rich history – with images of modern Tudor ambassadors David Beckham and Lady Gaga emblematic of the brand’s continued contemporary relevance.
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In many ways, this boutique opening is a long time coming. Tudor has always been particularly successful in Australia – during the brand’s financial troubles in the 90s, Tudor was forced to pull out of many overseas markets, but its popularity in Australia helped keep the heritage brand afloat globally.
Rolex’s new boutique in Sydney and Tudor’s new boutique in Melbourne constitute a real one-two punch when it comes to the horological landscape Down Under. No doubt, other brands will be put on notice – it’s definitely raised the stakes.
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The boutique’s opening also nicely coincides with the reveal of the new Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze, which is a boutique-only, rather striking edition of Tudor’s most popular model.
This eclectic rendition of the famous dive watch follows up from the pair of precious metal models Tudor unveiled at Watches & Wonders earlier this year: the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K, constructed from yellow gold; and the Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925, constructed from sterling silver. Now we’ve got the whole podium, just in time for the Olympics!
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Bronze, of course, is a rather interesting material to make a dive watch out of, as bronze is highly reactive than steel and develops a patina very quickly – particularly when exposed to saltwater.
But that’s entirely by design: the idea is that the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze will tarnish quickly and distinctively, meaning your watch is entirely unique. Bronze is also a material that is historically associated with ocean-going; an essential part of Tudor’s brand identity.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this boutique-exclusive Black Bay – or you just want to check out Australia’s first Tudor boutique more generally – you can find it on Google Maps here.