HONG KONG is the top destination for Swiss watches, surpassing in the last three years the value of those taken in by the US, China, Japan, and the UK (in that order, latest figures from the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry show). Notably as well, Hong Kong is the second-biggest exporter of watches, next to Switzerland in terms of value, and coming after China in number of units, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. It was no surprise, then, for Tudor to debut a new timepiece not in its home country of Switzerland, but in Hong Kong.
Unveiled on Nov. 14 amid a “gentlemen’s club” theme program at a new central Hong Kong boutique hotel was the Glamour Double Date. And supplying a touch of glamour to the affair was not only the watch, but the man who brought it out — former footballer, OBE title-holder, fashion plate and Tudor brand ambassador David Beckham.
Mr. Beckham is, of course, a known watch enthusiast, lending the partnership with Tudor a sense of genuine affinity, rather than merely a product endorsement. In an interview during the Glamour Double Date’s launch event, he admitted to having acquired a “small collection” over the years. A watch, he said, not only “reminds one of certain times in one’s life,” but could also be meaningful heirlooms.
“I want to have something that I can pass down to my children, and then to my children’s children,” Mr. Beckham said.
Though saying he’s drawn to “elegance” when looking for a timepiece, he qualified it also “can’t just be pretty.”
“It needs to be mechanically amazing and well recognized,” he said.
WHICH THE GLAMOUR DOUBLE DATE IS.
The latest addition to Tudor’s long-running Glamour collection indicates the brand’s further push into “Manufacture” status — or a brand’s capacity to build most of a watch’s components within its own facilities. The most defining feature of the Glamour Date is its new in-house movement — Tudor’s cal. MT5641. It’s a self-winding, 32-jewel ticker that spins at 28,800vph and has an ample 70-hour power reserve. Equally important, it carries a COSC chronometer certification, meaning the watch should not lose more than two seconds, or gain more than four seconds, in a day.
Plus, the cal. MT5641 has been lavished with such horologic niceties as a bi-directional-winding, openwork rotor; a variable inertia balance with micro-adjustment screws; and a silicon balance spring. The rotor has satin-brushed and sand-blasted details, and the bridges and plate are marked by alternately sand-blasted surfaces and laser decorations.
Understandably, Tudor wants to draw attention to these major developments. And so the Glamour Double Date is fitted with a sapphire crystal window on its case back. It’s unusual for a Tudor, true, but the touch stresses the model’s move toward serious horology.
The Glamour Double Date gets its name from the two large date apertures on its dial — a classical watch-making feature. The watch comes in steel, or steel-and-yellow-gold cases, both of which matched to alligator straps, steel, or steel-and-gold bracelets. Dial choices are diverse; silver, black, champagne, and white, and all pretty ornate considering the segment to which the watch belongs.
The dial has two concentric rings, with the central one adorned by vertical gadroons while the outer piece receives a sunray finish. Balancing the double date windows at 12 o’clock is a petite second sub-dial at the bottom. Tudor’s shield logo serves as the noon/midnight marker while elongated diamond-shaped indices indicate the rest of the hours (some versions even have diamond settings on the tips of the indices).
While the Glamour Double Date’s aesthetics are classic, these are brought up to date by the 42-millimeter case which, as a Tudor, means it is sealed by a screw-down crown. The result is a 100-meter water-resistance rating.
The Glamour Double Date immediately went on sale in Hong Kong, and will soon be available in neighboring parts of Asia, before it makes its way to the US and Europe in early 2019. There’s no word yet though whether it will be Mr. Beckham who will unveil it in those markets. — Brian M. Afuang