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The Hour Glass and Rolex: Companions in Time


The Shifting Sands of Time 

In 1950, the Borneo Firm Ltd, an English firm with their headquarters in London was chosen by Rolex for British Malaya. It acted on behalf of the Swiss model to nominate native watch retailers in Singapore, Malaya and Borneo to signify the model. Of this authentic collection of Rolex retailers, solely the legacy of Mr Tay Thuan Khee lives on. Mr Tay, a Chinese language immigrant who had arrived on Singapore shores from Shantou, Guangdong, based Lee Chay & Co in 1946. This was the start of a seven-decade lengthy household legacy that, with the founding of The Hour Glass in 1979, his son, Dr Henry Tay, and grandson, Michael Tay, proceed to uphold.

A yr after this inaugural group of shops was appointed, Hans Wilsdorf, founding father of Rolex made his maiden journey to the Far East, which included a two-week stopover in Singapore to satisfy along with his new companions. This seminal go to in 1951 confirmed his long-held suspicions that the area was a seedbed for watch gathering. “These days, individuals (in Asia) need one of the best — the waterproof, self-winding watch that varies solely a second or two a day in any type of local weather,” Mr Wilsdorf, virtually 70 at the moment, informed The Straits Occasions of Singapore.

There have been solely a handful of Rolex retailers then, therefore the homeowners and their households along with members of employees had been invited to have dinner with him on the Capitol Blue room”, stated Dr Tay. “I bear in mind Mr Wilsdorf as an impressive man. He was heat and mild and smiled rather a lot. Regardless of my younger age, Mr Wilsdorf made positive that he made my presence snug that night. I used to be solely six years previous, nevertheless it was an expertise I’ll always remember.”


The Hour Glass and Rolex: Partnership Constructed on Shared Values

Mr Wilsdorf’s eventful go to marked the start of standard journeys to Singapore by Rolex senior executives, together with Mr André Heiniger, former CEO of Rolex, who first visited in 1953 and who would ultimately assume management of Rolex a decade later. “After André Heiniger took over, he would journey to Singapore along with his spouse Odette yearly,” Dr Tay recalled. “He appeared to love horses and so forth one event, I had organised with Eddie Barker, Singapore’s first Legislation Minister after which Chairman of the Singapore Turf Membership, for us to occupy the Chairman’s field on the Turf Membership. Not one of the horses we backed gained, however all of us had a grand time that evening”. 

Dr Henry Tay, Mr. André Heiniger and Dato Dr Jannie Chan. Picture: The Hour Glass

Dr Tay remained in shut contact with Mr Heiniger and would pay frequent visits to the Rolex manufacture in Geneva.  It was by these common exchanges that friendship and belief was solid between The Hour Glass and Rolex, one which continues until this present day. All these years later, Dr Tay stays the only particular person in Singapore and the area to have engaged with each head of Rolex. 


The Hour Glass: Growth All through Asia-Pacific 

The Hour Glass first boutique in Orchard Road
The Hour Glass’ first Orchard Street boutique in Fortunate Plaza Purchasing Centre. Picture: The Hour Glass

From the second The Hour Glass was established in 1979, Rolex was a foundational associate at its new boutique in Fortunate Plaza Purchasing Centre on Orchard Street — a mall then deemed the head of luxurious buying in Singapore. Different authorised Rolex points-of-sale in Singapore with The Hour Glass adopted in fast succession with the Rolex boutique at ION Orchard in 2009 anchoring the partnership within the Orchard Street precinct. 

Rolex ION Orchard Boutique 2009
The Rolex ION Orchard boutique standing the take a look at of time (2009). Picture: The Hour Glass/Rolex
Rolex ION Orchard Boutique 2021
The Rolex ION Orchard boutique standing the take a look at of time (2021). Picture: The Hour Glass/Rolex


Buoyed by an enthusiastic regional watch gathering neighborhood, The Hour Glass seemed overseas, opening in Plaza Imbi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1980, Marina Mirage within the Gold Coast, Australia in 1988 and the Promenade in Bangkok, Thailand in 1994. 

Extra lately, in 2020, The Hour Glass was appointed as an Official Rolex Retailer and associate for the Rolex Service Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Rolex prestige boutique in Sydney
The Rolex status boutique in Sydney, Australia. Picture: The Hour Glass/Rolex

The current opening of the Rolex status boutique in Sydney, Australia, marked the most recent chapter of strategic partnerships for The Hour Glass and Rolex. Sited in a heritage constructing on the crossroads of Sydney’s busiest buying intersection, the 450 sqm Rolex boutique at 192 Pitt Avenue is arguably the jewel in The Hour Glass’ crown. It’s a testomony to the strong and enduring partnership the 2 firms have constructed over 70 years of watchmaking and watch retailing experience, and a mark of deeper ties to come back.  

Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass
Michael Tay,  Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass. Picture: The Hour Glass

Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass provides, “The Hour Glass and Rolex share many comparable values and beliefs. Our joint dedication to pursue a tradition of excellence in our respective firms type the core basis for the partnership we have now developed collectively. As we have now progressed by the a long time, we’re humbled by how this relationship continues to strongly, and positively, evolve. This solely serves to strengthen our shared mission to uphold the unrivalled status a Rolex watch has for high quality.” 

Go to The Hour Glass website to search out out extra.

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