By Kien Lee
A year ago, TUDOR launched its #BornToDare branding initiative starring David Beckham, and today we see a new wave of campaign visuals focusing on authenticity and emotion as its narrative, masterfully and subtly imbued with the expertise of renowned photographer David Sims.
On 15 November, the former England captain made his first appearance for the brand here in Singapore, hosting TUDOR's party to celebrate the launch of this new campaign. Held at CÉ LA VI Restaurant and Skybar, over 200 guests from seven different countries across the region were treated to a 360 degree view of the Singapore nightline from the the 57th floor atop the Marina Bay Sands Skypark as well as revelled in the luxurious and immersive TUDOR experience.
A household name, David Beckham was an accomplished football player with a unique style, both precise and spectacular. But in addition to his talent, it was his tenacity and grit that saw him winning the England League 6 times, the Major League Soccer Cup twice, La Liga (Spanish League) and the UEFA Champions League. Through this time, he is one of a handful of players who have played and done well at the best clubs in the world, from Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Los Angeles Galaxy, to Paris Saint Germain.
Meanwhile for TUDOR, #BornToDare as a hashtag is the summation of the history of the brand and what it stands for today. It celebrates the adventures of individuals achieving the extraordinary on land, on ice, in the air or underwater, with a TUDOR watch on their wrists. It also refers to the vision of Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of TUDOR, who manufactured TUDOR watches to withstand the most extreme conditions, watches made for the most daring lifestyles. Finally, it is testimony to TUDOR’s pioneering approach to watchmaking, which has helped to make it what it is today.
For Beckham, we learn that #BornToDare is not just a tagline for TUDOR, but also a philosophy shared between the two.
In your career, you've faced numerous challenges when the odds are against you but you've endured. Not many people know of this will to succeed, "born to dare" attitude. Tell us how this inner strength was cultivated.
I know this attitude has come from my parents, my grandparents. When you’re a young kid, you don’t know whether you have that strength. It’s not until later on in life, at the end of my career, when I sit back and I see what I did, what I achieved… the difficult times, the great times... more great times than difficult times... but you sometimes have to go through difficult times to realize your strength, where you’re going and the path that you’re going to take.
When we started talking about #BornToDare, as soon as it was mentioned, we knew "that’s it". That’s the slogan. Sometimes in life, you have to get your head down and work hard. It’s as simple as that. There’s challenges that I have had to overcome, and I’m still doing that now. I love a challenge, I like to put myself in situations that are challenging, or even uncomfortable, and sometimes you have to go through those moments. And it’s not until you go through those moments that you understand that you can deal with that.
‘Born To Dare,’ I’m still doing that now. I ride motorbikes, when it’s not the safest thing to do. But it’s something I enjoy doing but I feel free when I do that.
#BornToDare is the perfect slogan for TUDOR, and it’s perfect for me as well.
Tell us about your partnership with TUDOR, and how it all started.
Being English, being British, we love history, we love heritage. It’s one of the things we’re famous for, as a country, as a nation. Growing up with my grandparents, who were "huge" royalists, history and heritage were embedded into me at such a young age. I’ve been lucky throughout my career to work with clubs that have a great history… and then on the business side, I’ve been very lucky to work with partners that also have great history and heritage. So when we first started talking to TUDOR, one of the things that impressed me the most was obviously the passion, but also its archives (history and heritage) that runs through this brand.
And that for me, tells a story. It’s important when you’re part of a brand to be able to tell a story because people like authenticity, people like to think that there’s a real story behind a collaboration and a partnership. Only when it means something will people then gravitate towards that.
The role with TUDOR, whilst leveraging on your global popularity, has opened up doors and brought new fans and followers to you as well. How do you see this association growing?
It’s exactly what we wanted it to do, and wanted it to be.
The excellence of TUDOR, with what they’ve done best for many years, combined with myself, with my fans all over the world... when they two come together, it’s a good thing and it creates a real buzz. And I believe it creates excitement because there is authenticity, that there’s a real partnership and people can see that. That’s why it’s worked. That’s why we want to grow the business on both sides.
When I joined TUDOR, it was like I was joining a family. It felt like a right fit.
The new #BorntoDare campaign features Beckham with the Black Bay Bronze, the winner of the 'Petite Aiguille' prize at the 2016 Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Geneve (GPHG). The timepiece is a tribute to the long standing relationship between TUDOR and some of the largest navies in the world – including the French and the US Navy – which all extensively made use of TUDOR diving watches over the years.
The characteristic element of the Black Bay Bronze is an imposing bronze case, 43 mm in diameter, which is an aesthetic reference to the use of bronze in historic ships and other diving equipment.
Included as well in the campaign is also a series of intimate videos in which David Beckham, as a well-known watch collector and TUDOR Ambassador reflects on times he has embodied the ‘Born To Dare’ spirit. Beckham speaks fondly about time spent with his grandfather, time on the pitch as England Captain and his first TUDOR watch, a vintage model whose pronounced patina hints at many adventures in its past.