Last Wednesday, members of the Rapha Cycle Club braved the cold Melbourne weather for an informal catch-up. Also in attendance was Tudor, bringing along the 2016 collection for its first public appearance in Australia, plus some of the brand’s greatest previous releases.
Angus Burrell, Marketing Coordinator for the RCC Australia and New Zealand welcomed everyone, even though he had some difficulty recognising the assembled cyclists, as none of them were wearing helmets or (thankfully, it must be said) lycra.
Patrick Boutellier, General Manager of Rolex and Tudor Australia, also a member of the RCC, explained that the bond between Rapha and Tudor started, like so many of the best relationships, with some innocent flirting. Common interests, shared passions, a mutual appreciation for the finer things in life. After all, accuracy and precision are key to both good cycling and good watchmaking and, as Boutellier pointed out, there’s crossover in the technologies used, with carbon fibre, ceramic and titanium showing up in both.
Mr Boutellier went on to discuss Tudor’s recent innovations, in particular the commitment involved in developing an in-house movement – a process that took around five years of research and development. Of course, with Tudor suddenly playing in a whole new market-segment, it’s been a worthwhile investment.
With the formalities over, the drinks flowed, as did the cycling shop talk and war stories. And while most of the room was filled with your typical pub hubbub, there was a different energy near the display of watches. Several of Tudor’s watchmakers were on hand to answer questions and explain the inner workings of their in-house movement. More importantly, people were able to try the latest watches on for size. The Black Bay Bronze was a clear hit, spending most of the night on admiring wrists. The new Black Bay fabric straps were also well-liked, while the other big hits of the night were the stealthy Black Bay Dark and Fastrider Black Shield, not a massive surprise given their sporty good looks.
If the reaction of the Rapha Cycle Club is anything to go by, Tudor looks set to continue with its long-running string of successes this year.