OYSTER IN MARINA. The newly launched Rolex Boutique in Singapore’s Marina Square rises as not only the biggest but also the only one in the region with a Rolex Exhibition Space
Singapore has seen so many watch brands come and go, yet one remains an outstanding part of the island-nation: Rolex. The crown-logoed house has been in the country for decades, and this year it breaks new ground with the establishment of its most spectacular boutique in the Merlion City.
Set in the new wing of the Marina Square shopping mall, the new Rolex Boutique is nestled on the second floor, not far from the entrance facing Raffles avenue road. Visitors coming from that side will certainly notice the oversized logo on the glass façade. Upon first impression, the boutique’s exteriors look unmistakably Rolex, with expansive glass windows and touches of the brand’s signature emerald green. It is perfectly illuminated, and, as you walk around the store, you’ll find the 513-square-meter space segregated cleverly into intuitive counters.
“Given the locality of this area and the size of the store, we need to make sure that the whole floor is relevant,” Jeremy Lim, COO of Cortina Watch, starts off. That point about relevancy rings true as one could browse through the beautiful watches from different collections and lines, from one display case to another, and easily find pieces that really speak to them. But beyond the most captivating Daytonas, the president watches or the oyster perpetual timepieces, this boutique holds a wonderful site that celebrates the brand’s greatest achievements and watchmaking know-how.
“We [Cortina Watch] brought this [boutique] proposal to Rolex in Geneva in early 2015, and they believed they could use the space in a good way, not just having the same watches with different dials, but a boutique with a permanent exhibition area where you can understand what Rolex is beyond nice watches,” Lim enthuses. That space accommodates exciting feats that the brand has accomplished in the past, including the Deep Sea Challenge with director extraordinaire James Cameron whose impressive resume includes massive blockbusters such as “Titanic” and “Avatar,” among other notable titles. The specific watch model used during that deep-sea expedition is displayed in a showcase on the side.
Meanwhile, at the center of the exhibition, visitors can take a seat and relax in front of a collage of visual media showcasing the five facets of world of Rolex: equestrian, golf, motor sports, tennis and yachting. The array of TV screens displays video clips of inspiring human endeavors in these five fields, underlining the endless pursuit of excellence.
Speaking of which, the wall behind it reveals Rolex’s own pursuit of excellence in horology. From patented mechanisms to the specific use of stainless steel alloys for the case—which is why Rolex looks sleeker than the rest—to the numerous elements used for the link bracelets, there is so much to learn and love about the powerful Swiss watch manufacturer. “The Geneva team that designed the boutique really put a lot of walk-throughs and thinking before coming out with the design,” Lim points out before concluding: “It really shows that we have chosen the right brand for the space.”
This permanent exhibition, which is officially called The Rolex Way, is the second in the world following the Shanghai Rolex experience which opened five years ago. Of course, it could become a major incentive for any watch enthusiast, not just Rolex fanatics, to give this boutique a visit. On top of that, the choice of location has proven itself to be the most ideal. “Which tourists coming to Singapore these days do not come to the Marina Bay area?” Lim asks rhetorically.
“You’d find that the most iconic tourist attractions are concentrated in the Bay, from the Merlion park to the Esplanade, all the way down to the Flyer and the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands. The area is also depicted in the skyline of Singapore.”
Inarguably, Jeremy Lim has touched on all the most poignant points. And in hindsight, Rolex does suit the Marina Bay area, especially when you are on the lookout for the right ticking “oyster” to bring home.
This article first appeared in DA MAN October/November 2016. Get your copy here.