Lady Gaga x Tudor: Born to Dare, Dare to Succeed
Tudor’s Born to Dare manifesto was given a global face, first with David Beckham and as of yesterday, Lady Gaga.
Love for watches and watchmaking tends to be intertwined not just with the artisanal approaches to the craft but also a history of can-do, daring attitudes which has seen this industry through some of its brightest days and darkest hours. This, among the least technologically sophisticated of “wearables” today has been to the moon, survived a technological threat, survived the most forceful swings, it’s little wonder that mid 2017, Tudor unveiled its “Born to Dare” spirit, a global campaign which expressed the sort of romantic idealism which often besots a watch consumer. Tudor’s Born to Dare manifesto was given a global face, first with David Beckham and as of yesterday, Lady Gaga. Two global ambassadors, who by the very natures of their careers, have expressed an ethos of devil-may-care grit, bravado and daringness which sees symmetry and synergy with Tudor’s own brand philosophy.
Tudor announces Latest Ambassador Lady Gaga
Known for her constant experimentation with musical ideas, aesthetic delivery and unconventionality, Tudor’s latest Ambassador Lady Gaga is a multi-hyphenate celebrity with strong associations to all manner of provocative work. Back by 6 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, Countless MTV Awards, Lady Gaga is the first female artist with four US number one albums in the 2010s.
With 150 million singles and over 30 million albums sold, it’s easier to associate Lady Gaga with the apparent trappings of success, delivered by her very own brand of theatricality, style and charisma while remembering non of the hard work, daring choices and considered humility (in the face of raw talent) to achieve her stratospheric levels of success.
Born to Dare, Dare to Succeed, Lady Gaga reinvented pop culture as Tudor reinvented accessible luxury watchmaking
There’s no denying that Tudor embodies the Born to Dare (more on that in a minute) ethos and there’s little wonder why Hans Wilsdorf’s anglophile-inspired brand finds potent symbolism in their association with Gaga. Like Tudor, she dares to succeed, naysayers be damned. Known for her controversial stance on a variety of topics, Lady Gaga enjoys a reputation for philanthropic work and social activism, including LGBT rights, and her non-profit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on promoting youth empowerment and combating bullying.
Symbolism 101: Tudor x New Brand Ambassador Gaga
While often marketing materials are loathe to explore, the reality was that for a while, watch consumers had the unfortunate perspective of equating Tudor as “the affordable Rolex”. Our contention over at World of Watches and LUXUO is that- is it more likely that Rolex, Superlative Chronometers that they are, are so well made that with a slight relaxation of standards, you still get a perfectly good timepiece which puts a solid instrument on the wrists of the masses?
In that respect, Lady Gaga shares provenance with Tudor; Brought up in the affluent Upper West Side, Manhattan, Gaga’s parents came from lower-class families and worked hard for everything – Thus, Gaga explores new territories much as Tudor once did – delivering not just entertainment for entertainment’s sake but actually packing powerful social motives behind some of her most enduring hit singles, notably, born this way.
“It winds me up when people say it’s a poor man’s Rolex. To me, Tudor has always had a stealthy appeal. The diversity of the brand is just phenomenal. They had their time in the wilderness in the ’90s, but the relaunch is really appealing to the collectors’ market.” – Ross Povey, a prominent Tudor collector to NYT
Taking a path away from Rolex, The Tudor Watch Company was conceptualised by Hans Wilsdorf to offer “a watch that (his) agents could sell at a more modest price than (his) Rolex watches, and yet could attain (its) standards of dependability” – what results is a history and platform for Tudor today to mine the wealth of heritage in order to create unique if distinctly familiar (by virtue of shared history) robust and dependable watches like the Tudor Heritage Black Bay and the Tudor Heritage Chronograph series – Singularly, A Tudor watch is born to dare.
Tudor’s newest ambassador has endured sexual trauma and various professional setbacks and it is through sheer grit and daring-do that she has pushed the envelope of her musical genre. But like others of her kind, being born to dare also means that often, it’s almost a daringness to be be too early for your time. In September 2006, after struggling for two years, Gaga was signed to Def Jam but was dropped by the label a mere three months after. Radio stations had found Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta aka Lady Gaga’s music too “racy”, “dance-oriented”, and “underground” for the mainstream market. But Lady Gaga would not be denied, “My name is Lady Gaga, I’ve been on the music scene for years, and I’m telling you, this is what’s next. Therein lies the allegory.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay and Heritage Chronographs may seem like runaway sure-fire mega-hit successes today but it wasn’t always the case. In 1946, Tudor debuted a twin register chronograph that was modestly priced in comparison to its sister brand but by virtue of its sales channels through Rolex dealers, similarities between the sister brands deepened misunderstanding of what Tudor stood for. For five decades, Tudor persisted before deciding to exit the US market in 1996. That said, it must be noted, Tudor enjoyed moderate success in other parts of the world even if they struggled to find footing in the North American market. Like Gaga, Tudor was ahead of its time but, it dared to persist.
“We keep the best of the past, the best watchmaking practices, the best designs. And push the boundaries of what’s new.”
Tudor’s reinvention of the classics has kept their watches distinctive for more than half a century. Never afraid to redefine the rules, Tudor’s new watches are strongly connected to the past while incorporating 21st-century technology- From laser engraved, machine finished in-house movements like the Manufacture Calibre MT5621 presenting matt finishes, emphasising its precision, reliability and high level of technology through large surfaces that have been sand-blasted, embellished with details or sunray-brushed, and an open worked central rotor; launched in the Tudor North Flag at close to stock-movement watch retail prices, to the use of heritage techniques to wrap rather than plate gold to literally provide a lasting veneer of precious metal on their Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel and Gold instead of fleeting, easily abraded visage of gold, Tudor has never shied away from pushing the boundaries of what’s new, experimenting with unusual materials, combinations and inspirations; like Lady Gaga, now Tudor’s time has come.
Born this way, A Tudor watch is born to raise standards. Gaga joins David Beckham and rugby player Beauden Barrett as brand ambassadors.