David Beckham Is Tudor's Brand and #BORNTODARE Campaign Ambassador

The Swiss manufacture's scoop.

BY Editors | Jun 2, 2017 | Feature

All images by Tudor

"Born To Dare" is Tudor’s new campaign that reflects its use by rugged, outdoorsy men on their exploits on land, ice, in the air and underwater. Tudor founder Hans Wilsdorf wanted to make watches for extreme conditions, and Tudor’s latest lend themselves easily to those who would like to sport a daring lifestyle on their wrists. Tudor even has a campaign manifesto for its family of global ambassadors, of whom David Beckham is the latest member. Distilled, it’s simplicity itself:

“We are devoted to the classic. But reject the status quo. We keep the best of the past, the best watchmaking practices, the best designs. And push the boundaries of what’s new. Born for a purpose. Field-tested to the extreme. For those who are up for anything. For those who face their fears. For those who reinvent themselves every day, a Tudor is born to dare.”

If to be daring is to plunge headfirst into the impossible, it also means launching yourself from a solid platform of classic values. It’s simple and immutable, like Beckham says: “As an Englishman, I think you really appreciate a nice suit and a nice watch. They go very well together.” A long-time admirer of watches, he came to know Tudor through its sibling brand, Rolex, of which he owns several. “I was attracted to Tudor by the attention to detail I could see in their watches. I then learned about [its] history of adventure, pioneer diving and daring expeditions. I was instantly hooked.” If you want to know what all this looks like when put together as an ensemble, take a look at the photo. The Black Bay S&G, a vintage-inspired steel and gold diver’s watch, as well as the Black Bay Chrono, a COSC-certified chronograph with column-wheel manufacture calibre, draw on Tudor’s diving and motorsports heritage.

The proto-global player

As a child, Beckham’s answer to the question of what he wanted to be in life was always “football player”. He became one of the most successful players in the history of the modern game, just as the perfect storm  of serious investors, marketing men and global media began to realise the commercial potential of the world’s most popular sport.

Beckham was the proto-mediagenic football player, bursting onto the world stage after dating (and marrying) Posh Spice aka Victoria Adams and getting sent off against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup in Paris, where he had managed to kick out effetely at Diego Simeone despite being prostrate on the pitch. The Argentine (now performing miracles as Atletico manager) of course fell down with not a little melodrama and the no-nonsense Danish referee red-carded Beckham for it. He walked for an early shower, sweaty stylish locks hung in shame, and would rise like a phoenix and model branded underwear on the cover of Arena Homme less than two years later.

After being hit in the face with a boot kicked by erstwhile mentor and minder Alex Ferguson (a hairdryer malfunction, fans say), Beckham decided it was time to strike out on his own, away from the Manchester United brand.

He’s since trotted his brand across the two major football markets (by value) and in the marketing capital of the world: England (Manchester United), Spain (Real Madrid) and LA Galaxy (Los Angeles).

So, three major clubs, 115 caps for the England team (59 as captain), six Premiership titles, two Major League Soccer cups, one La Liga championship and one UEFA Champion’s League medal each. There are players with a far longer record of sporting success, but none have Beckham’s brand recognition.

What is the secret sauce of his success and derring-do? A peerless work ethic and paradoxical lack of narcissism. Despite being a brand in his own right, he’s never taken success for granted, working harder than many more-talented others given his position would ever do. The man takes his responsibilities seriously. Exempli gratia, see left.

Beckham is also long-time UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and malaria awareness campaigner. He dedicates time and energy to the health and the education of children in Africa, and his work for the UN focuses on the protection and the welfare of children worldwide.

David Beckham, Born to Dare? Football made him a stellar global brand success, but his remarkable equanimity and fearlessness in looking Providence squarely in the eye transcends the pitch. Well scooped, Tudor.