THE ORIGINS OF AN ICONIC PARTNERSHIP
In 1950, the Borneo Company Ltd, an English company with their headquarters in London was selected as sole agent for Rolex for British Malaya and acted on behalf of the brand to appoint local retailers in Singapore, Malaya and Borneo to represent the Swiss brand. Of the original retailers selected, only the legacy of Mr Tay Thuan Khee lives on. Mr Tay, a Chinese immigrant who had arrived on Singapore shores from Shantou, Guangdong founded Lee Chay & Co in 1946, with a boutique on North Bridge Road.
A year after the appointment, Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, made his maiden trip to the Far East to meet with his new partners. This seminal visit confirmed his long-held suspicions that the region was a hotbed for watch collecting.
Thus began a seven-decade long family tradition that his descendants – Dr Henry Tay and Michael Tay of The Hour Glass continues to uphold.