In 2022, Cortina celebrates 50 years of fine watch retail across Asia with a series of golden jubilee special editions and planned expansion into new markets.
Cortina was founded in 1972 with the aim of sharing its founder’s appreciation of fine watchmaking heritage across Singapore. Starting with a single retail store in Colombo Court, it has since grown into a multi-national company spanning East and Southeast Asia, and more recently, Australia.
To celebrate its golden jubilee, the retailer is introducing several special edition timepieces with longstanding partners including Patek Philippe, Chopard, Corum, Franck Muller, H. Moser & Cie., TAG Heuer and Blancpain. These limited edition references will be introduced over the entire year, with the first launching in February 2022. Details of each watch will be shared on its digital platforms as well as a dedicated microsite (www.50thanniversary.cortinawatch.com).
The brand’s journey to become one of the most influential watch retailers in the region has been one of steady growth. Today, Cortina has holdings in mature watch markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as new and developing markets in Asia-Pacific .
50 Years of Strong Partnerships
As one of the leading retailers in the region, Cortina Watch has supported and built longstanding partnerships with watchmakers brands such as Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Bvlgari, Cartier, Chopard, Corum, Longines, Omega, Patek Philippe, Rolex, TAG Heuer, Tudor, Zenith and many more.
It also acts as a distributor for many boutique watch brands such as H. Moser & Cie. and Hautlence in Asia. By bringing these novel brands to the region, it continues to spread the rich diversity and heritage of fine and high watchmaking to veteran and new collectors across these markets.
These partnerships have flourished through Cortina Watch’s continuous retail innovation. Over the years, it has developed sophisticated multi-brand retail spaces in exclusive locations, as well as concept stores and mono-brand boutiques to enrich the shopping experience for its customers. It is also one of the first major watch retailers in Singapore to offer an e-commerce platform, delivering a seamless experience for collectors.
Bringing New Experiences to Retail
Throughout Cortina Watch’s history, it has strived to bring new ways of experiencing and appreciating watchmaking to collectors and watch lovers. Thanks to its efforts, Singapore’s appetite for sophisticated timepieces as well as its knowledge and interest in horology has continued to grow, making it one of the most mature watch markets in the world.
To draw attention to some of the rare handcrafts frequently associated with watchmaking but rarely discussed, Cortina Watch debuted Jewellery Time in 2000. This public exhibition combined the finest of high jewellery and high watchmaking into one biennial event, featuring some of the world’s most exclusive bejewelled timepieces from the greatest watch brands in the world. From 2000 to 2011, six editions of Jewellery Time presented incredible high jewellery watches coveted by collectors globally, pre-empting the popularity of such timepieces today. Jewellery Time developed an audience for bejewelled timepieces and also offered brands a platform to showcase their high jewellery creations.
A Multi-Generational Retail Experience
The Chairman of Cortina Holdings, Mr Anthony Lim, credits the success of the company to its dedicated employees, many of whom have worked for Cortina Watch their entire career. He also thanks the company’s loyal clientele and strong following through the region for the trust they’ve placed with the retailer throughout the last 50 years. Cortina Watch’s customers today span three generations of watch collectors, sharing their passion for watchmaking with the retailer through the decades.
Within the company, a new generation of leaders have also been appointed to advance Cortina’s goals for the future. Mr Raymond Lim was appointed the CEO of Cortina Holdings, and Mr Jeremy Lim the CEO of Cortina Watch on June 1, 2021 by the board of directors.
As CEO of Cortina Holdings, Mr Raymond Lim is responsible for the performance of Cortina Watch and Sincere Watch, which was acquired in March 2021. He will be overseeing a transformation of the entire organisation to introduce a seamless retail experience across the group. He also intends to expand the company’s representation of brands across Cortina Watch and Sincere Watch, to further develop their presence across the Asia-Pacific region.
Says Group CEO, Raymond Lim, “Cortina’s success is the product of generations of watch collectors who are our clients; families and friends who are our employees and brand owners with whom we have shared histories across multiple generations. We have surmounted multiple crises over the last 50 years. Today, as retail is being transformed in diverse ways, we will share our passion for watchmaking with a new generation of collectors by innovating in retail and building on the intergenerational relationships we have established since 1972.”
50 Years of Continuous Growth
Cortina Watch has steadily grown even amidst some of the most challenging crises the world has seen in the last 50 years. Its solid fiscal performance has enabled it to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic even stronger, with its recent acquisition of Sincere Watch. This adds an additional 22 storefronts to the Group and expands its presence into Australia.
It also adds a specialised range of high and fine watchmaking brands that the Sincere Group offers, including: Franck Muller, Ferdinand Berthoud, Greubel Forsey, Parmigiani and many more.
Says Group CEO, Raymond Lim, “As we have done for the last 50 years, we will continue to invigorate our success in watch retail by expanding our product offerings across markets. We are working towards a universal and re-imagined retail experience, so customers can enjoy the finest retail standards no matter where they shop. Our retail platforms are staffed by sales experts who know each and every product intimately, to help our customers find the right timepieces for them. As we enter a new era of retail, we want to be a retail platform that can cater to every audience’s desires and share our passion for fine watchmaking with them.”
To celebrate this milestone, we have developed a series of limited edition timepieces with 8 longstanding partners that will be released throughout the year. Discover more about the Golden Jubilee Editions here.