This summer, watch brand pop-up boutiques are taking over. Breitling and Longines have landed on the German island of Sylt. Omega celebrates the Seamaster’s 75th anniversary with pop-ups in locations like Mykonos, Saint-Tropez, Forte dei Marmi, and San Diego. But as tempting as those locations were, we’ve reduced the yearly mileage allowance of the Fratello private jet for environmental reasons. So when we heard that a Tudor pop-up boutique would open in the not-too-distant Belgium town of Knokke, we had to make the trip. All jokes aside, the Benelux region’s relatively short distances — coupled with an additional mission (which will remain a secret for now) — had us hitting the road, Belgium-bound.

Departing The Hague early in the morning, we made our way past Rotterdam, through the Zeeland region, and finally into Belgium. It’s always exciting to visit a country for the first time, and this was my first time crossing the Belgian border. The city of Knokke is perhaps not the country’s most representative, but it was undoubtedly seasonally appropriate. It’s a summertime hot spot for French, Dutch, German, and Belgian beachgoers. Complete with a lovely seafront boardwalk and a vibrant selection of shops and luxury boutiques alike. Tudor has partnered with jewelry and watch retailer Colman to open this summer pop-up boutique in a prime Knokke address; Kustlaan 101, 8300 Knokke-Heist. Its doors are open  Thursday to Monday, 10 AM to 6 PM, through July until the 31st of August.

Tudor Pop-Up Boutique

The Tudor Pop-Up Boutique In Knokke

What exactly will you find in the boutique? Well, I’m sure you’ll all be happy to hear that just about every watch in Tudor’s catalog is present and available for you to try on. The space is well-used and nicely put together. The feeling is that of an established boutique rather than a pop-up. The first thing you’ll see when you walk in is the bronze boutique-exclusive edition of the Black Bay. This watch is available for purchase at this location and for the first time in the Benelux region. As you move further into the store, you’ll see the Black Bay collection and a dazzling selection of Royal watches.

Correction: even the precious-metal Black Bays, the 925 and the 18k gold diver, were/are present at the boutique.

Heading past a lovely bright-red BMC Teammachine SLR-01 hanging on the wall, you enter the back of the pop-up boutique. Here, the space is adorned with memorabilia of Tudor’s sporty endeavors. From a surfboard, Nic von Rupp would look right at home ripping up waves at Nazaré, to a David Beckham-signed football and a miniature Alinghi Red Bull Racing AC60 yacht. One wall is fully dedicated to cycling, which in Belgium is no surprise. If you want to know more about the Tudor Pro Cycling team, you can read Lex’s article here on his experience going for a spin with the team. There are plenty of framed pictures of Marine Nationale divers, Tudor wristwatches worn over their wetsuit sleeves. It’s a great vibe, with plenty of watches and all the accompanying lifestyle elements. This back part of the space hosts the Tudor Ranger, Black Bay Chronograph, and Pelagos models.

Discovering some Tudor watches

While there, Morgan and I took the opportunity to try on some Tudor watches we hadn’t seen in the metal before. Morgan was keen on the Ranger, released last summer, especially worn on the textile strap. Personally, there were thee watches I couldn’t leave without trying. The first of these was the classic Black Bay 58. I know what you’re thinking, but somehow I had previously never put the classic black dialed model on my wrist. Having experienced the 58 Blue and the 925, the classic colorway was my favorite. I’ve seen it countless times on Instagram, but its appeal and popularity require no further explanation in the metal. Its proportions and vintage aesthetics work beautifully in unison. Having the 58 and 54 side by side, I must confess that I’d likely opt for the 58.

Another highlight for me was the Pelagos LHD. My experience with Pelagos watches was limited to the 39. I first tried it on last year when it came out during Geneva Watch Days. However, the classic 42mm Pelagos remained a stranger to me. When choosing black, blue, or LHD, I did not hesitate. In person, the watch was as impressive as I could have expected. The clasp is fantastic, and the watch itself is rugged and purposeful. The only thing I was shocked by was how tall these watches were. Though thanks to its titanium shell, it remains wearable. And speaking of wearable, I was pleasantly surprised by the Black Bay P01, which worked far better on the wrist than I could have predicted. The bezel locking mechanism is snappy and fun to use, and its silhouette is totally unique. And oddball, but one I wouldn’t mind calling my own.

Tudor Pelagos dive watches

Final thoughts

After our visit, we spent a little more time in Knokke, soaking in the summer holiday vibe before returning to Fratello HQ. The Tudor pop-up boutique in Knokke proved to be a worthwhile visit. But not only for us. While we were there, at least two people left with new watches. Including one gentleman who was looking to purchase a Pelagos (the original black model) but left with a brand new 39 on his wrist. We were told another one would be available at the boutique that day. Impressive stuff! Especially when considering the waiting times typically quoted at most ADs.

Should you find yourself in the Benelux region (and even on one of said waiting lists), you might consider taking a day trip to Knokke. You may just find what you’re looking for. Worst case, drop in for a coffee, a warm welcome, and plenty of watches to try out.

For more information, check out the Tudor landing page for the pop-up boutique in Knokke here.