His passion for watches is long standing. It is as irreversible as the gift you make with your first salary as a man. David Beckham of watches has had many: elegant, normal, exaggerated. Then one day a handful of years ago in a vintage London store he finds one that immediately feels wonderful. It has a blue dial, a very special strap. “Something I had never seen”. A Tudor, the Swiss watchmaking brand whose origins date back to 1926, when the name «The TUDOR» was registered on behalf of Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex. And it is a Tudor watch that Beckham wears on his tattooed left wrist in the suite of the Armani Hotel where I meet him. He tells us that it is a family passion, so much so that his four sons, authentic protagonists of his second successful life, are crazy about watches. The one in which he rewinds the time and on the foundations of a wonderful career as a footballer has built “the most important export product of the United Kingdom after Queen Elizabeth“, as the British edition of GQ defines it. Live the former United, Real and even Milan is as you expect it and also something more: elegant flawlessly, with shoes so immaculate that they seem to have just come out of the box. The calm voice, the delicate ways. Under the suit, the body seems very dry. “The other day my daughter asked me why I train every morning”, she says smiling. The “new” Beckham boxing, riding a bike, doing gym. “Working hard”, with the body and mind, has always been the simple and genuine secret of his success, even before he was sixteen in Manchester United, an unlikely dream of that boy from East London destined to make history.
Now that he is no longer an athlete, but a business man, Becks has discovered new passions; some more pleasure: a glass of red wine, good whiskey – it produces one himself, the Haig Club. The art. But he remained true to himself, elegant and concrete as he was on the football field. And if you ask him what a clock is for, he replies with a smile: “The main function of a watch for a man is to make it arrive on time”. But after the joke comes the clarification, because a timepiece in terms of elegance has the same importance of a dress. A few weeks after that discovery in London, he came into contact with Tudor. And since 2017 it is brand ambassador of the brand and the campaign Born To Dare, “born to dare”.
Usually athletes disappear when they retire. You have overturned this unwritten rule.
“I like working. My work ethic was instilled by my parents when I was little, my father went out to work at seven and returned at eight in the evening, and even my mother who was a hairdresser. As soon as I retired, I was ready to enter the business world. It is important for every athlete to continue being engaged. And it’s important to me because I have four children and I want to educate them well. It is not normal to retire at 38. After my first career, I now have this and I keep working hard and teaching them the right lesson “.
When did you understand that you became famous?
“I try not to think of myself as a celebrity. I wanted to become a professional soccer player, not famous. When I was very young, I went out to the local paper. It was the first time I had a little fame. But the real moment when I felt famous is quite recent, it dates back to when I was living in Los Angeles and I was at a Lakers game, lined up for the bathroom. I’ve been waiting a while. Suddenly the door opens, Jack Nicholson comes out, passes me and says “All right, David”? And I asked myself, but really? It was the first and perhaps the only time I realized that people know me “.
What do you do in your free time?
“I do not have much free time, but what I like to spend with family, children, my wife. As soon as I hung my boots, I immediately started my second career. I travel a lot, maybe even more than when I was playing. It is much easier to play football! When I do not work, I dedicate myself to the family. I accompany and go to take the children to school, I cook lunch “.
Watches, new or ancient passion?
“The watches are my old passion: with one of the first checks of Manchester United I bought a watch. It’s your style that changes over the years. I went from wearing normal watches to watches with diamonds on them. Now I’m back to wearing elegant watches and that’s why I feel fortunate in the partnership with Tudor “.
#borntodare, born to dare, is Tudor’s slogan. Is it yours too?
“When we talked for the first time about Born to dare, I smiled, because it’s my life. I like doing things differently, things that sportsmen would not do like riding bikes. But I also think that a company that has a long history and continues to reinvent itself is a great slogan. When you have a slogan, you have to be authentic. I think I’m the right person for the brand “.