Geneva-based Swiss watch manufacturer Rolex has inaugurated their new Oceania headquarters at the historic Centenary Hall building in Melbourne.
Located at 104 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, the 6-storey Centenary Hall went through extensive redevelopment and refurbishment involving restoration of the hall's original 1935 Art Deco façade and interior as well as the terrazzo foyer flooring with its Orange Order star and the decorative ballroom ceiling, all of which have been revived to their original grandeur. The building was purchased by Rolex in November 2018.
Designed by Rolex in collaboration with award-winning architecture firm Woods Bagot, the refurbished building houses two floors of custom watchmaking facilities and incorporates a new watchmaking training program, the first of its kind in Australia.
"The inauguration of Centenary Hall heralds a new era for the brand in Australia, which coincides with the strong expansion of Rolex in the region,” says Rolex Australia managing director Benoit Falletti.
“It brings together, for the first time, administrative staff, and watchmakers under one roof. The purpose-built environment reflects our commitment to the principles of architecture and design, and respects the history of this culturally important building, positioning our Oceania headquarters alongside other architecturally significant Rolex buildings worldwide."
Centenary Hall echoes the company's ongoing pursuit of continuous innovation, technological advancements, precision and the best use of form and space. The deep connection between Rolex and architecture includes its support of the International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The newly developed Oceania headquarters will be part of the Rolex exhibition at the 2023 Biennale.
Architect Peter Miglis of Woods Bagot says "Rolex has restored and reinvigorated this important historic building, preserving it for the future. It's a wonderful gift back to the city of Melbourne and it demonstrates Rolex's unceasing quest for excellence, and their focus on precision and quality."
Rolex at Centenary Hall
Every element of the interior design features the elegant Rolex aesthetic and radiates the values of the Rolex crown. Excellence, precision, and attention to detail emanate from the careful calibration of colours and patterns in the fittings and furnishings. A striking green Aqua wall in the After Sales Department highlights Rolex's rich heritage, its wave motif referencing the iconic Oyster, the world's first waterproof wristwatch. The walls mix textures such as green marble, walnut brown wood, beige-coloured stone and a handcrafted stucco panel with a bespoke design that reflects the Melbourne city skyline.
Image credits: © Rolex/Cédric Widmer