Michael Tay

Group managing director, The Hour Glass


The Hour Glass' managing director is a luxury retail leader and a prominent art collector

Michael Tay is the group managing director of luxury watch retailer, The Hour Glass. Appointed to his current role in April 2015, Tay first joined the company in 1999 as its business re-engineering manager and has also been its executive director since 2005. Tay’s parents, Dr Henry Tay and Jannie Chan, established the firm in 1979.

The Hour Glass operates multi-brand and standalone boutiques across Asia-Pacific, in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. The brands it carries include Rolex, Hublot, Tudor, Omega, Roger Dubuis, Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux. The Hour Glass also has a property portfolio: it purchased two Australian properties in 2015, namely 192 Pitt Street, an 11,000 sq ft retail and commercial property in Sydney, and 201 Elizabeth Street, an 8,000 sq ft retail property in Brisbane.

Tay’s time at The Hour Glass has honed his industry know-how, as he built experience with various aspects of the business including the manufacture of speciality timepieces, greenfield retail development and wholesale channel distribution. A member of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s cultural committee, he is also an avid collector of art. Additionally, he is a board member of the National Heritage Board, a member of the governing council for the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art and an advisory board member of Art Basel Cities. Tay is also an advisory council member of the international humanitarian NGO Mercy Relief.


Impacted Industries

Did You Know?

The Hour Glass celebrated its 40th anniversary in style with an exhibition “Then, Now and Beyond”, a collaboration between Michael Tay, architect Sir David Adjaye and watch auctioneer Aurel Bacs. It featured work from notable artists and designers including Daniel Arsham, Marc Newson and Nendo, as well as specially commissioned timepieces from Audemars Piguet, Franck Muller, Chopard, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and more.

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