Exploring Marrakech With The Tudor Heritage Black Bay
Watchonista’s Sophie Furley goes exploring in North Africa’s Red City with her favorite traveling companion, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay.
Visiting Morocco’s Marrakech is like stepping into an ancient fairy tale. From its impressive 1,000-year-old red stone ramparts to its magical undercover souks, this bustling city feels a world away from normal life. Located on the edge of the Sahara Desert, with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the distance, this colorful city is a mix of African, Middle Eastern and European cultures.
Dreams of Morocco
I have always dreamed of visiting Morocco, and when the opportunity arose to spend a long weekend, I wasted no time booking my flights and throwing a few of my favorite summer outfits into a suitcase. A watch is always an essential part of my holiday wardrobe, and I knew immediately which timepiece I wanted to take with me: The Tudor Heritage Black Bay.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay With A Red Bezel
However, this Black Bay isn’t actually my watch. It belongs to my husband, but as I bought it for him, I don’t feel too guilty about borrowing it from time to time.
It is my go-to timepiece when traveling as it is comfortable on the wrist with its soft, aged leather strap. It is also robust with a water resistance of 200 meters and can take a knock two. It is also quite discreet, so it doesn't attract pickpockets either, which is always something to consider when traveling. I like how legible the black dial is with its bold luminescent hands and indexes, plus, a striking red bezel seemed the perfect fit for Marrakech, which is also known as the Red City.
Getting Lost In The Souks
I took the first flight out of Geneva airport, touching down in Marrakech at 9 am when the air was still cool. I wasted no time, and after checking into my hotel, I set out on foot to explore, passing the old city walls with their pink hue.
Upon entering the souk, I found this maze of market stalls like a city within a city. It was seething with locals rushing around doing their business and tourists meandering along, taking it all in. Vendors were selling everything from handmade leather shoes to metal lamps, pottery, artwork, bags, and scarves. By now, the temperature had soured, and the covered souk was providing some respite from the heat. Every now and again, beams of light would filter through a gap in the makeshift roof, creating a mysterious scene.
Rooftop Bars And Restaurants
After what seemed like hours walking around the different alleyways, I started to look for a place for lunch and stumbled upon an interesting doorway that led to a beautiful rooftop restaurant with views over the city. Rooftop bars and restaurants are a big thing in Marrakech and make up a network of eateries above the old town, serving a variety of different cuisines. I ordered a traditional mint tea and a variety of small dishes with delicious exotic flavors.
Yves Saint Laurent And The Jardin Majorelle
Many famous people have been seduced by Marrakech, from Winston Churchill, who loved to paint here, to French rapper Maître Gims who has a sumptuous villa within the city. One of its most famous residents was without a doubt fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent who fell head over heels in love with the place. Together with his companion Pierre Bergé, they would often enjoy walking in the city’s Majorelle Garden. One day they heard it was going to be destroyed to build a hotel, so they bought the garden and the Oasis villa on its grounds to save it.
The Yves Saint Laurent Museum
They made it their second home, and Yves Saint Laurent would stay twice a year to draw his new collections, finding inspiration in the city and its colors. Today, the Majorelle Garden is open to the general public, and just next door is a magnificent museum in his honor that safeguards his most iconic creations and provides a retrospective of his work. There are also temporary art exhibitions, and I was lucky enough to see a selection of works from French artist Jacques Azéma who moved to Marrakech in 1930.
I spent all morning visiting the museum and the garden, and I found some great spots to take some photos of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay. Much to the astonishment of the other tourists who were baffled why I would be taking pictures of my watch when there was so much more to photograph.
Sunset In The Desert
For my last evening, I ventured out into the desert to see the sunset from the back of a camel. Slightly touristy, but well worth the trip, I dressed up in local dress before mounting my camel. The long strides of these strange creatures created a rather relaxing riding experience, and I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the desert as the sun slowly disappeared behind the dunes.
It was the perfect end to an incredible weekend. As I looked down at my Tudor Heritage Black Bay, I realized what a great choice this watch had been; its red bezel blended in as if it was part of the scenery. If there was ever a destination for this watch, Marrakech was it.
(Photography by Watchonista)