THE STORIES AND MEMORIES THAT VINTAGE WATCHES HOLD ARE A BIG DRAW FOR THIS COLLECTOR.
MY FIRST TASTE OF HIGH HOROLOGY
“I studied at the University of Wales, and my school was in a castle. There were beautiful clocks from the 16th century. In summer, my friends and I would travel to places like the Patek Philippe Museum.”
ON GETTING HIS FIRST SERIOUS WATCH FOR A DOLLAR
“I have a bonsai master; he taught me how to create bonsai. In 2007, he was in his ’70s, and he had a pink gold Vacheron Constantin Patrimony from the 1930s, which he wanted to give to his son. But the watch wasn’t to his son’s taste. We have a good relationship, so he offered to sell it to me for a dollar, which was totally unexpected.”
WHY I LIKE VINTAGE TIMEPIECES
“My collection comprises 50 watches. About 80 per cent of them are vintage pieces. To me, these are more than just watches. They hold a lot of memories, and I feel quite fortunate to own a vintage piece that’s in good condition – because it must have been able to remain that way, thanks to the efforts of its previous owners. I display special watches on this sandalwood log (pictured), which is from Mysore, India. It is around two centuries old.
WHY THE 1910 PENDANT WATCH IS SPECIAL
“When I first saw this pendant watch at an auction preview, I was amazed. Even though it’s so intricate and was from 1910, it was well-preserved: The movement was working, and the pearls were in good condition, as were the platinum case and chain. Its blue enamel case was very glossy and (evocative) – the pattern resembles water ripples. A husband had bought it for his wife, and I like to think that it was a form of commitment. I buy watches based on the stories behind them.”
ON OWNING A DECIDEDLY UN-VINTAGE 46MM MODEL
“On a daily basis, I select a watch to wear from only a couple of watches in my collection. I like small watches – the Vacheron Constantin vintage watch I’m wearing right now is 32mm. But I also buy new watches because it’s good to know about developments. I like IWC’s Little Prince collection because the story is so dreamy. I have the Annual Calendar, which has an interesting rotor (with The Little Prince character standing on a planet). It’s 46mm – so I don’t wear it, I just keep it.”
MY TOP THREE TIMEPIECES
01 “Pure artistry” – Patek Philippe Ref. 5115R in red gold, from 2000
02 “Romantic” – Vacheron Constantin for Tiffany & Co pendant watch in platinum, from 1910
03 “Original” – Vacheron Constantin yellow gold watch with horned lugs, from 1990
TEXT LYNETTE KOH PHOTOGRAPHY FRENCHESCAR LIM ART DIRECTION FAZLIE HASHIM