Watch collectors are an intense bunch. Once a brand or retailer touches their hearts and minds, they’ll return that love – yes, love – many times over. That’s what I’ve learnt from speaking to collectors over the years, including the three proﬁled in this issue (p. 42). Independent-watch fan Winston Kwang, for instance, did not just meet up with the folks behind German brand Lang & Heyne last year after falling hard for their Georg watch (and eventually buying it). He also helped to connect them with his favourite retailer here, which now carries the brand.
It’s little surprise, therefore, that as the industry recovers from the recent slump, brands are looking to further close the gap between customers and themselves. Audemars Piguet’s Francois-Henry Bennahmias summed up his vision for AP as “strategy 360”, when he talked about the brand’s plans to sell its own preowned watches (p. 58): “I want to be with you when you buy a new watch, and help you when you want to trade your watch for a new one or sell your second-hand one. Basically, we want to be all around the client, and for the client to hopefully never leave us.” Frankly, he almost sounded more romantic than my husband.
Similarly, our cover watch, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5270P, can be seen as a love letter to admirers of the brand’s beloved perpetual calendar chronographs. The new timepiece brings together features that Patek followers know and love: a beautiful platinum case, an in-house movement, and a salmon dial – minus the “chin” (a protruding tachymeter scale at six o’clock) that characterised an earlier version of the Ref. 5270 and dismayed many fans. Listening and learning – sure sounds like the recipe for a solid relationship to me.
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PHOTOGRAPHY VERNON WONG ART DIRECTION DENISE REI LOW HAIR & MAKEUP AARON NG, USING NYX COSMETICS