102 Watch Col­lec­tor

Ian Chan’s watch col­lec­tion is mod­est in num­ber, but far from it in con­tent

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Contents - WORDS JAMIE TAN

Ian Chan’s watch col­lec­tion is mod­est in num­ber, but far from it in con­tent

Ian Chan has an In­sta­gram ac­count (@ianny66) where he posts ca­sual shots of his watches, usu­ally while they’re on his wrist. Un­like many other In­sta­gram ac­count own­ers out there, he doesn’t fol­low an up­date sched­ule, or even post im­ages daily. In­stead, pic­tures come when they do, typ­i­cally once ev­ery cou­ple of days. The watches that he fea­tures are all the good stuff though, and mostly the ones from A. Lange & Söhne, which Chan is a fan of. It’s a close re­flec­tion of his col­lec­tion – the gen­eral man­ager at a Ja­panese MNC has just 10 watches,

Do you have a grail watch?

I’d love to own a Dato­graph Per­pet­ual Tour­bil­lon, but that’s be­yond my reach. The Lange 1815 Tour­bil­lon is an­other great choice. If it isn’t some­thing from A. Lange & Söhne, then it’d be a watch from Roger W Smith.

Have you ever suf­fered from buyer’s re­morse?

Ab­so­lutely. My big­gest mis­take was an an­nual cal­en­dar watch from a highly re­garded Swiss brand. I was ac­tu­ally at the au­tho­rised dealer to make pay­ment for an A. Lange & Söhne Sax­o­nia An­nual Cal­en­dar when a friend, who’s a very re­spected and knowl­edge­able col­lec­tor, called and told me to go for the other watch. He but six of them are from the afore­men­tioned man­u­fac­ture.

Nat­u­rally, A. Lange & Söhne time­pieces end up spend­ing a dis­pro­por­tion­ate amount of time on his wrist. When quizzed about his pen­chant for the brand, Chan re­turns time and again to its “horo­log­i­cal in­tegrity” – a phrase whose pre­cise mean­ing is dif­fi­cult to nail down, and per­haps best sum­marised as an at­ti­tude to be true to one­self, and the ideals of watch­mak­ing. The man has clearly done his re­search and think­ing; just look at his re­sponses on the op­po­site page. gave the usual rea­sons for why I had to – the same ones that make this brand pop­u­lar. Well, so I did, but I wore the watch just twice in the first two weeks that I owned it, be­fore leav­ing it un­touched for the next six months. I sold it af­ter­wards at a con­sid­er­able loss, and promptly used the money to buy my orig­i­nal goal, the Sax­o­nia An­nual Cal­en­dar.

Do you have any quirks in watch col­lect­ing, such as brands that you avoid?

I have a strong pref­er­ence for watches with in-house move­ments, be­cause that to me is the heart and soul of any watch. A. Lange & Söhne, for ex­am­ple, de­vel­ops a new move­ment for ev­ery new model, and that, in my opin­ion, has more horo­log­i­cal in­tegrity com­pared to brands that use ex­ter­nal move­ments.

Why the pen­chant for dressier watches over sporty ones, as your In­sta­gram posts sug­gest?

I don’t know. I’ve never re­ally thought about it. I guess it’s be­cause they ap­peal to me on some deeper level, and be­cause I’m more fre­quently dressed in busi­ness wear com­pared to gym at­tire.

What are your sources of in­for­ma­tion for watches?

Most of my in­for­ma­tion comes from on­line sources, and through the watch mag­a­zines that my go-to guy at an au­tho­rised dealer gives to me.

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