A League of Her Own
Lung Lung Thun’s collection has been a long time in the making— though the relationship between watch and owner has not always been easy
A look at Lung Lung Thun’s watch collection
Lung Lung Thun whizzes around Singapore in her cherry-red Ferrari, down Orchard Road and past the city’s upscale shopping malls and high-fashion houses. It’s 2012, and the 23-year-old is hot off yet another spending spree. In the boot of her car are several unopened shopping bags from similar splurges. She comes to a stop light and bursts into tears. “I was buying so much and just couldn’t understand why,” she tells me over gin and tonics at Hong Kong’s The Upper House hotel. “I felt really empty and wasn’t satisfied at all. I was feeling super unfulfilled.”
Now 31, Thun is crushing it as a successful financier who manages her own securities brokerage. Crackling with energy, she wears a moss-green jumpsuit that ties around the waist. Yellow gold bangles light up her wrists alongside an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Openworked Double Balance Wheel. It’s hard for me to believe that Thun, who is so sweet and self-assured, is the same woman that she describes from 2012. “In that very moment, as I sat there in that car, I made a mental note to always remember that buying things won’t make me happy. And that I can live without all that extra stuff.”
Born to a Malaysian father and a Taiwanese mother, Thun grew up in Singapore, where she attended an international school. Surrounded by teenage girls who were obsessed with boys and make-up, she became more self-conscious, a feeling that lasted well into early adulthood. “I thought: ‘Maybe I’m just weird and need to change myself in order to fit in.’” She began buying designer bags and shoes, but still felt like an outsider. “I’d tell myself: ‘You know why you feel this way? It’s because you don’t have a Birkin.’ So, I went and bought myself an Hermès Birkin. I remember opening the box and trying it on and thinking: ‘I just don’t feel anything.’”
A visual explosion of glitz and glamour, deep down Thun’s a tomboy. An only child, she spent her childhood playing rough and tumble with her male cousins. She loves sports and playing video games, but watches are what really caught her eye. She recalls flicking through pages of high-society magazines, including Tatler, which her mother would leave around their home. Instead of drooling over the jewellery, Thun swooned over the watches.
She bought her first serious timepiece, a Chanel J12, in 2010 after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business from University of Warwick in the UK. In retrospect, the J12 was, for her, a mistake. “I had no clue what I was doing,” she admits. “I liked it, but I didn’t feel that it was a true reflection of my personality. I felt like a fraud wearing it.”