WHY THIS COLLECTOR IS PROUD OF HIS LOUD TIMEPIECES.
TALKING TIME STATEMENT MAKER
Investor Vincent Ng on why he’s proud of being horologically loud.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
“My first watch was by (French watch designer) Alain Silberstein. I was in lower secondary, and I bought it while walking around Heeren Shopping Centre. It was a quartz watch and cost a couple hundred bucks. I liked its three colourful hands; I didn’t know the brand at the time. It was only a decade later, when I no longer had the watch, that I realised that it had been an early Silberstein. So, when my friend sourced a Silberstein Dragon watch with an enamel dial for me, I grabbed it – I like the dial and the finishing.”
PROUD OF BEING LOUD
“I like loud and avant-garde pieces, such as those by MB&F and Richard Mille. They make a statement and a great amount of effort goes into making them. My Richard Mille RM 11-01 looks big but it’s actually very comfortable because its tonneau case is curved at the bottom. When I bought it, I thought I’d put it in the safe in case it got scratched. But it became a daily beater – with its rubber strap, I don’t have to worry about getting it wet when I wash my hands.”
STEELING HIMSELF – OR NOT
“I used to own a Patek 5980R, a rose gold Nautilus with a brown dial and leather strap. I later realised I preferred the blue dial. So, I swopped it with a collector who had a 5980/1AR, the same watch, but in steel and gold, and a blue dial – and was looking for a dressier watch. Recently, the price of the steel Patek Nautilus 5980 surged after it was discontinued; prices (on the grey market) are nearly that of the gold (equivalent). As a businessman, I advocate that people don’t pay more for steel than gold, but that’s the trend right now, and I cannot control market forces. The 5980/1AR is the best of both worlds: If you do not know which you want, just buy half-steel and half-gold and see what happens.” (Laughs.)
ON HIS ROLE AS INVESTMENT ADVISER TO A NEW WATCH FUND
“A fellow watch collector Chelsey (Chen) and I started a watch fund. We receive questions about watches all the time – about which timepieces to buy and at what prices – and many friends have told us that they are keen on investing in timepieces, but don’t know where to start. The Horo Fund is operated by Chelsey’s company Olive55wrist, which is advised by my company Dektos Investment, a registered fund management company. The Horo Fund curates the timepieces that are bought, sold, traded or held, and aims to return a certain yield to investors.”
ON DECIDING WHICH WATCH TO WEAR DAILY
“I keep about 15 watches at home. I don’t use watch winders because I think they cause wear and tear to watch movements. Sometimes, I wear one that matches my clothing, but on days when I’m feeling lazy or just going for a casual outing, I pick a watch that shows the closest actual time.”