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Talking Time: Why banker Tom Chng founded the Singapore Watch Club

Tom Chng on his views as a watch collector and requirements for joining the Singapore Watch Club.

MY FAVOURITE WATCHES

“I like rare and notable timepieces, especially those with interesting background stories. I’m also a huge fan of independent artisanal watchmakers.”

WHY I STARTED THE SINGAPORE WATCH CLUB (SWC)

“A hobby is a lot more enjoyable when you have like-minded friends to share it with. Also, when you have an efficient group, information can be conveyed faster. If somebody has a problem with a watch, within 30 seconds, he or she can get feedback from fellow watch collectors. For someone to join the SWC, there are just three criteria – passion, sincerity and humility.”

ONE WAY I’VE GROWN AS A COLLECTOR

“(With regard to brand biases,) I used to dislike some brands. But I realised I can’t judge every watch by the same standards. For example, it’s senseless to judge Hublot by the same values by which one would Kari Voutilainen, for example. They’re very different watches, made with very different methods and with very different philosophies. So, I shouldn’t be looking at a Hublot for its decoration, for example; instead, its strength is experimenting with new materials, like its impressive Magic Gold alloy.”

ABOUT THE SWC-ULYSSE NARDIN ANNIVERSARY WATCH

“Last year, the SWC celebrated its second anniversary with a specially commissioned watch from Ulysse Nardin. Unusual details include its black grand feu enamel dial and the red II in the Roman numeral for 12. “We commissioned 20 pieces, and it was offered only to members and associates of the club. I was shocked when it sold out in hours.”

NEXT ON MY WISH LIST

“One of the HMs (Horological Machines) by MB&F. I’m looking for a very specific model from the brand’s past; Max (Busser, brand founder) is now curating his own pre-owned pieces, and he’ll let me know if it shows up.”

THREE WATCHES THAT DEFINE MY COLLECTION

  • “Extreme” – Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Alaska Project Limited Edition

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