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Michael Finn, co-founder of The Fifth Collection, on his top timepieces

Finn's timepieces commemorate milestones in his life.

COMING OF AGE IN THE HOME OF HOROLOGY

“I can trace back my active interest in watches to my mid-teens when I attended boarding school in Switzerland, the home of horology. For me, watch-collecting has never been an end in itself – it was more something woven into my life as part of commemorating particular milestones or life events.”

MY FIRST WATCH

“I got my first Swiss watch at 14; it was a Longines passed to me by my brother. I remember how special it felt, in large part because it had been his and this made him feel closer to me while I was away at boarding school. This was the first time I understood the psychological power of watches. I still have that watch.”

(RELATED: The 60-second watch brand guide: Longines)

WHAT DISTINGUISHES MY DAILY BEATER

“A watch I wear often is my Panerai Radiomir 8 Days (PAM 190). It was a gift from my wife (and The Fifth Collection co-founder Nejla Matam-Finn) to celebrate our engagement. The watch is built on the Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) Calibre 877, an awesome movement that JLC used to power its own 70th-anniversary Reverso Septantieme. I love its little eccentricities and contradictions, such as the gold-coloured hands within a steel case; or the ‘stealth’ power-reserve indicator that’s visible only through the exhibition caseback.”

WHY MY REVERSO IS MY SPIRITUAL TWIN

“Growing up, I lived in different countries on my own and spoke languages that weren’t my family’s. We spoke English at home, but my brother and I grew up in Spain and Mexico, so we spoke Spanish outside, and for some time we studied in French schools, so we spoke French in the classroom. Before Singapore, I had not lived in the same city for more than three years as an adult. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo Grande Taille has two sides, one black and one white. You can use it as a day or night watch – the dark side can be worn with something more formal, like a tuxedo. And it’s useful when you’re travelling because each side can show a different time. I identify with that ability to adapt to different environments; it’s something I’ve done my whole life.”

(RELATED: Why the limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Tourbillon is worth a second look)

ON MY WISH LIST

“An Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Extra-Thin in steel with a blue dial. I’m not the only fan of this watch – the current waiting list is more than a year long, so I guess I have some time to find a milestone to pin this purchase on. Maybe to celebrate the acquisition or listing of The Fifty Collection one day?”

(RELATED: The 60-second watch brand guide: Audemars Piguet)

WHY HIS PREOWNED LUXURY-GOODS BIZ, THE FIFTH COLLECTION, SELDOM DEALS WITH WATCHES

“We don’t specialise in watches, but we do carry a few, and we have very strict conditions. If someone wants to sell a watch with us, they have to take it to be serviced by the brand first – so we know it’s authentic, and that it is in the best possible working order. We’re very focused on the fact that we’re very knowledgeable about the products that we sell and can authenticate them with very high confidence. And we don’t feel that way about watches.”

(RELATED: Tips for investing in branded vintage bags)

MY TOP THREE TIMEPIECES

  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo Grande Taille
    “Versatile” – Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo Grande Taille in steel

(RELATED: How an Officine Panerai watch saved explorer Mike Horn’s life)