A Patek Philippe is a watch that connects generations. Not only has it been the pride of the Stern family for almost a century, the brand also upholds values – both in watchmaking and in life – that can and should be handed down for years to come. We discover what passing values down to the next generation means to these eight families. (A Cortina Watch & Patek Philippe Special.)
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Nicholas Goh and Isaac Goh
Few experience the passage of time as mercilessly as a parent. In what feels like a mere moment, children go from being in a cradle to being able to rock one. That’s why Nicholas Goh, founder and CEO of content consultancy firm Verztec, is acutely aware of time’s immeasurable value.
“Whenever I’m feeling down at work, I remind myself that I’m doing all this for my family. The times we spend cuddling in the living room watching a movie, and sharing our dreams and talking about how to achieve them, keep me going,” he says. Having grown his company from a team of three to 60 in Singapore and 350 worldwide in nine countries was no easy task, but it’s one that has given him plenty of advice to pass on to his kids. “I want them to learn to be passionate in what they do, to have commitment and focus, and to be compassionate to those around us. As we are blessed, so too must we remember to bless others.”
(Nicholas Goh) Suit and turtleneck, from Boss. Watch: Patek Philippe 5140P-013 (Isaac Goh) Pullover, from Hackett
Lock Ching Yuen and Caitlyn Chan
Motherhood is an overwhelming task, but for Lock Ching Yuen, wife of aesthetics doctor Calvin Chan, it has given her a fresh perspective on life. “I’ve learnt to look at the world and see its wonder and beauty through the eyes of my daughter, Caitlyn,” she says. “I hope she has, in turn, learnt from me the all-encompassing love I have for her, and that it is constant, deep and uplifting through the praise, scoldings and little day-to-day moments we have together.”
If she had to summarise the values she wishes to impart, it would be to “be brave, be grateful and be kind”. As older generations have walked the highs and lows of a comparatively longer life, there is much to teach the young ones, but Lock would never belittle the lessons children can offer in return. “They can bring back a joie de vivre to older minds that have been jaded by the same valuable experiences meant to guide the young.”
(Lock Ching Yuen) Alberta Ferretti dress, from Tyan. Watch: Patek Philippe 7122/200R-001
(Caitlyn Chan) Dress, from CH Carolina Herrera
Chua Chee Kheng and Marvin Chua
Watching children grow up to be stand-up citizens with the same values you carefully nurtured in them must be one of the most satisfying aspects of being a parent. It certainly is the case for Chua Chee Kheng, executive director of trading company Lepon. “We are gratified to observe that the core values we hold dear – namely respect for others and humility – have been ingrained in both our married children,” he says.
He’s well aware that different generations can have contrasting views on issues, but it’s nothing some good old communication can’t fix. “We learn to understand the challenges the other faces,” he adds. “And family history and cultural heritage can be passed on more effectively with a strengthened bond.”
(Chua Chee Kheng) Suit, from Hackett. Watch: Patek Philippe 5230R-001 (Marvin Chua) Sweater, from Hackett. Watch: Patek Philippe 6000G-012
Fanty Soenardy and Louisa Ong
Fanty Soenardy and her property developer husband, Douglas Ong, may lead a cushy life compared to most, but the mother of two and self-proclaimed fashion enthusiast believes her children must create value for society. “Aside from loving their family and having gratitude, I encourage them to do volunteer work, or to simply guide their school juniors academically or in their extra-curricular activities,” she says.
She says her children are still young and lack life experience, but they have taught her the importance of mutual respect. “Sometimes, they offer interesting reasoning and may even be right on some matters. By being respectful of their thoughts, I gain respect from them as well.” Ultimately, Soenardy understands that the exchange of thoughts and ideals is what strengthens the family unit. “It is through our family chats that we share our joy, respectfully tell one another the things we are unhappy with, and basically know what is happening in everyone’s lives.”
(Fanty Soenardy) Temperley jacket and Marchesa Notte jumpsuit, from Outnet.com. Watch: Patek Philippe 7010R-012. (Louisa Ong) Dress, from CH Carolina Herrera. Watch: Patek Philippe 4910/10.
Patricia Kwee and Charmain Kwee
Since she was little, Patricia Kwee’s parents have been persistent in their efforts to instil in her the virtue of being gracious towards others, a quality that the wife of supercar magnate Karsono Kwee, executive chairman of the Eurokars Group, hopes the next generation will value. “That and honesty should be ingrained in this society. Without these values, it would be a challenge for it to function in a moral manner in time to come,” she cautions. But based on her experiences with her daughter, the future looks hopeful.
“I have learnt empathy from her. We have to put ourselves in each others’ shoes to see things from their point of view,” she says. “Each generation has its own characteristics. Mine has experienced the harsher truths of reality and we can teach the next one how to prevent history from repeating itself. On the other hand, Generation Y can help us to adapt and fully maximise our abilities in the current environment.”
(Patricia Kwee) Top, from Paule Ka, Watch: Patek Philippe 7130G-013.
(Charmain Kwee) Top, from Jonathan Simkhai, Outnet.com, Watch: Patek Philippe 4897/300G-001.
Loi Pok Yen and Loi Kae-Zen
Leading a company to international success takes skill, determination and grit but that’s not all Loi Pok Yen wants to teach his three children. “I want them to have a clear goal in life, to possess calmness in dealing with challenges and to avoid ostentatious behaviour and seek neither personal fame nor glory,” says the group CEO of logistics company CWT Limited.
To him, forging a bond between generations is important because “a child yearns for the attention of his or her parents, while an old parent yearns for the attention of the children. But life is constantly evolving, so life’s lessons are not constant,” he muses. “In the same way – a timepiece doesn’t just tell you the time. A watch is like a partner in life that delivers perspective.”
(Loi Pok Yen) Long-sleeved shirt, from Brunello Cucinelli, Watch: Patek Philippe 5227R-001.
(Loi Kai-zen) Long-sleeved shirt and pants, from Armani Junior @ Kids 21.
Beppe de Vito and Lucio de Vito
With seven restaurants to manage, and a wife and four boys to return to at day’s end, it would be an understatement to say that chef Beppe de Vito has a lot on his plate. But despite being busy with this year’s openings – Osteria Art in Market Street and Braci at Boat Quay – he never forgets his duty to be a guiding light for sons Marco, Tanin, Nico and Lucio.
“We give one another strength and support, and accept one another’s individuality,” he says, adding that the values he means to pass on to them are “to be compassionate, kind and understanding. Be driven, but at no one else’s expense”. As in the kitchen, good communication is vital in their lively household. He adds: “I want to communicate love, affection and, particularly, an understanding of different cultures.”
(Beppe de Vito) Pullover, from CH Carolina Herrera, Watch: Patek Philippe 5327J-001.
Casling Tan and Amelie Shen
It’s happened to all of us. Whether it’s advancing a career, managing the home or generally trying to keep up with today’s frantic pace, we have from time to time forgotten how to have fun the way we used to as carefree children. Fortunately for bank compliance officer Casling Tan, her daughter, Amelie, is always there to remind her.
“She teaches me to seize every opportunity to have fun together,” she shares. “These mother-daughter moments are precious because they will evolve as she grows up, so I hope she will learn to treasure them.” Rather than have a set of rules to impart to her offspring, Tan’s approach is simply to enjoy the time they have together while sharing their feelings openly. “Communication brings love. We are not just parent and child, we are best friends.”
(Casling Tan) Suit: BOSS Women, Watch: Patek Philippe 4968G-010.