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Chefs’ Watch Collections: Both Jeremy Nguee and his timepieces are stylish and versatile

Jeremy Nguee reveals how he got into collecting watches.

JEREMY NGUEE

INSTRUMENT OF CHOICE: H. MOSER ENDEAVOUR CONCEPT COSMIC GREEN IN PALLADIUM

He orchestrates cocktail parties for some of the biggest luxury brands in the market, sells beautifully packaged convenience spice pastes to millennials and society ladies alike, and is now designing the food programme for the Straits Clan. Considering the many sexy offerings coming from the hands of food entrepreneur Jeremy Nguee, it is not that surprising that his are pretty well-dressed wrists, too.

But his love for a beautiful timepiece goes beyond his sensibilities as a dandy dresser. “Time is a universal concept, while time-keeping is a man-made construct… What watchmakers do is, in this respect, similar to what chefs do. We both work to create physical manifestations of an abstract ideal.”


 “I APPRECIATE CRAFTSMANSHIP AND LIKE WATCHES THAT TELL A STORY; PIECES WITH LOTS OF SPECIAL FEATURES TO BE DISCOVERED.”


WHAT MAKES ME TICK

01 BEYOND BRANDING

I tend to seek out obscure watches, and I love pieces from manufactures that try to do new things. The H. Moser is daring, because the maker is confident that the level of craftsmanship is so distinctively high that he doesn’t even need to put his name on it to be recognisable. As somebody who creates things by hand and strives to leave his mark in every dish, this resonates with me.

02 A TIMELESS GIFT

The Rolex Datejust Precision 6466 from my dad when I went to university, when I was 23, ignited my love for watches. It is not just an heirloom piece, but represents how good work can transcend time and space. The watchmaker made something that a young adult enjoyed four decades later – it is a reminder that you never know where your efforts will take you, or who will be touched and inspired by what you do.

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03 SMART CHOICE

I love “tool watches” – stainless steel pieces that can take a daily beating. I wear the Rolex Milgauss often for work, though, these days, I wear a Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch for very practical reasons. A smartwatch allows me to pick up a call, even when I’m up to my elbows in lobster head juice.

04 AN EYE FOR QUALITY

When I bought a Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec several years ago, my friends mocked me. But I felt it was worth it, for the amount of work that had gone into the watch – it has an in-house monopusher chronograph movement and a high level of finishing, as well as a lot of cool components such as a vertical clutch, an AM/ PM indicator and date aperture, and a hidden GMT hand. Two or three years later (after it had received a good deal of critical praise), those guys came around.

05 TWO TIMES THE FUN

I convinced my wife to let me buy the Louis Vuitton Escale Time Zone 39 in steel – which was sold exclusively at the brand’s Place Vendome global flagship – because the strap is in her favourite colour, green. After this purchase about two years back, we realised that we should start exploring this hobby together. We now usually buy watches that we can both wear.

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