10 Years a Purists, 20 a Collector.....a HoroTale
Howdy fellow PuristS of the Horological Shire,
this is somewhat a aggrandizement post as it is a sentimental one. Today, I celebrate 10th year on Puristspro. I actually joined the old PuristS forum in 2003/4, and was roped in by Dr. Bernard Cheong, a former moderator of this august site, for those newer members who do not know. I officially signed up as a member on 14 November 2007. In the first few years on PPro, I was as silent as a Fransican monk, and mostly lurking and reading. My total post count up to 2010, was like a shameful 35 posts, and I never started a thread. In late 2010, I became massively active, largely due to the huge PuristS crowd here and the active encouragement of MTF. In late 2011, I was made moderator and accepted into the horo-cabal of High Priest MTF and Lord Protector Thomas Mao. I took a stressful sabbatical from PPro in 2015 and 2016, after my daughter was born and I switched employers after a faithful 15 year service. My contribution here is somewhat negligible, as evidenced by my also embarassingly 7K with some change, when benchmarked against luminaries such at Amanico.
Over the years, I have met many wonderful PuristS and fellow WIS. Notable among the Mods and Management team - Thomas Mao- for his understanding of the horology world, MTF - for his refinement and deep knowledge, Amanico - the fun bastardo
- , FRX - super serious guy with a camera for a left hand and rumoured possessor of over one million wristshots, KIH - gentlement with a keen eye and a very personal PuristS story, AndrewLuff - Lord Orange and royalty, Bill - whom i met briefly on a clandestine Paris trip and a wonderful mind, Alec Yin - fellow Lamborghini owner and car nut.
In Singapore where I was born, breed and based, my fellow local mods - Kong, for his industry and ire humour, Robin - tirelkess and selfless, and a strange love for all things Montblanc, Stefan - who took over my old job as Community Liaison and the last of the gentlemen collector. Past alumni of Bernard Cheong, Jaw, SJX, who has moved on to greener pastures, for helping build the PuristS brand and their friendships. And of course the many Purists all over the world that helped me form my horological values and horned my PuristS instincts. PuristSPro has became a home, a refuge, especially during boring corporate hours!!There were some disappointments too. Certain characters took my hospitality for granted, and also the first and thankfully only place where I got scammed, over a Panerai!! Its also the place I ruffled a few feathers with my brand of horo-humour, and got into trouble for submitting an watch on a ladies ankle for the weekly wristscan, and for having the audacity to suggest that the weekly Wristscan be renamed Limbscan
I have also met many wonderful sould outside the PuristS, and a few rascals, over the years....having met CEOs and MDs of big brands in big swanky ballrooms, to commercial ADs and gray dealers, to visiting small ateliers of Independent watchmakers....I am very fortunate to have made many friendships and been involved in many horo-events. I have visited huge manufactures from JLC to Hublot, visited horology museums, spent time with Indie watchmakers and developed personal friendships with some. I have been to Baslworld and SIHH, and the many watch fairs that pop up in between them. I have met many fellow Purists and WIS communities around the world from London to Hong Kong, joined brand specific clubs like Paneristis, and in turn hosted many collector visitors to Singapore. I have hosted many watch events and product launches regionally in South East Asia. All in all, horology for me has transcend beyond watch collecting into a lifestyle. I started a short lived local watch forum called WristLounge from 2009-2011. In 2014, I co-founded a horology blog www.deployant.com
with two collector friends, one of them, Peter Chong, used to moderate Lange forum at "rival" Timezone. 3 years ago, I started a self named Instagram account : HORORGASM and that opened up a whole new world of watch collectors I never knew existed, and met horology social media personalities like mental santa laura and the indomitable Watchanish.
On the personal front, I became father of two and still gainfully married to the same SheWhoMustBeObeyed(SWMBO), who I met in 1997, the same time I started collecting watches. The good news is my crazy devotion to horology has influenced SWMBO and the kids, and since then, she has started her own collection and now have about 15 watches to her name. The bad news is there exist a divide in the household, SWMBO is into Patek, and was featured in local society magazine for Patek, along with my daughter. I am a Lange guy, and thankfully my son too (though he rate Casio G Shocks higher then Lange!!!!), and we appeared on local literature for Lange. And yes, I am still a #corporateslave and now being in my 40s, have given up hope of being a entreprenuer.
On the collecting front, I am pleased to announce more successes. the collection has ballooned at a faster rate than my expanding waistline. See below.
at this stage, I conclude my almost Academy Awards-ish speech. Kindly permit me some self indulgence, as I Iook back at a decade of PuristS life, thru the photos below:
THE PURISTS CONNECTION
my trademark - the era of ankle shots have arrived -
Celebrating Guy Fawkes night with twin wristing of MB&Fs. Twin Wristing has became a core feature of all Horo-GTGs in Singapore, where the punishment of not turning up double wristed could be as severe as removal of offending limb -
With MTF and FRX at Baselworld. Both are depository of horo-knowledge and history, I have learnt so much from them.
If you do not know which one is MTF and the other FRX, you should be expelled from the forum, if not executed by firing squad!!
My fellow moderators in Singapore..Robin Wong, Stefan Ma and me, all with fancy headgears. The best people with no egos and willingness to serve the community, despite their hectic schedules. Robin is in the busy fast paced digital world and Stefan is in the demanding world of academia.
We are missing Kong, our longest serving local moderator, who has been summoned by a bevy of beautiful young ladies behind us. Yes ladies, he is still single.
Me turning up at Singapore PuristS GTG held at a classy Japanese restaurant, located in a swanky hotel....and me turning up with a Iron Man mask, I must say the antic did raise a few security concerns with the hotel guards, but I contributed to the overall merriment of the event, if not to the cute waitresses in kimonos. Wristed with my beloved JLC Gyrotourbillon
Me in a Horo-Remorse pose, double wristed with Tudor Bronze...both the regular and the Bucherer, for another gathering. The usual post purchase poseME AND THE WATCH INDUSTRY
Me with the effervescent Jean Claude Biver; legendary in the past and still making horo-history; and highly intelligent and horology blue blooded Michael Tay, scion of the Hourglass family, in a fondue restaurant somewhere in rural Switzerland. Wristitng and fisting with what else, but Hublots. I am NOT shaving my head......
with one of the smartest guy in the industry, also the most energetic...the superman Jerome Lambert, a PuristS favourite watch executive. He was boss of Jaeger LeCoultre, A.Lange & Sohne and lately Montblanc...all my favourite Richemont brands, and I must confess, partly due to his passion and drive. Congrats to his recent elevation to the post of Group COO for Richemont.
At a recent Sincere Fine Watches/Laurent Ferrier event where I was the guest speaker. A part of my horological life involves me hosting and sharing at some of these watch events or product launches. here is Christian Ferrier, son of Laurent, also designer and executive at the firm, Franck Giacobini, regional boss at DKSH, a huge conglomerate that has a watch distribution arm and Ong Ban, my mentor and shrewd CEO of Sincere Fine Watches
well....working for as back up singer for The Platters at a Parmigiani dinner. They wanted to end the event, but the guests refuses to leave, that's when i start singing...... -
ME AND ALTERNATIVE HOROLOGY GIGS
Corporal Horo and Audemars Piguet board member Field Marshal Oliviero Bottinelli, at a military themed Charity gig. The watch industry has over the years increased its social responsibility quotient.
me and the lovely multi-talented multi-hyphenate TV presenter Anita Kapoor. Very smart, very beautiful, Mumbai born but Singapore based, she is a amatuer watch collector, and I was involved in the production of an episode on Lux Asia, talking about watch collecting and the rise of watch collecting clubs and communities, and what we look for in watches and brands. First time I went on TV for horology!
Mad Men antics of social media darling Anish Bhatt and Horo. After a night on in Singapore, we "pretend pee" on my Lamborghini. I started a campaign called #peeonlambo on Instagram just for fun, and it went viral. It was my silent protest against some fellow Lamborghini owners being too "car proud". Anish strikes me as a really serious and smart guy, behind that all fun and all play exterior.
MY INDIE/AHCI JOURNEY
Me hosting the Grandmasters tour 2013 in Singapore. over 300 people turned up, and I was overwhelmed by the level of interest in independent watchmaking.
The Drunk Bastardos
It was also held on my wedding anniversary, but the supportive SheWhoMustBeObeyed was very forgiving that night. Local retailer Hourglass actually celebrated for us, with a singer serenading from the floor above. Many PuristS turned up, coming in from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia (yes...PPlater....where are you these days??) With Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, Philippe Dufour and Roger Smith. Vanney Halter fell ill, and couldn't attend. The event was publicized on the AHCI thread. In 2012, I was asked to co-mod AHCI sub-forum with the extremely intelligent and amatuer watchmaker himself Don Corson, probably the most technical guy among the moderating team.
Me with Max Busser, the most creative and personable Indie.
I started collecting MB&Fs in the late 00s, and have seen the brand grow from strength to strength. I learnt alot about Indie economics from him. he is now looked upon as some sort of a big brother to all the Indies. His transition from big brand Harry Winston to Indie is well documented, and he started the highly successful OPUS series that gained then jewellery maker Harry Winston horological legitimacy
Merry making with Kari Voutilainen and Tim Gronefled at Baselworld. the KV Vingt 8 and the Gronefled Remontoire remains among my favourite classically styled Indie.
what happens when you ask Monsiuer Dufour to make a brand new Simplicity for the fifth year running...... -
Will be expanding on alot of the above plus many others in the AHCI forum, stay tuned.
Horoboy with his first Lange...a 1815 time only in rose gold, and attending his first Lange event aged 7
Horoboy with me at A Journey Thru Time, held in Kuala Lumpur.
I captured every watch on camera, for every major event of his life since he was born. Here winning gold at national Tae Kwon Do competition for his weight category, for the first time. #proudfathermoment.
Arrival of Horogal : I am a daddy, again....wristing Harry Winston Vianney Halter Opus 3
Horogal couple of weeks old, versus the giant Panerai Egiziano!!
Horogal : Nobody touches my Patek Philippe, NOBODY!!!!!
THE STATE OF THE CURRENT COLLECTION
these are terrible shots......I was packing everything back into cases and back into the bank vaults. so please forgive me. I started with one proper watch in 1997. When I was a teenager, I bought from Singapore Chinatown a Titoni Airking, which i still have in the storeroom. Thereafter, I had a Omega which was handed down to me from my grandfather via my uncle who has no kids, which explains my love for Omega. In 1997, I started casually collecting, after i returned from UK and joined the work force. I had about a handful of watches, maybe 10, when I joined PuristS.....and the proverbial, there has been no looking back!!
Thanks for "celebrating" my 10th anniversary with me, and indulging me with your patience in reading this long sentimental horo-drivel. Stay tuned next week when I collect a Chopard LUC, to celebrate this occasion. I leave you with this image....which i feel encapsulates the PuristS spirit, in more ways then one
....(in)famous watch collector and former frequent participant on PPro, now a writer at Quill and Pad. One of my oldest friend in horology, and a renowned Indie watch collector. to my left are Peter Speake Marin and Stepan Sarpaneva. PSM I have known since 2008, and one of the nicest Indie watchmaker ever, period. He has a impressive CV from WOSTEP watchmaking school, to Somlo restoring vintage timepieces, to cutting-edge watchmaking at Renaud Papi. Not many all rounder watchmakers like him. Stepan is one free spirit and artistic guy, some say with a strange obssesion with the moon....and that the height of his brows has a direct correlation to the moon's distance to earth
(Typographic Edits) This message has been edited by MTF on 2017-12-11 02:30:22