James Martin Lim


“My first watch was an automatic Citizen my dad gave me when I was seven. It was an 18K gold-plated, three- hand watch with a brown leather strap. Yes, it was a strange choice for a seven-year-old, but I think he was buying what he liked [laughs]. Because I was so young, it was usually kept by my parents. I only got to wear it on special occasions or spend time with it after I had done my homework.”


“I’m a sucker for vintage re-editions such as the Cartier Tank Cintree. I have about 20 reissued models. I like those that stay true to their original inspirations. I feel that when a brand releases a reissue, it is an opportunity for people who previously didn’t have the chance to buy that watch to own it now. It doesn’t have to be a very expensive watch. For example, when Seiko does reissues, certain models have sentimental value to me because they remind me of my childhood.”

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“I support local microbrands such as Gruppo Gamma, Boldr, Vilhelm and Feynman. Boldr is my favourite because it has nice, chunky divers. My wife and I dive recreationally and I just want to have something on my wrist while diving, but I’m not brave enough to wear a Rolex Submariner into the sea [laughs]. I’ve worn a Boldr diver to a depth of about 40m and it was fine. I’ve told Vilhelm that I will dive with one of its watches but I haven’t gone diving again because of Covid-19.”


“There’s a funny story behind the Cartier Tank Cintree I got for my 50th birthday last June. I’m in a group chat with a Cartier rep. He had sent a message saying that the new Tank Cintree was available, but I was busy and forgot about it. Subsequently, when my friend picked up his new Cintree at the boutique, I was there to join in the fun and I asked the rep why he hadn’t told me that the watch was available. Of course, he had and showed me his messages – and I apologised profusely. A few days later, I was having drinks with a client when he called to say he had a Tank Cintree for me.”

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“I was lucky enough to get the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph and Rolex Daytona models that I wanted (both pictured) for my 50th birthday. I have too many watches, and sometimes it’s a bit difficult to justify new purchases to my wife, so now, I tag my purchases to occasions [laughs]. For our 26th anniversary this year, I ordered a pair of the new Tudor Black Bay watches with silver dials – 36mm for me and 32mm for her.”


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