Army daze

“My first Swiss watch was a black steel Breitling with luminous indexes. I wore it when I was doing national service in 1990. I was in Officer Cadet School, and we had a military exercise on Pulau Tekong. It was a very hot day, and I had heatstroke – as did at least half a dozen others – and passed out. They have to strip you bare to cool you down. The next time I woke up, I was already in hospital. I lost that watch and never recovered it.”

Why I like my watches big and sporty

“I’m usually casually dressed, so I prefer casual sports watches rather than dressy ones. I wear my (Richard Mille) RM 28 or Rolex Deepsea “James Cameron” edition, when swimming or playing with my kids in the pool. I’m also in a dragonboat team, and once wore my RM 28 to a dragonboat session, mainly so I could take photos of it. I don’t really need a watch when I’m swimming. Just hiao (Hokkien for vain) lor!”

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Head vs heart

“When it comes to buying watches, I’m 70 per cent head and 30 per cent heart. I’ve bought and sold several watches, and I’ve downsized my collection over the years, because many of my watches weren’t getting enough wrist time. I tend to buy models that will increase or retain their value, and that can be easily sold.”

On being a fan of the Richard Mille brand

“I got into RM several years ago, when I made some new friends in the Ferrari Owners’ Club Singapore who are crazy about RM watches. I first bought the RM 11 in rose gold and titanium. A year later, I decided to get another RM. I like the RM 28 diver’s watch because it’s round – while most RMs are tonneau- shaped – and light because of its titanium case. I also like its reference number. The number 28 is special to me because two-eight sounds like ‘toothache’.” (Laughs)

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On going deep  – or not

“Before I got the Deepsea ‘James Cameron’, I had the previous, black-dialled version. I sold that and got the James Cameron one (launched in 2014 to commemorate the Canadian director and deep-sea explorer’s expedition to the Mariana Trench). I think it’s beautiful, especially its blue gradated dial, and green text, which really stands out. Its 3,900m depth rating is impressive, but actually doesn’t matter to me – because I don’t dive.”

My top three timepieces

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