Leo Lim Patek Philippe

How I first got into watches

“When I got married in 2013, my dad gave me two watches: A two-tone Rolex Daytona with a blue Arabic dial and the Patek Philippe Ref. 5712 Nautilus with a moon phase. Those two models had caught my eye due to their sportiness and were the perfect size for my relatively small wrist. My dad knew I liked them and got them for me. It was probably also a subtle hint for me to have kids soon so that I would have someone to pass them on to – and it worked.”


Leo Lim, Patek fan
Leo Lim, Patek fan

Family values

“I used to be clueless about watches but I started reading up about them because I was intrigued as to why certain brands and models were priced higher than others. I soon realised that the values that Patek stands for resonate with me – heritage and tradition are very important now that I am the father of two kids. The Ref. 5960/1A Annual Calendar Chronograph is my favourite Patek; I like it as it is sportier than the usual Pateks. I bought it to commemorate the birth of my daughter in 2016, and I was fortunate to get my hands on one before it was discontinued a few years after.”

(Related: For surgeon and watch collector Dr Ho Kok Sen, it’s go big or go home)


Looks matter

“Aesthetics are the most important aspect of a watch to me. I like chronographs because they look sportier and younger. That said, I like watches in yellow gold, although some people feel that yellow gold is apek [Hokkien for uncle]. I like it because it’s closer to the natural colour of gold.”

Marking milestones: “The Ref. 5976/1G Nautilus was a purchase to mark the birth of my son last year. It was made for the 40th anniversary of the Nautilus, and it’s the biggest Nautilus with its huge 44mm size. I slept poorly the night before due to my excitement; I was waking up every hour and checking if it was time to wake up so I could go and collect the watch. I brought my son – who was about four months old then – along for the collection; it was a truly memorable day.”


Birds on the brain

“Recently, I’ve become interested in watches with enamelled dials, because of the amount of work that goes into them and how difficult they are to produce. I would love a Patek enamelled watch with a brightly coloured motif that shows off the vibrancy of the enamel, such as a peacock. I love birds – we have several peacocks and pheasants at home.”


Three watches that represent me as a collector

(Related: Patek Philippe reveals a new complication for its calendar watches)