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Talking Time: An F&B entrepreneur shares his appetite for Audemars Piguet

Alfred Chua, MD of The Wok People, shares his love for the Swiss brand and its connection to golfing.

Making the links

“One of the reasons Audemars Piguet (AP) is my favourite is its strong connection to golf. I love playing golf, and I’ve been invited by the brand to attend several golf tournaments in various cities, including London and Dubai. I’ve also been to its manufacture in Switzerland twice. My interest in its watches grew tremendously after I saw the amount of precision handwork that went into making them.”

(Related: A. Lange & Sohne releases the 2020 Lange 1 Time Zone)

Risk and reward

“I bought my first AP watch in 2005 after I sold my first (institutional catering) company, Woko F&B. AP watches are not cheap, and I couldn’t afford them until I sold my first company. That watch was a basic 42mm Royal Oak Offshore known as ‘Black Theme’ among enthusiasts. I still wear it as my daily watch.”

(Related: Watch spread: minimalist timepieces)

Winning formula

“My first visit to the AP manufacture was in 2012. A group of us were touring the factory, and we were walking down a corridor in clean-room gowns when we passed a small meeting room with a window. Inside, there was a completed Royal Oak Offshore Michael Schumacher 44mm on a table. At that time, it had not yet been released. Watchmakers were working on it. I fell in love with it and managed to secure a piece for myself after getting back to Singapore.”

Great gift

“Most of my watches are from AP, followed by Rolex and Patek Philippe. But I also own watches from other brands. I have the Richard Mille RM 30 Blue Ceramic EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Limited Edition. It was a gift from my wife. While we were on a shopping holiday in London, we visited the boutique. She’d sold her business a couple of years before, and had previously mentioned that she wanted to buy something for me, but I wasn’t expecting her to get me the watch.”

Modern icons

“Last December, a Japanese company acquired my second company, The Wok People. So, I decided to buy myself something nice. While deciding what to buy, I recalled my second visit in 2016 to the AP manufacture. We were touring Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (AP’s complicated watch development and manufacturing arm) and met the company co-founder Giulio Papi, a watchmaking legend, who shared information on its complex Concept watches. Eventually, I decided on the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT.”

  • Alfred Chia Audemars Piaget

    “Revolutionary”

    Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT in titanium and ceramic.

(Related: Richard Mille’s latest is still light and tough – and in a new material)

Photography Veronica Tay

Art Direction Fazlie Hashim

Grooming Eunice Wong WY