Eric Chua

Counting up

“My dad bought me my first serious watch for my 21st birthday in 2000. He asked me to choose one, and I opted for the Breitling Chronomat Longitude GMT. I liked that it wasn’t a common watch, and had chronograph and GMT functions. When I was 28, I was made a partner at the architectural visualisation firm I was working at, and I marked the occasion by getting myself a Rolex Daytona.”

(Related: Talking Time: This collector bought two De Bethune watches within a week)

On the move

“I like watches with complications. The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5164 (pictured) was the first watch in the Aquanaut range to have a complication. I used to travel quite a bit for my various businesses, so I got it because of the dual- time function and a day/night indicator. I would wear the watch for business meetings while overseas, but I would limit where I wore it for safety’s sake, even though many people probably don’t recognise the watch.”

(Related: Shaun Djie is a collector of classics across eras)

Suits him

“The A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Moon Phase (pictured) was my first dress watch and my first watch in rose gold. Around that time, I had gone into a suit business, and was wearing suits every day, so I thought a dress watch would be appropriate. I was at a mall for lunch when I passed a retail shop and saw the Saxonia Moon Phase. I went in, checked it out, and bought it in five minutes. Lunch that day was quite expensive. (Laughs.)”

A visual art

“I studied architecture, and I’m very visual, so aesthetics are important to me. When selecting a watch, I consider its proportion, composition, and functions. As my watch journey evolved, I began to appreciate the ‘less is more’ concept. That’s how I got into H. Moser & Cie. in 2020. I still like complications, and I appreciate how the brand maintains its minimalist style even with complex pieces like the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph (pictured).”

(Related: Watches & Wonders 2022: New models and materials from A. Lange & Sohne, Hublot, Hermes, Chanel and Zenith)

Second time round

“When purchasing a watch, fate can play a role. When the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Centre Seconds with a Matrix Green smoked dial came out at the end of 2020, it was hard to get because of the high demand. In January 2021, I saw one at a pre-owned watch shop, and I tried countering with a lower price, but I didn’t succeed. When I went back a month later, it was gone. In November, a private collector listed the same model online, so I went to view it. By looking at the serial number, I realised it was the same watch. I ended up buying it this time, and I paid a couple thousand dollars more than the previous asking price.” (Laughs.)