Delivering a snapshot from our worldwide markets, our local Singapore-based editor, Pooja Agarwal recaps Singapore’s hottest watch news.
Cartier Dazzles In Singapore During 50th Anniversary
￼More than 600 pieces were presented by Cartier at the Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris in a first-of-its-kind presentation of high jewelry, haute horlogerie and precious objets d’art in Asia. Cartier Singapore celebrated the country’s Golden Jubilee with the Etourdissant Cartier Exhibition in October. The name of the new collection, Etourdissant, aptly means “dazzling” or “astonishing.” Brilliant colors, extraordinary gemstones and an array of remarkable forms are the true spirit of this collection. “We have never displayed so many pieces of high jewelry in a single location,” said Marketing and Communication Director of Cartier International Arnaud Carrez, during an exclusive tour of the exhibition. “The power of Cartier is to have a very well-balanced presence across the different regions, and we established our presence in Asia a very long time ago,” remarked Carrez. “Here, we have 142 boutiques, including three in Singapore. Asia plays a big role in the world of Cartier, as Cartier is already considered a leader here. Southeast Asia is a very important region; I am very confident about the future of this market.”
HYT CEO Vincent Perriard Focused On Southeast Asia
Regarding HYT’s new retail partner in Southeast Asia, Vincent Perriard said, “I have known Ong Ban [CEO] for many years, and there is no one else I would rather HYT partner with than Sincere Fine Watches.” Perriard announced his contentment during an exclusive cocktail party in Singapore at the Sincere Haute Horlogerie boutique at the Hilton Shopping Gallery on Oct. 8. Perriard said he perceives Singapore as a unique market. “It has become the home to the craziest collectors—crazy in the sense that they collect a lot, and they are not afraid to collect some crazy pieces from independent brands like HYT. So, we are successful in Southeast Asia, because people here are more in tune with that type of watchmaking. The conjunction of a small market, lots of money, great education and being very open-minded makes the country attractive [to HYT].”
Urwerk Holds World Premiere In Singapore
In September, The Hour Glass and Urwerk unveiled the independent brand’s first ladies’ watch collection, the UR-106 Lotus. The timepieces were presented to more than 40 VIP female guests of Singapore’s luxury retailer at a ladies-only, carefully-curated luncheon, themed “The Rock Princess,” and hosted at the critically-acclaimed Iggy’s restaurant. Haute Time interviewed Urwerk’s co-founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei.
Are watch collectors in Singapore different from the rest of the world?
FB: They are different, because a lot of them know each other. It’s a group, almost a community, and they are extremely educated, more than elsewhere, where one tends to find more individual watch collectors.
How big is the market for ladies’ complications?
MF: It is still non-existing, waiting to be built. We are the first contemporary brand presenting this satellite hour indication to ladies. We are very positive about this growing segment of the market.
Technically, how different was it to make a woman’s watch?
FB: Every watch of Urwerk is very difficult to manufacture. So, we give it 100 percent. But, for sure, we have a different kind of concentration on a ladies’ watch, as it has to also be elegant. The carrousel was expressed in an elegant way, rather than a technical way. The motivation is different, but for us, it’s the same type of challenge.
The UR-106 Lotus timepiece retails for SGD $160,800.
MB&F Launches Legacy Machine Perpetual At The Hour Glass
In November, the fourth episode of the Legacy Machine saga was unveiled at a dinner of 60 VIP MB&F watch connoisseurs at Yan Ting Fine Cantonese Cuisine at the prestigious St.Regis Hotel Singapore.
Maximilian Büsser, founder of MB&F said, “I think we are going to have a problem, because there are such few pieces.” (The watch comes in two versions, rose gold (SGD $226,000) and platinum (SGD $275,100), and is limited to 25 pieces each), “Already we are showing it to 70 very good clients, by which, I mean, collectors who already own between three and even 10 MB&F watches, and we have only seven pieces [of Legacy Machine Perpetual] which we can allocate to Singapore. So, The Hour Glass will have an issue on who is going to get the pieces.” And, that’s a nice problem to have.
Büsser appeared on top of the world, and admittedly relaxed. “This is the best year ever of my 10 years [with MB&F]. This is the really the first year [I have been] completely laid-back,” revealed Büsser.
Patek Philippe Donates Three Unique Clocks For Singapore’s Golden Anniversary
On Sept. 23, Patek Philippe celebrated Singapore’s golden jubilee with a charity gala dinner and auction held at the National Museum of Singapore. The auction was conducted by Christie’s International Head of Watches John Reardon. Three clocks, The Esplanade—Singapore, The Peranakan Culture and The Farquhar Collection, were gifted to the nation by the Swiss watchmaker before raising SGP $700,000, SGP $750,000 and SGP $1,000,000, respectively. A total of SGP $2.45 million dollars was raised, and to top it off, the proceeds will be matched dollar-for-dollar through the Cultural Matching Fund. The Farquhar Collection dome table clock has generously been donated to the National Museum of Singapore, by the successful bidder. Philippe Stern, honorary president of Patek Philippe, was present at the event. “My father started the long-term relationship between our company and Singapore back in 1965, so it goes without saying that it was important to us to present our gratitude to the nation on its 50th independence anniversary,” said his son, Thierry Stern, CEO of Patek Philippe S.A. The clocks reflect themes that are integral parts of Singaporean history and evolution. “We hope that, with the auction’s proceeds, Patek Philippe will contribute in preserving Singapore’s heritage for the generations to come,” added Stern.
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