Wrist Taker

Photographer ND Chow and his very rare Grand Seiko 3180 SS.
Photographer ND Chow and his very rare Grand Seiko 3180 SS.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ND CHOW

Who: ND Chow, 42, a Tokyo-based Singaporean photographer

My watch: Grand Seiko 3180 SS

How much I paid for it: A good friend, also a watch lover, sold it to me for US$8,000 (S$ 10,455) earlier this month.

Why I like it: This is a very special watch, probably an unofficial stainless steel Grand Seiko 3180 - usually rendered in gold or white platinum - made in the early 1960s. It was never put on sale and watch aficionados in online forums and blogs have different theories why this was so.

Some believe the stainless steel models were a prototype, others think they were service replacements and yet others are convinced the watchmakers made the pieces for themsleves. In fact, it is believed that there are only six stainless steel pieces in existence.

There are three different dials for the GS3180: printed, engraved and applied GS logo. I have all three watches.

I have a special interest in Grand Seiko watches and have known about this stainless steel version for a while. When a good friend offered to sell me this, I was so happy.

Photographer ND Chow and his very rare Grand Seiko 3180 SS.
Photographer ND Chow and his very rare Grand Seiko 3180 SS. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ND CHOW

The integrity put into the watchmaking really appeals to me. I love the craftsmanship and the attention paid to every detail.

I also love it because it's simple and elegant and still tells the time so accurately, even though it's more than half a century old.

If you see me wearing a loud and flamboyant watch one day, it probably means something is not quite right with me.

Wong Kim Hoh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2018, with the headline 'Wrist Taker'. Print Edition | Subscribe