Wrist Taker

David Yip's Patek Philippe was a gift from a loved one.
David Yip's Patek Philippe was a gift from a loved one.PHOTOS: DAVID YIP

Who: David Yip, 58, writer, chef and culinary consultant.

My watch: Patek Philippe. It is such an old watch, I don't even know what model this is.

How much I paid for it: It's a gift from a loved one on my first day at university.

Why I like it: Firstly because of its sentimental value. This watch accompanied the previous owner through his university days in London during the 1950s. When he felt it was my "turn" to own the watch, he gave it to me.

It was not my favourite watch initially because, at that time, I happily owned an Omega Constellation piece, another gift from my pre-university days.

My feelings changed after a visit to the Patek Philippe office in Geneva in 1990 to interview then-president of the company, Philippe Stern, when I was a journalist.

By remaining family-owned since its founding, the company has managed to stay true to its artisanal roots.

In particular, I was struck by how it was uncompromising in viewing watches as something that last beyond a person's lifetime.

There is a record kept for every Patek Philippe watch made, however old.

When a watch is brought in for repair and if a part needs changing, but it no longer exists because the watch is no longer in production, Patek Philippe will specially recreate it. That is the second reason I love this watch.

To me, an object's value lies not in how much it costs, but in its "story". In this case, it is how, when and why it came into my possession. And since then, this is the watch I wear whenever I have dinner with this family member.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2018, with the headline 'Wrist Taker'. Print Edition | Subscribe