Wrist Taker

Mr Wee Sing An bought his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jubilee for €7,650 from a pre-owned watch dealer in London in 2008.
Mr Wee Sing An bought his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jubilee for €7,650 from a pre-owned watch dealer in London in 2008.PHOTO: COURTESY OF WEE SING AN
Mr Wee Sing An bought his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jubilee for €7,650 from a pre-owned watch dealer in London in 2008.
Mr Wee Sing An bought his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jubilee for €7,650 from a pre-owned watch dealer in London in 2008.PHOTO: COURTESY OF WEE SING AN

Who: Wee Sing An, 45, partner of Lucrum Capital, a real estate investment advisory firm

My watch: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jubilee ref. 14802

How much I paid for it: I bought it for €7,650 from a pre-owned watch dealer in London in 2008

Why I like it: This Royal Oak Jubilee edition was first released in the early 1990s to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak model. Limited to just 1,000 pieces, it was a watch which, for the longest time, I could only covet from afar.

I've always loved trawling watch websites. In 2008, just after the financial crisis, I remember getting very excited when I discovered that a London dealer had a couple of watches for sale, including this Audemars Piguet and a Patek Philippe Aquanaut which one of my friends was interested in.

The AP was a steal at €7,650, especially since the currency exchange was in favour of the Singapore dollar. Some dealers are now asking for US$40,000 (S$55,000) for the same model.

In those early days of Internet buying, we acted on blind faith and paid a 50 per cent deposit to secure the watches.

We then pooled money to buy a return air ticket and I flew to London to get the timepieces. What can I say except that it was a dream come true to hold in my hands one of the finest and thinnest watches ever made.

It's a classic watch - one I still love very much and which has served me well both for casual and formal functions.

Wong Kim Hoh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2019, with the headline 'Wrist Taker'. Print Edition | Subscribe