Wrist Taker


Who: Ms Eileen Bygrave, 74, retired fashion and communications consultant

My watch: Cartier Ballon Bleu

How much I paid for it: My husband bought it for me eight years ago.

Why I like it: I had prided myself that I wore the thinnest Swatch watch until then, and as the trend had already started for big watches for women, I looked for a big tactile round one and found the Ballon.

The salesman kept persuading me to buy the female version, saying my wrist was too small. Ah, but I knew the look I wanted.

There are only two accessories I must wear, otherwise I feel quite undressed. One is a pair of earrings - I need them to light up my face. The other is my watch - to tell the time quickly, as it has lovely big Roman numerals.

Anything I own, including things in the home and personal accoutrements, must fulfil two criteria: it must be beautiful or functional. If it is neither, it can be dumped.

Ms Eileen Bygrave and her Cartier Ballon Bleu.

The bracelet has gold and steel, which allows me to wear other bits of jewellery without worrying about "matching". I dress it up with another bracelet, or a bangle or two or three or even more.

So when I travel and am allowed to take one watch, it is this. It has been worn for a recent stylish red-carpet Ferragamo event in Hong Kong and has gone with me to Tibet at a level higher than Mont Blanc (the highest mountain in western Europe).

Wong Kim Hoh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2017, with the headline 'Wrist Taker'. Print Edition | Subscribe