You never forget your first love. For serial entrepreneur Eddie Lim, who has business interests in the medical supplies, oil refining and commodities sectors, it was a simple, black Casio watch he received from his parents when he was young. It was the only one his parents could afford, but it didn’t matter to Lim, who wore it every day.
Over three decades later, Lim, 46, has a lot more than just a Casio. Still, he considers himself a late bloomer in the watch collecting scene. “I only started eight years ago. A client was wearing a Richard Mille RM-010. The skeletonised dial and tonneau-shaped case caught my eye, and he shared the story behind it. That sparked my interest in horology,” Lim shares.
The businessman shares with us his favourite watches and a few memorable stories.
First mechanical watch
A pre-owned mint condition Bell & Ross BR01-97 Reserve De Marche. I liked the plain dial, square case and the small power reserve indicator at 7 o’clock. It was built like a tank and heavy on the wrist! I would have brought it for the shoot, but I lost it a few years ago, unfortunately.
The three-watch collection
So I brought these three watches because each of them has a distinct personality and is extremely versatile. I also like to take the road less taken, so I prefer unique watches.
Casio G-Shock Full Metal Red Ion
The ad for this timepiece reminded me of my first ever black Casio, so I had to see it with my own eyes. I love the ion-plated two-tone red case and bracelet and how they contrast with the dark LCD screen. The technology also intrigued me – the solar panels on the screen power the watch and help to auto-calibrate the time. I thought it was cool!
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Racing Green
Funny story: when I was driving back home after purchasing this watch, I experienced a bit of buyer’s remorse. I had gotten it because I was looking for a casual-dressy watch and the sunray British Racing Green brushed dial and the red second hand really appealed to me. But, after I got home, wound the watch and put it on, that remorse disappeared. It was perfect for me.
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Yellow Sapphire
This was hard to get because only 100 pieces were available. There was none in Singapore, but my dealer found one in Hong Kong. I immediately bought it and shipped it over. I love the ultra-hard, scratch-resistant yellow sapphire case; it matches my skin perfectly. It’s solid, yet lightweight and the fact that it was limited appealed to my nature.
Horological holy grail
The Richard Mille RM011 White Demon. The contrast of the white ceramic with the red and rose gold accents on the black dial is truly something. It’s selling close to a million now on the open market, which is the main reason I’m still hesitating to get it at this point in time.
In December last year, when news broke that Patek Philippe was releasing a Tiffany-blue Nautilus 5711 with a Tiffany & Co.-stamped dial, I immediately called the Tiffany & Co. store manager at ION Orchard. But he could not get one for me, so I asked the dealer who sourced the Hublot watch for me. I told him I will pay 3x the retail price of US$52,000. The next day, he called and said he secured one piece, provided I matched the asking price of US$1.2 million! Shocked, I didn’t confirm the purchase. The next day, when I read that the watch had gone under the hammer for US$5.3 million at Phillips New York, I called my dealer and told him I would meet the asking price. He told me the price had gone up to US$4 million! I was in awe at how fast the price jumped within two days due to market demand. I didn’t get the watch in the end.
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