Category Archives: Event Report 會場報導

3rd International HK China Tattoo Convention

Before I write another Watches & Wonders 2015 article (yes there are more coming).  I went to the 3rd International HK China Tattoo Convention on a semi- business nature yesterday, both shows are in their 3rd year and overlap with each other, talk about a busy weekend! So far you must be wondering why am I talking about this on WWD, well, it caught me by surprise too so read on!

First, a little bit about the show, it’s organised by Gabe Shum of Freedom Tattoo, in case you don’t know who he is, remember those Chinese calligraphy on David Beckham’s torso whenever he pulls up his jersey after scoring a goal? Well, Gabe did them, so is some of the tat’s on Lebron James as well. Gabe is regarded as one of the top tattoo master in the world.  And once a year his friends and his crew from all over the world gather at the Inno Centre near Festival Walk for a wild weekend of fun, music and beer! What I did not expect was the huge number of watch lovers I met at the show, there were Rolex’s, AP, PAM everywhere, And from what I saw, the tattoo crowd certainly have great taste in watches too.

Here is Gabe, making a great entrance with a “Segway”
like scooter!

With a stunning Rolex 2 tone GMT ! (116713LN)

 

Scratching his ass in front of the Edwin booth, more on this later
Scratching his ass in front of the Edwin booth, more on the Edwin brand later

Davee, a traveling Polish tattoo artist, also under the Freedom Tattoo marquee. We had a brief chat and he certainly knows his watces! Here he is working on his design with a Rolex Deep Sea on Rubber B Strap!

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Whatever!
Whatever!

Sajin from Korea, very friendly during our interview, also a Rolex Fan and happy to show it!

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“What was your question, Karen?”
"Look at my 11613LN!"
“Look at my 11613LN!”

 

And a local artist Jimmy, the Horned Bug tats on his left arm is as mean looking as his GMT (16710?).

A 16710? I can just spot the lug holes.
A 16710? I can just spot the lug holes.

An artist from Taiwan with a Bling’ed up YG Date Day, badass!

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The love handle area! Ouch!

His customer certainly share his love of Rolex too, a Two Tone Daytona:

From the sub-dial layout, I am guessing a 16523?
From the sub-dial layout, I am guessing a 16523?

You can spot Kaz Tattoo artist Edward  from 50m out, and his AP Royal Oak Chrono is just as eye-catching!

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And surprise! A watch manufacturer booth @ the Tattoo Convention.  Edwin, a Japanese Jean & fashion label has release a range of simplistic yet Retro design watches. They use Citizen Miyota quartz movements and the casing and bands are of very high quality.  You can get a free haircut at the Barber shop theme booth and chill out on the chesterfield with the rest of the Edwin crew Brian, Tony, Amy & the lovely Jane (in Pink hair).

Next time, if you are around Causeway Bay, be sure to check out their Barbershop x Watch Boutique at Haven street (near the famous pork chop bun Danish Bakery) and get a hair cut while you are at it!

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You can find Jane at the Haven Street Shop @ Causeway Bay
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Buy a Comb and you get a watch for free! Can’t get a better deal than that!
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Leather dial, don’t recall another watch doing this, very original!
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Most watches are in the $1000- $1800 range, and you will be surprised by their build quality, step aside Daniel Wellington!

 

More highlight of the show:

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2015-10-02 16.48.53 2015-10-02 16.48.43

Finally, a big thank you to Samantha, Karen & Justin for the arrangement that day!

Watches & Wonders 2015 (Calibrating Competition @ Mont Blanc)

I have owned a couple of Mont Blanc Pens, a Mont Blanc leather card holder for more than a decade (come to think of it, I think they might have came together in a set). As far as writing instruments and men leather good goes, I think you can’t go wrong with the brand with a Snowy Mountain. But I have never quite taken their time pieces seriously, and boy how ignorant was I.

Especially since the partnership with Minerva to launch the Villeret line few years ago, producing a series of in-house ultra-complication models,  the watches are handsomely designed and extremely well finished, comparable to some of the very best high end watch manufacture has to offer.

As Mr Julien Miribel describes below, the Metamorphosis consist of more than 700 parts, a typical Minute Repeater, in comparison, has 500 or so “only”.

Open Sesame! The side slider is very similar to one found on a minute repeater, I guess similar to a Minute repeater which  requires  extra energy, it winds a separate spring  to power the gate opening mechanism instead of chiming striker and gong.

Some of the other goodies during the private viewing:

The Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères in honor of 15th Century Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama.
The Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères in honor of 15th Century Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama.
A non functioning sample as it turns out, but beautifully made nevertheless.
A non functioning sample as it turns out, but beautifully made nevertheless.
In Gold!
In Gold!
ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph.
ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph.
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar with "see-thru" Sapphire Dial
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar with “see-thru” Sapphire Dial
One of the most affordable perpetual calendar from a major Swiss brand.
One of the most affordable perpetual calendar from a major Swiss brand.
Heritage Chronométrie Dual Time, tested to the more stringent 500 hours Mont Blanc standard compared to COSC, also the very watch Hugh Jackman wore the night before.
Heritage Chronométrie Dual Time, tested to the more stringent 500 hours Mont Blanc standard compared to COSC, also the very watch Hugh Jackman wore the night before.

The calibration competition booth, can’t wait for my turn:

"Good afternoon, Master watchmaker!"
“Mr Arne explaining the calibration positions!”
My Witschi and my movement.
My Witschi and my movement.

I swear I got it down to -2s/d at the CH position, but when it went on for final scoring, I lost terribly. Which I immediately blame the movement, master watch maker Mr Arne told me I have great potential to be a watch maker (always blame a bad movement)!

My 3 positions (9CH/6H/9H) result. Again, due to a bad movement.
My 3 positions (9CH/6H/9H) result. Again, due to a bad movement.

Picture taken with Joe from Emperor Watch & Jewelry, also Kenny from Mont Blanc (shown in the background of 1st video), a Big “thank you”  for their hospitality and  kind arrangement.

Watches & Wonders 2015 (IWC Vintage Collection)

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At IWC, they did a great display of many of their vintage models at the upper level.

A Grand Complication from it's first year of production.
A Grand Complication from it’s first year of production.

A skeleton Minute Repeater and "II Destriero Scafusia", limited to 125 pcs to mark IWC 125th anniversary.
A skeleton Minute Repeater and “II Destriero Scafusia”, limited to 125 pcs to mark IWC 125th anniversary.

A couple of Portugieser Perpetual Calendar, one of my favorite IWC model.
A couple of Portugieser Perpetual Calendar, one of my favorite IWC model.

Pocket watches from the 1920's
Pocket watches from the 1920’s
 

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Decade apart and yet classics design endures.

Decade apart and yet classics design endures.

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Couple of old Yacht Club, notice the case shape change in the 77.

Newer design Yacht Club on the right
Newer design Yacht Club on the right

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Another classic, the 7days. 2015 sees the change to the new 5007 series.

The New 5007 replacing the 5001, with its new ceramic winding and twin barrels system.
The New 5007 replacing the 5001, with its new ceramic winding and twin barrels system.

Also new this year, the Portofino Monopusher, stunning in grey dial, the crown/pusher is perhaps just a tad too long.
Also new this year, the Portofino Monopusher, stunning in grey dial, the crown/pusher is perhaps just a tad too long.

My watch buddy Thomas, we have the exactly same Aquartimer Chrono in steel, I guess great minds think alike.
My watch buddy Thomas, we have the exactly same Aquartimer Chrono in steel, I guess great minds think alike.

Thomas getting interviewed by Kelly Cheung, for TVB Pearl programme Dolce Vita.
Thomas getting interviewed by Kelly Cheung, for TVB Pearl programme Dolce Vita. Again, great minds have similar taste 😉

Watches & Wonders 2015 (Cartier Private viewing)

watches & wonder 2015

It’s that time of the year again, the 3rd Watches & WondersHaute Horlogerie Exhibition in Hong Kong. I went yesterday (Day 2 of the 4 day event), and despite the withdrawal of Audemars Piguet announced early this year, the all Richemont cast did not disappoint, there are many big release this year and I am sure I have missed many.

Just on your left when you enter the Cartier booth, The Rotonde de Cartier Novelty set, limited to 5 sets only.

 

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Double Tourbillon with Mystery!

 

Bling'ed up version!
Bling’ed up version!

 

A Balance wheel model demonstrating the effect of weight adjustment at the rim
A Balance wheel model demonstrating the effect of weight adjustment at the rim.
Escape Wheel and Pallet system
Escape Wheel and Pallet system.

 

Crash taken apart.
Crash taken apart.
Clé de Cartier range, the shape is very unisex!
Clé de Cartier range, the shape is very unisex!
Up close with the Double Tourbillon Mystery early, the tourbillon just floats on air, hence the name.
Up close with the Double Tourbillon Mystery shown earlier, the tourbillon just floats on air, hence the name.
I want a new pet! Just shy of 1 million HKD :(
I want a new pet! Just shy of 1 million HKD 🙁

 

The ladies went crazy with this! Look at the video below and you will see why!
The lady went crazy with this! Look at the video below and you will see why!

Each Diamond sits on it’s individual spring, Think of it like your pocket spring Sealy Mattress.

Hong Kong Watch Guild Show

When I wrote about the unique watch “Swap Meet” type event organised by the Hong Kong Watch Guild. I did not expect to get such high level of interest, the  article remains one of the most read on my site, surprisingly among international readers, an indication that this show format is indeed quite special and unique.

I can’t think of another single event, save perhaps a really really large WIS gathering, where ordinary folks can spend an afternoon up close and personal with such a wide collection of watches. There is literally watches for every budget and taste, from a Vintage Seiko Bullhead (one I actually bought), to almost all the popular Rolex and Patek, all the way to half a dozen of Richard Mille. And there is no waiting, no formal dresscode, no 25% commission, if you have the cash and the skills, you can take your treasure home right away.

All the sellers  are member of the HK Watch Guild, many of which have actual grade A store front in Hong Kong and will write you the same receipt if you buy at the show. Remember this is also a trader’s show and almost everybody knows everybody, reputation is at stake so the chance of buying a fake or questionable watch is pretty low. I did spotted some Franken or Lego watch, but sellers are very honest and quick to point out a touch up dial, after market bracelet or replaced crown, and the price are usually indicative of the watch quality.

Words alone is not enough to describe the atmosphere of the event, HKWG made a little clip to capture the last event, but the best thing is to attend and see for yourself, Simon of HKWG informed me the one coming up next Saturday (27th June) will be bigger than ever, with more international traders participating. The show will run almost monthly till the end of the year (except August to give way to the Ma Tak Wo Coin Show) according to the above schedule at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, note however the September event will take place at the Baden-Powell International Hotel at Austin Road. Do check it out if you are in town. If you are a watch freak, then I promise you it will be a memorable experience!

 

Roger Dubuis 10th year into the Hong Kong Market

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of Roger Dubuis Pacific Place boutique and its official entry into the Hong Kong market. To celebrate, I was lucky enough to be invited as part of the Hong Kong Watch Fever group of watch lovers to the cocktail event over the weekend.

We had the chance to play with some of the most exquisite and extravagant timespieces up close and personal. Many of which I have only read about previously. The Megastar of the show:    

The 2015 King Arthur Round Table II, similar to the previous King Arthur watch released in 2013, the 12 bronze knights are all individually hand carved with different armour and body gestures. Instead of the previous white/green lacquer finish, the center of the dial is now made from black Jade. Limited to 28 pieces, this particular one is already sold and belongs to a tasteful owner pending collection.
 Plate full of Excaliber’s! I lost count of the tourbillon barrels.


      No animal was harmed in the making of this strap! This is a fully functional sample watch made for ease of import/export, fortunately the one you buy will come with real alligator skin. (unfortunate if you are an alligator however)

    Some simpler but still very dressy option.

We spent an enjoyable afternoon and our host Ms Kit Liu and her team was among the most courteous and professional I have encountered in the luxury business. A big thank you to Simon, a cartoon master at the show drawing portrait of guests, who I later found out from my arty friends that he is among the best in Hong Kong, so consider him for your next corporate or personal event.   I should mention the width of my face was grossly widen and exaggerated for comical effect!

Finally, a big Happy Birthday to Roger Dubuis Hong Kong and we at WWD wish them many more decades of horological success ahead!

Hong Kong Watch Guild Show

I love coming to the watch shows held regularly at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, there are a number of organizers but the format is the same (yesterday show was organised by the Hong Kong Watch Auction). Here, the entire Crystal ballroom is turned into a big watch flee market, kind of reminds me of the old computer swap meet held in community town hall back in Melbourne.

2015-05-01 15.59.47Traders each get a table with a see-thru display case. Inside you will find all kind of treasures, from old Universal Geneve, AP, Lange to half a dozen Richard Mille. I kid you not, some of these display case can easily be worth 2-3 USD millions +.

2015-05-01 16.12.53Trade shows like this is where many watch traders and brokers themselves buy their watches, buyers from all over the world barter, haggle, bluff, beg and debate to get the best deal,  once the price is agreed, often by the silent exchange of numbers on a calculator, bricks of cash are pull out from backpack and deal is done on the spot. In here, whether you are a watch retailer with a Grade A store front, a business tycoon or just a beginning enthusiast, the playing field is level,  it all comes down to sharp eyes, experience and fast decision.

2015-05-01 15.59.39“Fat stack of mad cheddar!”

Like the trading floor of the NYSE or Tsukiji fish market, Its a place you have to be in to fully appreciate its energy. Instead of BoA Shares and blue-fin Tuna, the king of  all commodity here is “Rolex”, the five little English letter that is universally recognized and globally accepted, it’s not  uncommon to see many traders stock consists entirely of Rolex’s, especially for overseas merchant to  increase their chances of making a sale and recoup their travel cost, because in Hong Kong, they can be sure to quickly move Rolex’s, especially sport models in steel, as long as they are willing to take a few percentage points off.

2015-05-01 16.01.58Gold Rolex’s, the universally accepted currency.

2015-05-01 16.03.34Blue Sodalite Daytona, plenty of goodies in this treasure hunt if you look hard enough. ~HKD$130,000

2015-05-01 15.00.51Mahogany OysterQuartz, similiarly priced as standard dial version at HKD$63,000 , good value and condition.

My catch of the day, the Seiko Bullhead, the case is in absolute mint condition. Although the hands and bracelet are likely to be replacement. Still too good to pass.2015-05-02 13.34.21

 

200 anniversary F.A. Lange Cocktail @ 1881 Heritage

2015 marks the 200th birthday of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, founder of the Glashütte based watch manufacturer A. Lange & Söhne. To celebrate, Lange has released a Platinum 1815 limited edition to 200 pcs.

2015-04-27 19.53.17Beautifully made 1815 in Platinum with a much anticipated black dial.2015-04-27 19.53.31One of the simpler movement, the manually wound L051.1, but all the important Lange qualities are there, 3/4 Quarter Plate in German Silver, nicely engraved balance cock,  gold chatons that secure the bearing jewels, and the heat treated blue screw.

An informative video which was shown during the evening by Lange presenter Chris.

Lange also used the opportunity to showcase some of the latest model released in SIHH 2015. I personally think this below is one of the most beautiful Lange ever:

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Here it is on the left, a Datograph Up/Down in Pink gold, side by side with my friend’s older version in Platinum. The Up/Down indicate the addition of the Power Reserve function at 6 o’clock position. Other difference are: the dial is now in matte black together with two less shiny sub dials. The new version also forgo the Roman Hour marker for cleaner “baton” markers. And perhaps the most important change that most would overlook, the watch is now increase to 40mm from 39mm. And instead of just making a slightly bigger case as most would expect, Lange did it only German would. They redesign a brand new movement with everything bigger (even the golden ratio Big Date windows are increased proportionally).

2015-04-27 18.59.16And the change from the classic pin buckle to this new deployment clasp.

2015-04-27 19.07.07One of the most handsome looking chronograph! Just shy of half a million HK dollars.

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2015-04-27 19.18.41Also very interesting was the Datograph Perpetual in White Gold, again a new dial colour in Grey.

 

The star of the evening, and the watch everyone was waiting for, was of course the Zeitwerk Minute repeater.2015-04-27 19.43.05

 

You can hear the chime it makes in the promo video below.

Unfortunately I could not take a video recording of the watch live, because the watch was actually a non-functional demo unit.

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The real watch will come in Platinum, there is no pre-defined quantity but at 440,000 euro, the only thing rarer would probably be the 6 pieces of Grand Complication.

Macau Watch Show cancelled due to China’s fight against Corruption

 

The Inaugural “Europe Asian Watch, Jewelry & Antique Coins Show” originally schedule to be held in May at the Emperor Hotel Macau has been cancelled. What interesting is the reason given was due to China’s heavy hand against corruption ever since Mr Xi became president.

Looks like honesty indeed is the best policy as the great Mark Twain once said.

Eric Clapton’s “Albino” 

There were just too many goodies at the Phillips auctioneer Hong Kong exhibit that I had to go back to the Mandarin Hotel a second time.   I feel this particular piece deserves its very own post, the legendary “Albino” Rolex Daytona once belonged to Eric Clapton. The nickname comes from the monochrome silver colour of 6263 dial, believed to be one of the 3 ever existed, this particular sample was sold under the Sotheby’s hammer for a whopping USD$505,000 in 2008.

The luxury market is slowing, Asia in particular, but a famous piece like this will no doubt attracts Rolex collectors the world over, I am eager to find out what this piece will do at the Phillips inaugural auction on 10th May. Following the “Glamorous Day-Date” I mentioned in my earlier post, to be held on the previous evening at the same venue (Hotel La Reserve, Geneva).