The businessman, who has interests in the medical supplies, oil refining and commodities sectors, started his watch collecting journey with an unusual watch.
You never forget your first love. For serial entrepreneur Eddie Lim, who has business interests in medical supplies, oil refining and raw materials, 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.
More than three decades later, Lim, 46, has more than just a Casio. Still, he considers himself a late bloomer in the watch collecting scene. “I started only eight years ago. A customer was wearing a Richard Mille RM-010. The skeleton dial and tonneau-shaped case caught my eye, and it shared the story behind it. It sparked my interest in watchmaking,” Lim shares.
The businessman shares with us his favorite watches and some memorable stories.
First mechanical watch
A mint condition pre-owned Bell & Ross BR01-97 Reserve De Marche. I liked the plain dial, the 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 collection of three watches
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 traveled, so I prefer unique watches.
Casio G-Shock Full Metal Red Ion
The ad for this watch reminded me of my very first black Casio, so I had to see it with my own eyes. I love the two-tone ion-plated red case and strap and how it contrasts with the dark LCD screen. I was also intrigued by the technology – the on-screen solar panels power the watch and help automatically calibrate the time. I thought that was cool!
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Racing Green
Funny story: When I was driving home from buying this watch, I felt a bit of buyer’s remorse. I got it because I was looking for a casual dress watch and the British Racing Green sunbrushed brushed dial and red sweep second hand really appealed to me. But, after I got home, wound up the watch and put it on, that remorse disappeared. It was perfect for me.
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Yellow Sapphire
It was hard to get because only 100 pieces were available. There were none in Singapore, but my dealer found one in Hong Kong. I immediately bought it and shipped it. I love the ultra-hard, scratch-resistant yellow sapphire case; it matches my skin perfectly. It’s strong, yet light and the fact that it’s limited appealed to my nature.
Watchmaker’s Holy Grail
The white demon Richard Mille RM011. The contrast of the white ceramic with the red and rose gold accents on the black dial is really something. It sells for close to a million now on the open market, which is the main reason I’m still hesitant to get it at this point.
In December of last year, when news broke that Patek Philippe was launching a Tiffany blue Nautilus 5711 with a Tiffany & Co. stamped dial, I immediately called the Tiffany & Co. store manager at ION Orchard. But he couldn’t get me one, so I asked the dealer who bought me the Hublot watch. I told him I would pay 3 times the retail price of US$52,000. The next day he called and said he had gotten a part, provided I matched the $1.2 million asking price! Shocked, I did not 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 that the price had gone up to 4 million dollars! I was impressed with how quickly the price jumped in two days due to market demand. I finally did not have the watch.
This article is brought to you by OCBC. Earn a S$100 cash credit when you buy a watch from Cortina Watch with your VOYAGE card before May 31, 2022. Limited to the first 10 customers who spend at least S$5,000 in a single transaction at Cortina Watch. Terms and conditions of application.