My Watch Story: Perseus PangWritten by Alvin Wong
“Watch collecting isn't about flaunting wealth or status."
We imagine that Perseus Pang’s induction into the world of timepieces must have been the envy of watch buffs. His father, too, was a watch lover, and would buy Pang watches as presents when he was a kid. Inadvertently, those precious gifts piqued the young boy’s interest.
The one watch that Pang remembers clearly was a Casio G-Shock in a translucent blue case. "My dad told me that I could drop the watch from our flat, which was eight floors up, and it would still be working. I actually tried it out and it worked! I remember being really fascinated by that,” he says.
Now a father of two himself, Pang has amassed his fair share of G-Shocks since – close to 60 pieces, to be exact – and has been gifting his two year-old son watches. “Cheap quartz ones, of course,” he says. But it is in mechanical watches where the 37-year-old’s true passion lies. Although Pang says he started “late” in watch collecting, his haul is nothing to scoff at. In his collection are Rolexes, Tudors, Panerais and Seikos. And mostly dive watches, too, being a dive enthusiast himself.
But even more admirable than the watches themselves, is Pang’s passion for the hobby. His keen interest even compelled him and a few friends to start a watch appreciation Facebook community in late 2014, called SWAG (Singapore Watch Appreciation Group). Pang hopes that the page will be a platform for genuine watch buffs to meet and interact. “Watch collecting isn't about flaunting wealth or status. And we are also not in the business of monetising the group. So SWAG is really simply just a community for us to get together, learn about watches, and enjoy them more,” he says.
ROLEX Submariner Ref. 14060M
My first serious purchase, the Rolex Deepsea, got a bit too big for me. I think it was because I've lost weight since! I hadn't been wearing the watch for a while and figured that I probably won't be doing so in the foreseeable future. Given so, I thought I might just let it go, even though I wasn’t actively seeking to. It was only when I saw this Submariner in the shop that I decided to go for a trade.
SEIKO Prospex Diver SLA017
This was the most expensive Seiko I owned before I bought the Grand Seiko. This watch spoke to me with its brushed anthracite dial and the baton markers. I am also in love with the dome crystal. In fact, this watch is quite typical of the type of dive watches that I like. I have yet to wear it in its bracelet form, I have been just pairing it with leather straps. It looks great with my blue crocodile leather strap too!
GRAND SEIKO SBGR061
To be honest, the version that I really love is the one without the date, as I like symmetry in terms of dial design. I didn't find a Grand Seiko that I felt like parting money with until I saw this model. This is second-hand piece but when I saw it, there was no way I could say no. The finishing is superb, and the cream dial really makes the blue second hand stand out. With Grand Seikos, I think people don't understand how amazing the watches are until they see one in the flesh.
SEIKO Vintage King Seiko
One of the missing pieces in my Seiko collection was a vintage model and I went looking for a King Seiko. I got the one with black dial and kanji date display first. Again, it is the black dial, sharp hands and baton markers that pulled in me. Shortly after, I saw the version with blue dial, and I though why not? I tested their precision and both run excellently - better than some new watches, in fact. It just goes to show how great a well-made mechanical watch can be.
TUDOR Black Bay Fifty-Eight
This is my most recent purchase. To be honest, I haven't worn it yet! It was between this and the Black Bay GMT with 'Pepsi' bezel. I am not someone who is overly concerned with complications. My purchases are based on how the watches look and feel. The GMT model comes with a thicker movement and as a result the dial is set a closer to the sapphire crystal. It is just a small detail, but this is not the case with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. And when I tried on the watch, it just felt so right and I was sold.
All watch images courtesy of Perseus Pang. Follow him on Instagram @snaps_by_p2p
This story first appeared in the September 2018 edition of CROWN Singapore. SUBSCRIBE HERE FOR YOUR DIGITAL COPY.
Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.