My Watch Story: Christopher LongWritten by Alvin Wong
"As a student, I remember sitting at the back of the bus immersed in watch catalogues."
As the founder and ‘chief product visionary’ of Azimuth Watch Company, a niche Singapore-born, Swiss-made brand, Christopher Long is determined to “make crazy watches for adventurous collectors”. However, the 41-year-old is keen to take us way back with his personal selection of precious watches.
Barely containing his excitement as he shares his timepieces, Long chooses some of the most unusual purchases in his collection – quite a treat, as he has been buying watches since his teens.
A self-professed watch nerd who would pore over watch catalogues during his secondary school days, while his peers were sweating over textbooks, Long reveals that his first watch was a vintage Bulova. Having since amassed the usual suspects of big mainstream brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe, he is also constantly piqued by rare vintage and off-kilter finds that “tell the untold stories of watch history.
UNSIGNED Pocket watch from late-19th century
This is a beautiful vintage minute repeater pocket watch with mono-pusher chronograph that I picked up over a decade ago. It comes in a solid gold case and the mechanism still works perfectly. To me, the minute repeater represents the pinnacle of technical watchmaking, and I have been endlessly fascinated by the complication.
LONGINES Minute repeater pocket watch
I was surprised to get hold of this. It didn’t come with a case but the watch is just too good to pass on – I mean it's a vintage Longines minute repeater pocket watch! I am not sure exactly when it was made, I believe it is the early 1900s. Again, the chiming function still works really well. The enamel dial was perfect when I got it, but it has cracked a little after all these years due to the humidity here.
LACO Vintage pilot’s watch
It may be ‘vintage’ but the watch is in mint condition. It was produced during World War II, and this comes from unsold stock from the original factory. Everything from the case and the movement to the strap, is in pristine condition – really just like a new watch. I know many fans of vintage military watches would go crazy over this.
I got this for a few hundred Swiss francs, which was a real bargain. This watch is from the 1970s and I love it for its bold and quirky design. The hour display, which uses a transparent prism to reflect the jumping hour and horizontal minute numbers the right way up, was a great gimmick that made the watch very popular at that time. You can see how its design has influenced one of MB&F’s creations, proving that watch brands are always getting inspired by each other.
This story is in the print edition of CROWN June 2018. CLICK HERE to subscribe.
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.