My Watch Story: Fazleen HazisWritten by Alvin Wong
“I value the friendships forged through watch appreciation.”
An honest-to-goodness family man, Fazleen Hazis has no qualms admitting that he consults his wife first before making any watch purchase. “Only if she gives the ‘ok’, of course!” says the proud father-of-two. “But I’m lucky to have an understanding wife who allows me to pursue my watch interest.”
Fazleen’s journey down the horological rabbit hole started in 2015, when he decided to treat himself to an automatic watch for his birthday. None of his peers were into watches then so, like all burgeoning watch buffs do these days, Fazleen trawled the Internet for advice. The brand Seiko turned up more than a few times and, from there, the 37-year-old got well and truly bitten by the horological bug when he saw the iconic Seiko SBDC001 ‘Sumo’ dive watch.
“The watch got me started in the horological world, which is full of ‘poison’,” he says with a laugh, referencing the oft-bandied term by local collectors that describes being tempted by watches.
Since his first purchase, Fazleen seems to be making up for lost time. Besides marking significant life events such as birthdays and anniversaries with watches, he also sought to broaden his horizons, exploring both famous marques and microbrands.
To connect with fellow enthusiasts, Fazleen joined Facebook groups and set up his own Instagram account @fazwrist to showcase his two biggest hobbies – watches and photography. He is currently an administrator for the Singapore Watch Appreciation Group (SWAG), a local community of watch lovers, and also runs a weekly photograph challenge on Instagram with the hashtag #6WMShootout with members of the @6WISMen community who are based in the US, Canada and Hong Kong.
“My passion for horology is fanned through these interactions,” he says. “I’m lucky to be able to share my horological journey with other like-minded buddies (and we bond) regardless of the type of watches we own.”
All watch images courtesy of interviewee.
SEIKO SBDC001 ‘Sumo’
"This watch kickstarted my humble horological journey. It was a birthday present from 2015 and it’s a watch that will never leave my collection. I love pairing my watch shots with Lego mini figures (#horolego) and the Stormtrooper combo is certainly my favourite."
ORIENT Star WZ0061DJ ‘Orient Star GMT’
"My collection mostly comprises affordable timepieces and this Orient GMT is one of the pricier ones. It really is a beautiful piece to look at up close with the raised indexes. I did a macro shot here with a little lume."
ORIENT Classic Automatic 2EV03001D ‘Orient Day/Date’
"Although this watch costs only S$150, it gets the most attention whenever I post a shot of it on social media. I was lucky to purchase this with the help of a Malaysian watchfam, who managed to source this BNIB piece that is already out of production."
ROLEX Submariner ND 114060
"This is a classic that will eventually be passed on to one of my sons. I was researching the Rolex Submariner but was torn between the more vintage two-liner or another with ceramic bezel. I was lucky that I had a bigger budget during the time when I was looking at these watches. Eventually I got an offer that I could not resist from a close buddy who sold me this piece. For that, I am forever grateful to him."
OMEGA Speedmaster Professional 3188.8.131.52.01.005
"This was a surprise buy that took place around 2018, the year I bought the Rolex Submariner. Then, I was sourcing for another Rolex (the Polar Explorer) but my wife felt that a Speedy, which is also an iconic watch, would be a nice piece to add to the collection. This is another heirloom piece that will be passed on."
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.