My Watch Story: Ginette Chittick, Musician, DJ And Fashion DesignerWritten by Alvin Wong
A familiar face in Singapore’s music and fashion circles, Ginette Chittick is the girl that style rags go to for an opinion on what’s hot or not.
The former punk rocker (she may insist she’s still one), who now plays in shoegaze band Astreal, and is also a DJ, fashion designer and programme leader at LaSalle College of the Arts, recently came into possession of her mother’s vintage Omega and Girard-Perregaux.
Congrats on taking over the beautiful watches! Why did your mother decide to let you have them?
She had been thinking about giving me her Rolex, but I said that she should keep it and wear it as it looks really good on her. So she offered me her other watches and they turn out to be these two beautiful pieces. I remember seeing these watches lying around her dresser when I was younger. They are very iconic watches and they remind me a lot of her. She can't wear these anymore as the straps are too tight on her wrist. Yay for my slim wrists!
How did your mum come to own these watches?
These watches are really special as they tell such important stories in my family history. My parents got divorced when I was a wee child. The Omega was bought for my mum by my dad when he tried to get her back. Sort of a bribe. Didn't work. Haha. A few years later, around 1988 or ’89, my mum was in her career woman mode. Having come into her own in a fabulous career and new found freedom, she bought the Girard-Perregaux watch for herself. To celebrate a new life and mark a time of hope and self-love.
How do you feel about taking over these watches?
I feel extremely honored. These watches aren't just beautiful – they hold so much meaning. My parents' narrative has been told to my brother and I many times, and we've watched the story unfold as intimate bystanders and sometimes unwilling participants. So to have these timepieces as a reminder of that sad time is really remarkable.
As for the practical aspects, the watches are a little mouldy, and the Omega’s strap (below) needs to be re-plated. I am pretty unwilling to send it for servicing as I've read that some vintage watches come back looking unlike how they were before.
You are a fashion designer and lecturer. Can you comment on the design of these watches?
These watches are totally classic. A band of diamonds around the dial never gets old. And my goodness, the straps in its intricate herringbone pattern look so dainty and is carved for maximum bling effect. It's funny I never appreciated them before but today, having received them, gave me a whole new perspective on watches made from that time.
My mum has always been a stylish person and she used to wear big shoulder pads and had tight curls in her hair topped off with Charles Jourdan Seducta sunglasses, and she trot in Seducta heels as well. She looked like she came right out of the set of Flashdance, which happens to be one of her favorite movies. These watches looked right at home in that ensemble.
I've realised that my favorite fashion era is the ‘80s, so my mother has influenced me a lot in the fashion department. My personal style is a little frou-frou, a little rock and roll, and a little ‘80s. So these watches are the perfect accessories.
You just became a mum yourself not too long ago. We suppose your daughter Luella will be the next in line for the watches?
Yes! I have already lined up some clothes, bags and jewelry to give to her when the time is right. My mum told her friend that she was going to gift these to me and her friend said: "Give it much later! Or you'll have nothing much to give it you give it all now!". But my wise mother said she wants to see me wear it while she's alive so there isn't any point handing it over when she's not around to see it shine on me. I'm going to adopt that, and give it to Luella when she is old enough to appreciate it like how I am appreciating it now. She'll know then what exquisite tastes her grandmother has.
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.