My Watch Story: Laurie TangWritten by Alvin Wong
"It was Rolex that got me first."
An entrepreneur with a thirst for adventure and eye for industrial product design, Laurie Tang has had businesses that span distributing and installing sound systems to manufacturing high-end flight cases. And among his myriad business interests, Drago Design Timepiece Service, a watch repair and service company that he started in 2016, stands out as one that he is most passionate about.
“Nothing gives me more satisfaction than to bring a watch back from the dead,” he says. Tang started taking an interest in high-end watches when he was in his 20s. "It was Rolex that got me. Not as a status symbol or anything, but I just like the watch - the way it looks and how well-made it is."
The first branded watch he bought was an Omega Constellation - two Constellations, actually, his and hers, to commemorate his marriage back in 1991.
Having amassed a few more timepieces since, Tang says that A. Lange & Söhne and IWC are among his favourite brands. "I like the German approach to watchmaking. I have my technician service my own Lange watch, and when you see the movement parts up close, you really appreciate the effort that goes into the brand's watches."
Rolex GMT-Master 'Coke' Ref. 16700
This was my first Rolex watch. I bought this off a friend of a friend. I remember paying for it in cash to him at a very reasonable price and the great thing is that the value of this watch has probably tripled from what I paid for.
Franck Muller Long Island
I look for character in a watch, and the feeling I get when I wear it. This model in particular caught my attention with its size and colour combination. Franck Muller is, of course, a well-known independent watchmaker and a brand that people tend to hear about when they get interested in watches.
I love IWC's Big Pilot's watches for their size and this one is that bit more special because of the association with Antoine de Exupéry, who was a pioneering aviator. Also, one of the things that intrigue me about mechanical watches is their power reserve - how brands constantly improve on this feature and how advanced it has become. This watch marries great design - I love how it is huge and fits me so well - with a great automatic movement with seven days of power reserve.
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Timezone
Like a lot of watch lovers, I started with the Lange 1, but soon realised it was a bit too small for me. That was why I decided to go for a larger model and this version with world-time complication is perfect for me. This is a special 'Singapore' Sincere Watch boutique edition that was made for the watch retailer in 2005.
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5712
You cannot argue with Patek Philippe's brand legacy and the quality of its watches. Although I personally find its watches too small, the Nautilus is sporty enough for me. I like the added date and power reserve display, and overall it is just a really beautiful piece of work.
This story first appeared in the June edition of CROWN. SUBSCRIBE HERE
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.