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To describe the DBS as an impressive car seems quite redundant. Even at a standstill, it reeks of refined engineering. Clearly designed to move the spirit by moving the body through high speed on tarmac. Its beautiful curved lines and racing engine sounds, it is clearly a car to turn heads as well as spirits.

The series of images of the car was put together as a video earlier in my event report but just in case visitors missed it earlier, here is the video for your viewing pleasure. The ominous sound track is called "End of an Aston Martin" from the Casino Royale.

- HT


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The Amvox sitting on top of the DBS engine - while it was running.

The JLC Amvox finally arrived on our shores. Earlier in the year, I reported about the need for such a watch but it appears that my doubt is unfounded because demand from Aston Martin owners have surpassed expectations. The DBS itself is somewhat controvesial being an identical car to the DB9 with an additional substantial tag. Nonetheless, there is still a following for the model and owners are excited at having a James Bond type watch.
I was invited to photograph this watch and car at the event which I readily agreed - excited at the prospect of photographing the DBS and Amvox together. Mr Janek Deleskiewicz the Artistic Director of JLC was at hand to model both the car and watch.
Check out the report I filed at the forum - CLICK HERE to read it. Look out for the video of images I took of the Aston Martin as well in the report at the forum.
- HT


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"Distract the wife, avoid talk of price... sell the romance, the emotion"
The Wall Street Journal just published a revealing article on how a consultant was hired to train IWC salesmen to sell their watches to walk in customers at their boutiques. It was reported that sales fell by 42% in the US in May compared to same month the year before. This caused some brands to relook at how they are selling their watches and in the case of IWC, retraining their staff was one of the strategies.
The method that the consultant uses is to get the sales staff to distract the wife, avoid the talk of price and speak of value instead. Instead of discounts, monogrammed gifts such as mugs and umbrellas are given instead. At the same time, sales staff are to raise their performance levels because there is " the need for better, more thoughtful service that makes the customer sense caring and quality —the stuff of luxury."
Such techniques of sales staff are not new, especially to the regulars and to seasoned collectors and observers of the industry. In recent years watch marketing agencies and brands had been selling luxury lifestyle rather than true horological achievements. It seems rather insincere that the need for better luxury service is heightened during recessionary times. Collectors have long memories and many had to suffer the poor service of brands whose watches are selling faster than supply - during the good times.
Serious collectors who had been collecting watches for some years would have learnt quickly to ignore all the advertising and marketing efforts by the brands - and approach the buying of a watch without all the hubris. Even before they step into a watch retailer, some basic research would have been done. In fact, the strategy of collectors is the direct opposite to the consultant's purpose. Be clinical, buy without being emotional and understand what the prices are and whether they are reflective of the street prices and discounts available.
Unfortunately, its the first time buyer that would be ensnared by the clever web that the salesmen weave. With the Internet so freely available for basic research online, it would be either a fool who walks in to a boutique and makes an impulse purchase without first making any research - or one that is so well endowed with wealth that it does not matter that one is paying high street prices without any effort to understand what is being purchased.
CLICK HERE to read the Wallstreet Journal article


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For visitors and fans of WH that are members on Facebook, I have created a new page there for fans to obtain latest information on posts and updates as they are published here. At the FB page, there are opportunities for fans to post comments or even engage in discussions. So if you do have a FB account and would like to sign up for this, click on the link below:

- HT


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Alan Teo & Michael Tay at L'Atelier

The Ion at Orchard Road was one of the most expensive commercial estate deals when it was bought by the developers who had planned something special for that plot of prized land. Planned as the mall for ultimate luxury, it was inevitable that top luxury Swiss watch houses would set up boutiques there. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Tag Hauer and IWC have showrooms there - in expectation of business from the large community of watch collectors in Singapore and the region. Hour Glass and Cortina has well placed shops as well but the L'Atelier deserves special mention.
The word "L'Atelier" is a term of art used by the watch industry to represent the place or room where the artisan or watchmaker works. There you find all his necessary tools to repair, make or assemble parts of the watch he or she is working on. Mr Michael Tay (Executive Director of HG) planned for such a concept for his new jewel in the Hour Glass crown.
A retail outlet with a sense of being a watchmaker's place where his magic is woven. When one steps into the L'Atelier, the opulence of fine leather chesterfield seating in the centre of the boutique brings a sense of a well appointed living room of a gentleman's home. Surrounded by both watch books, art and curios connected with horology, the boutique is almost a museum of horological curiosities.
There are two antique workbenches, one on the left of the entrance and the other stands on its own as a separating feature between two rooms with all kinds of watch making equipment as well as beautiful watch movements under glass bells.
The boutique features an inner sanctum where curtains could be drawn for clients who demand a higher level of discretion. In this room along the walls, the lower half features - as a design element - the watch cases from Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta.
All round the walls of the boutique are found the displays of the high end luxury brands. Including Lange & Sohne, the dealership which was extended to Hour Glass just recently. Watches are also displayed in cabinets but their dimension and designs reflect a more tasteful manner of display to create a highly exclusive yet a warm atmosphere of sophistication and comfort for the regular and potential customers. No detail was overlooked and that included new uniforms for staff that are replicas of watch maker's coats.
This new boutique raises the bar even higher in an already competitive market in Singapore. However, its an exciting development for watch collectors to be able to see retailers bringing the art form in horology one step closer to the public and for us to see the rare equipment once used in watch making.
For a photomontage of the L'Atelier, click on the image above.

- HT


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Admittedly, I have had difficulty in liking the Daniel Roth watches due to its unfamiliar case shape. While it sings for some, it some how does not excite me. However, this is not to be confused with my respect for the quality of their handicraft in creating beautiful watch movements. For instance, I felt the limited edition Athys with the IWC caliber 95 was quite a handsome watch with its beautifully engraved movement.

This here is the Hour Glass Limited Edition Athys with a different dial with a moon and stars. This moon is quite unique in that it feature some details of craters and surface features of the moon. A date function is also now seen on the dial near the 4 marker. One has to look at the movement of the watch to appreciate how well DR has managed to create a very thin winding movement - while not ornately finished, it shows off a great degree of horological capability.

- HT
(It is with thanks to The Hour Glass that I got their permission to photograph the watch at the premises of the Millennia branch)


Welcome to
Watching Horology


  • This is a personal blog of Harry SK Tan on all things pertaining to Horology - from watch collecting, horolography, news and developments from all over the world particularly Singapore.
  • ©HarrySKTan2005

Horolography - noun, the art of photographing timepieces

Horolographer - Harry SK Tan

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