Wednesday, 25 April 2012

LIFE, how I spent 10% of 1998 to 2011. SEIKO watches, exotic watches.

 I am a "chair" person, pardon the pun, but life revolves around my chairs about 7 to 9 hours a day, 5 days a week.
So chairs reature BIG in my blog.
You will not be seeing the last of many great pieces, and rare chairs.
In my office, I used to have some great design pieces, but because of many people touching or sitting on them, I decided to move them home.
BUT...I still wanted a GOOD piece...and I found this one last week.
More on it later.
 SEIKO watches have been a part of my life since 1965.
I still own the first generation of the really GOOD SEIKOS that served with Nasa on most of Apollos missions as well as almost all space shuttle and skylab missions, with Casios too.
Omega? That's a commercial thing, yes, they did go into space, but it was the SEIKOs and Casios that the astronauts prefered.
Because those were watches they lived with as pilots.
The ONLY watch designed specifically for use in space, OUTSIDE the craft!
It can take G forces, and temeratures that would be overwhelming for any other watch...including their own brand.
 This is the SAME Seiko that the Spacewalk is made from, a premium model solid gold, 100% hand assembled and finished by hand 90%.
These SOLID GOLD, 18k, rosegold springdrives are so rare, I am sure that I am the ONLY collector who owns BOTH of the gold and the the world!

It's fun knowing these things.
It is also about reverse snobery.
It amuses me to read about owners of Pateks and Lange platinum pieces talking about "stealth"...the fact of having an unrecognised expensive watch.
BUT...they are still BRAND CONSCIOUS....because when it boils down to what is really GOOD and reliable, and rare, and fine made...see my previous ramble and rant on Pierre Corthay's shoes...the SEIKO spring drive in GRAND SEIKO guise is superior to almost half of what Lange and Patek make today.
The first generation Lange, and the pre 2004 Pateks, I bought, and still own...those are good.
They can take on my SEIKOS.
Today, some Langes like the ridiculous looking Zeitwork, is a laughing matter.
It is so ugly. It's the emperor's new clothes!!!
It is a digital watch that sucks not the milk of design, but of death. The death of sensible work.
The death of design, of honesty....I could rant on and on.
Buy a Lange 1, or any simple Lange. Avoid the terrible shit that is produced by money hungry men who have no love for watches...and believe me, they laugh at you when you buy their watches..."suckers". TRUE.

So WHAT WATCHES are expensive, rare, and worth what you pay?
The watches I am about to show you.
I am not humble, I am boastful.
But in a good way...because you know I am BERNARD CHEONG...I don't need to endorse what I buy. I can share, and you know I can, because I am an arrogant son of a .....

Lets see:

 This is my office about 3 hours ago.
Yes, I bring about over a million bucks of watches to work.
Hey...enjoy hard earned $$$ man!
It is also a testimony to how much I trust my patients, I leave the room with this box alone with them!
Singaporeans and people of working classes here are 995 honest.
I have no drug addicts in my clinic.
I have hard working, good men and women.

 This is a raely seen LV trunk made for super watches...because of the SIZE of the cushions...they are BIG.
No other box can keep the Opus V or the MBF1.
LV assumes that at $8, will keep these level of watches.
Otherwise, don't waste money.
BUT...if you are collecting these watches, this is the ONLY box to keep them in.
It is 100% handmade as the edges and nails are tiny...and the rules governing the legendary trunks of LV apply here.
The trunk alone is the ONLY practical LV trunk people dont travel the old way any longer.
 The watches are on a tray in the trunk.
below, is a secret compartment that can fit 3 bars of Ikg each gold yah?
 My desk reflects me...a tad mad...100% fun!

 Vianney's own personal watch that he made in 1996 to hand.
This was before I accidentally made him famous.
Today, I thank him with all my heart because he remembers me....I feel warm and right.
I bought his watches in a time when people bought only BRANDS.

 This is anIWC squelette minute repeater.
IWC was my favorite company when the owner /CEO Gunther Blumlein was alive, and a genuine friend.
He was alive to see the watch industry grow.
But not into the size it is today.
He died after Lange made things which he told me that he would never place into a Lange.
(1) Luminous materials
(2) Useless complications
(3) calibers made for general use
(4)Overlap of dials
(5) sports watches

The CEO who took over from him after his death, he did all of these.
If you talk to him for 5 mins, you KNOW he resents you, the customer.
Because he cant afford what he sells, and he does not love watches.
He will buy a car or a bigger house with the money.

 Thsi is URWERK..or the mighty Opus V, a legend that is like the rod of Moses or the ark.
But yes, some of the 50 were made.
I was with Max when this was created.
It is 250g in weight!
Due to bad economy, it sells at auction for $360,000 last year!
But I was involved in a $560,000 USD trade for this piece in 2009.

 This is a VERY special tourbillon.
It is also 3 times more special than other circumferential tourbillons.
Because it is the FREAK's tourbillon.
It is sold out.
Thsi piece is numbered 0.
That's because the late Rolf Schnyder was a very good friend...the kind that I travel with and stay at his home type of friend.
He was an incredibly GOOD person.
I have only one thing in common, we both speak our minds...and money is important, no matter how much/little one has. But people, who are good, they are even more valuable.
 Thsi was a RM002 tourbillon, today it is a $360,000 sgd watch after good discounts.
I bought it for much less...because the then man did not believe me when I told him that the brand will survive.
Unfortunately, today...many of the designs are quite undelievable in ugliness.
AND..that Michelle Yeoh, endorses them. It's like a man advertising menstrual pads or tampons.
A silly thing, a compromise on truth.
Will you find anyone saying this on their blogs???

 Thsi si the MBF1.
It is the second piece I own.
I sold the first, when I needed money...yes, even I need money.
BUT...I like MBF because he is about business, and he is not lying.
Max is honest to me.
I trust him.
He makes good stuff, and he does not least not much.

 This will become the MOST sucessful of the MBF by the year 2020.
It is relevant.
It carries the design history of the times.
It looks funny.
It is beautiful.
It is not worn by movie stars.

This is the DeBetune DB28.
I made a promise that I would own a DB oneday, to David Zanetta.
It took 5 years to complete that promise.
I also promised that I foresaw that DB would one day be recognised as among the MOST beautiful watches made...without sales talk and actors and actressess bullshitting about how much they know.

So that ends this RANT.
The world of selling expensive watches is FULL of sharks.
FULL of over egoed people.

Even myself included.
I will spill the beans.
But to my sense of judgement, I will play the game their way....I will be nice to those who were nice.

Wait and see!!!

Meanwhile, I forgive much more than take revenge.

It is FUN to be honest, even if I could be wrong.
This is only watch collecting.
a small part of life.


  1. For comments, sometimes good to go to my facebook at "bernard cheong".

  2. Hi Bernard,

    What about this is simply amazing!

    Can I ask you if you can post a picture of a watch that I saw in one of your home office pictures, in particular I saw some locman Watch that I have never seen before! I'm talking about the one in the ORBITA watch winder on the back of your desk! I know that maybe you already change the watches in there, do you know what I'm talking about?
    Also another question about some watch in the ORBITA watch winder, I saw some pic that you were interviewed from Prime TV and you was leaning on top of the ORBITA tourbillon, now in there I can recognize the RJ but not the other two watches, can you tell me which kind of watches the other two are? :-)

    Did you ever by some URWERK timepiece?

    Thank you again have a nice week end


  3. Hi Giancarlo,
    There is a LOCMAN with an ETA2892 that predates the production Locmans. It has a serial No 0000.
    The one you see in the picture goes way back into 8 years ago. It was made subsequently as a model called the "Latin Lover". is a very nice and inexpensive, well...same price, back then, as a entry Cellini
    Right now, in the winder, are watches which are permanently there, unless there is a party or photoshoot, when the pieces are changed.
    The ones you saw are the Locman, a Porsche 911 owner's car watch (yes, the 911 comes with a set of bags and a watch), the watch is called 911..chuckles...and there is a watch which was a handmade piece with a painting inside for me...for fun. An ARTYA because Yvann Arpa is a good friend.
    Yes..I am looking at the Urwerk UR110 to accompany the Opus V.
    I still have the early Urwerks..the round one and the one that looks like the current shape, with a weighing scale look.

  4. Hi Bernard,

    How are doing?

    As usual thank you very much for the explanation!!
    The one in the middle look like a Panerai, more than 911!! I don't even know that a Porsche 911 car come together with a watch! Ahahah.... Please can I have a close up, I'm really interested!!
    Yes the other one it is the ArtYa....Yvann Arpa he did really a good job!

    A part these three I saw another set in the ORBITA, one was the Titanic DNA, the other two I can't recognize, can you help me?

    Yes the UR 110 Torpedo it is fantastic, he also win the design prize at the last GPHG, good timepiece! Can I ask you why the Torpedo and not the UR 203 (which is sold out) or the King Cobra?
    Wow the round one it is one of the very first model from Urwerk!

    Thank you have a nice day...