Gertrude Wong’s watch collection

An auctioneer and the head of sale of Phillips Hong Kong’s watches department, Gertrude Wong favours timepieces that are a celebration of craftsmanship, design and innovation

Patek Philippe Ref. 3729/1 in White Gold

If you like quirky yet wonderful watches, the 1970s are where you should look. The ’70s were flooded with eclectic ideas, experimentation and self-expression. Think of the cultural movements, the music scene with funk, disco and rock. It was an era of creativity, and the watches born from that decade hit the spot for me. Playing with a great number of shapes and materials, Patek Philippe dreamed up countless funky designs in that period. With my background as a graphic designer and art director, I adore design-driven timepieces. The Patek Philippe Ref. 3729/1 was love at first sight and on the top of my grails list. An octagon-shaped stepped bezel playfully frames the minimalistic black onyx dial while the ribbed white gold integrated bracelet flows onto the wrist with absolute comfort. It’s unreal to add a grail watch to my collection. Kudos to watch friends who helped me track this one down.

Cartier Santos Carrée 75th Anniversary Edition Ref. 2960

I have to say I’m a big fan of Cartier. Their endless creativity never fails to amaze me. Ever since the famous story of how Louis Cartier created the first men’s wristwatch for his aviator friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont, in 1911, the Santos has been one of the core heritage models from the French maison. With the new age of sports watches like the Royal Oak, Nautilus and the 222 in the ’70s, Cartier pivoted the Santos line with the introduction of an integrated bracelet with the Santos Carrée. I love the angular, almost industrial-like screwed case design. The rich Cartier burgundy on the dial just brings me joy whenever it’s on my wrist. I wear it all the time and it goes very well with formal and casual wear.

A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Ref. 101.030

I’ve always admired the innovation and vision of A. Lange & Söhne, and the Lange 1 truly paved the way for a new approach to watchmaking in its time. The exceptional design of its off-centre dial and outsize date balanced heritage and modernism perfectly. A refreshing and elegant creation using the golden ratio for a perfectly calculated dial design, the Lange 1 is just so easy to read. Not to mention, the quick-set date with the pusher is a game-changer, especially when you’re on the move. Turning the watch over reveals the handcrafted L901.0 movement that was the first generation of calibres used in early Lange 1s. Beautifully finished with exceptional details, each balance cock is also hand engraved by a master engraver with their own unique decoration. I recently learned that mine was engraved by Helmut Wagner, the head of the engraving department back then. The connection of knowing who took part in the creation is truly satisfying. Being a fan of subtle colourways, I find the elephant grey dial is beautiful yet stealthy. I also love to play with different strap pairings to give it a new look. For my Lange 1, I chose
a matching elephant grey calf strap to complement the dial.

Cartier Tank à Guichets 150th Anniversary Edition in Platinum

While the Tank is one of the most recognisable and iconic designs from Cartier, the Tank à Guichets is definitely my favourite model and would be a dream to own. Aesthetically (in my opinion) it looks closest to a Renault tank with its Brutalist design and it was the first jump hour timepiece created by Cartier in 1928. Telling time with just a small window at 12 o’clock and a half curved aperture counter is as simple as it gets. Psychologically, it’s almost a reminder: to stay focused and walk away from distraction. Made in only 150 pieces to celebrate Cartier’s 150th anniversary, the Tank à Guichets with vertical brushed finishing is cased in platinum, hinted by its ruby cabochon used for the metal. Almost 96 years since its debut, it remains timeless and elegant. Hats off to Cartier.

Xhevdet Rexhepi Minute Inerte

A debut for Xhevdet Rexhepi, the Minute Inerte was the most captivating timepiece for me in 2023. I truly believe that character, innovation and disruptiveness are the essence of independent watchmaking, and the Minute Inerte ticks all three boxes. Striking a balance between modern and classical watchmaking, the 38mm pocket watch-inspired platinum case contrasting with unique faceted lugs is a breed of its own. Housed underneath the matte powdered-blue stepped dial with architecturally inspired applied markers are golden gears and the wheels of its stop seconds complication. Inspired by the Swiss railway clocks, the second hand rotates in 58 seconds before pausing for two seconds. At the turn of each minute, the minute hand jumps instantaneously to the next before the counting of the seconds picks up again. Truly unique and refreshing, Rexhepi’s creation speaks volumes of his vision for the new generation of independent watchmaking.

Raúl Pagès Régulateur à Détente RP1

Inspired by le Corbusier palettes, the Régulateur à Détente RP1 is certainly a breath of fresh air with an equally impressive mechanism featuring a pivoted detent escapement. From design to creation, it’s all single-handedly completed by Pagès himself. With a strong background in restoration of pocket watches, Pagès took on the challenge of scaling the detent escapement that has long been associated with marine chronometers and pocket watches down to a wristwatch movement packed into a 38.5mm case. From his mechanical La Tortue enamel tortoise automaton made entirely by hand to the Régulateur à Détente RP1, Pagès not only represents the highest standards of traditional Swiss watchmaking but also knows how to have a bit of fun.

Also see: Johnathan Chan’s watch collection

In this Story: #watches & #jewellery