Jackie Ho’s watch collection

Jackie Ho – one half of the founder duo of watch-collecting community Watch Ho & Co, operating under the motto of “good vibes only” – takes us through the highlights of his expertly curated assemblage of timekeepers

Daniel Roth Tourbillon 2187 Double Face Skeleton

Photo: Preston Turk

With my predisposition for skeleton dials, it’s no surprise that the prized jewel of my collection is also a skeleton dial and from my favourite indie brand. Daniel Roth is one of the most talented watchmakers of his generation and the pioneer of independent watchmaking, and the tourbillon is the quintessential execution of his signature style. The iconic double-ellipse case, blued baton hands, fully skeletonised and beautifully hand-engraved dial with his signature long black polished bridges, brushed silver chapter rings which float above the movement and – if that wasn’t enough – flip the watch over and you’ll find the same intricately hand-engraved finishing along with a power reserve and date function. And to top it off, hidden within the dial at 1 o’clock and only visible via a loupe, lies the serial No. 001! A true grail of all grails!

De Bethune Moon Phase Starry Sky

Photo: Preston Turk

De Bethune has, since its inception in 2002, been an impressive mix of traditional watchmaking complemented by modern cutting-edge movements and avant-garde designs. This jewel (excuse the pun) in my collection is a mix of haute joaillerie and horology. Encased in a wearable 40mm case with DB’s signature hollow lugs is a mirror polished fired blue titanium dial adorned with beautiful white gold and diamonds to mimic the cosmic Geneva sky. What’s more impressive is a rotating 3D spherical moon phase located at 12 in palladium and fired blue steel, encrusted with 44 diamonds and 44 blue sapphires with accuracy up to 122 years. And, last but not least, the case band is further adorned with 61 stunning baguette- cut blue sapphires that beautifully complement the dial and overall aesthetics
of the watch. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the impressive hand-finished movement, mirror polished with triple pare chute shock-absorbing system, all of which can be admired on the back of this exceptional watch.

F.P. Journe Octa Réserve de Marche

Photo: Preston Turk

The first Journe I fell in love with and one I’ve been hunting for many years is my early 2001 38mm RDM with a rose gold case and shimmery rose gold dial, brass movement and straight line CDG (Côtes de Genève). The Octa was Journe’s first automatic watch, a model that would serve as a foundation for a whole new collection to come. Instead of using modular complications, Journe wanted to create a base movement, with a 120-hour power reserve (a world record for a wristwatch at the time) into which could be integrated different complications without modifying the dimensions of the movement. The RDM features all the signature aesthetics that we have come to appreciate. A highly legible dial with off-centre subdial, large date aperture and power reserve. You can’t beat the vintage charm of an early Journe and the 38mm case is such a joy on the wrist!

Audemars Piguet Quantième Perpétuel Rose Gold Mother-of-Pearl Dial

Photo: Preston Turk

Not a royal oak and the watch that saved AP! Released in 1978, the QP was at the time the world’s thinnest automatic and perpetual calendar. It was boldly launched during the midst of the quartz crisis when traditional watchmaking was under severe threat and, as such, is deemed by many as the watch that saved the brand. With a case measuring 36mm, the dial layout retains all the DNA of Jacqueline Dimier, who originally penned the design. Intuitive and highly legible, the date and day are displayed at 3 and 9, with the date at 12. Moonphase is at 6 and the graduations above this. All four sub dials are sunken and recessed, and expertly crafted on a beautiful iridescent mother-of-pearl dial. The watch is powered by the ultra-thin automatic calibre 2120/2, a derivative of the JLC 920 movement. It’s noted that only 29 were produced in rose gold and we can assume that less were made in MOP. A rare bird and so aesthetically pleasing to the eye!

Audemars Piguet 5403BC

Photo: Preston Turk

Some might only know Audemars Piguet for the Royal Oak. However, back in the day, AP produced some of the most inspiring and daring dress watches. Case in point: my white gold Cobra with a blue tropical dial. Housed in a modest 34m case, what makes this watch stand out is the braided and woven integrated bracelet. The watch is in fact produced from one single block of white gold and with its braided texture on the bracelet, it resembles a cobra-like skin, which mesmerises you to the point that you don’t realise where the bracelet starts or ends. The unique look of the watch is carefully balanced by the classic dial. The beautiful deep blue background accentuates the white font and the discreet date window at 3 o’clock. Meanwhile, the indices are factory set with delicate diamonds with a double diamond index at the 12 o’clock position. And to add even more character to this watch, the dial has tropicalised over time and developed golden flame-like patterns on some of the indices making it even more distinct and unique. This reference 5403BC was made even more popular in the ’70s by the last shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. If it’s good enough for a king, it certainly is good enough for me!

Rolex Explorer II Ref 16550

This is a special watch in my collection as it was my first-ever win at an auction. Initially introduced in 1985, the ref. 16550 was a transitional model of the Explorer II with a short production span of roughly four years. While originally fitted with a white dial, the dial has aged and tropicalised over time (like the Cobra) to a distinctive and rare creamy pink hue. This reference is known for developing a patina over time and typically to a creamy or ivory colour, so the pink hue really stood out and attracted me to this piece. Each time I wear this watch I reminisce about the thrill of bidding live in person and winning my first auction. Good times!

Also see: Gertrude Wong’s watch collection

In this Story: #watches & #jewellery