Spot The Watch: One “Crazy Rich Asian” Choice

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: what you wear often defines who you are. Watches are generally considered as the only accessory fit for ladies and gents (boys and girls too!) And ones choice of accessories speak volumes – more so if they’re our politician or head of state.

We bring you a special edition of Spot The Watch. The man in question is no stranger to our Singaporean readers; perhaps the most widely recognised Singaporean. A 3rd generation leader and 3 terms running – who else other than Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. With an estimated net worth of S$106.2 million and drawing a multi-million dollar annual salary, what watch could he sport?

Editor’s note: Please note this is not a political commentary in any sense of the word. It is intended purely for the fun of spotting the watch.


What watch is he sporting? Picture Credit: Getty Images


A close up view. The watch is distinct due to its bracelet and side profile. Picture Credit: Getty Images


The watch in question is the Seiko 5 SNKK87. A humble choice as the white dial and brushed steel creates a rather “toned-down” appearance. Nothing brash nor pompous. In addition, the ‘5’ is renowned for its practicality: unbreakable mainspring, shock resistance, automatic winding, day/date and water resistance. Hence, a logical one too.


Picture Credit:


The Seiko SNKK87 on PM Lee’s wrists. The evergreen design allows it to be paired with a suit. Picture Credit: Getty Images


The Seiko 5 philosophy of practical features makes it a robust all-round timepiece. Picture Credit: Channel News Asia


It appears to be his only watch. In all the visible-wrist shots that we’ve managed to procure, PM Lee has been spotted with the same timepiece. From world summits to casual conversations throughout the years, he dons it on the original metal bracelet. Even during election-night victories. But with his UHNW status, perhaps a new Seiko or something from our recommendations maybe? In all seriousness, it just shows the versatility of an evergreen design. Rather cool.


The PM is seen using the watch as a table clock here. Picture Credit: Getty Images


This model appears to be discontinued.

The ‘small red-dot’ – home to Deployant and many serious collectors, is arguably one of the most important watch markets in the world. But did you know that Seiko has its roots embedded deeply into the city state?


The current Seiko operation building in Singapore. Picture Credit: Seiko Instruments Singapore Pte. Ltd.


In 1973, the first overseas subsidiary of Seiko Instruments Inc., Japan was set up in Singapore. It was a historical deal initiated by the late PM Lee Kuan Yew. Formerly known as Singapore Time Pte Ltd, several of its employees trained at then Daini Seikosha of Japan in the specialisation of mass production of watches. This subsidiary and operation still exists today as Seiko Instruments Singapore Pte Ltd (SIS).

That concludes this episode of Spot The Watch! Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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  1. I was trying to spot what watch he was wearing on National Day. I’m pretty sure it’s the same one – all I could see was that it had a rather thin profile and metal bracelet. Thanks for identifying it!


    I too wear watches but I rarely use it to check time
    I once wore a watch that was not even running but i made it look good wrap aroundmy wrist