On 9th August 2015, Singapore will be celebrating her golden jubilee. Even though Singapore is an extremely tiny country with no natural resources, the shortcomings and successes that Singapore has managed to overcome and achieve within this short span of time is truly remarkable. And for watch collectors from Singapore, there is simply no better way to commemorate this special occasion with a watch!
Over the past few months, many watchmakers have come up with limited edition pieces, usually carrying the moniker of “SG50”, to celebrate this extraordinary occasion. We compiled a list of such SG50 watches, and here are our top picks.
Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Reverso Night & Day Singapore Special Edition
The first on the list is probably one of our favorite SG50 watches: the Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Reverso Night & Day Singapore Special Edition. As per most of the watches in the Reverso collection, the front of watch is simple and unassuming. It features a two-hand time display, and it is complimented with a day and night indicator that is situated at the 6 o’clock position of the watch.
The magic, however, lies on the back of the reversible case. Upon reversing the case, the owner is greeted with an alluring map of Singapore in its bright national colors (red and white). The map of Singapore is complimented with superimposed flag. A rather nice touch on the timepiece. The colors, incidentally, are lacquered. Below the map lies the numbers “1965-2015”, in which it signifies the year Singapore attained its independence, and the current year that we are in respectively. While the tribute is seemingly simple, we like the gesture and the message.
The Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Reverso Night & Day Singapore Special Edition, in our opinion, is a fitting tribute to Singapore. However, only 50 pieces are available, and we reckon that it will be a collectible item in time to come.
Hublot “Red Dot” Bang
Next up, we have the Hublot “Red Dot” Bang. The “Red Dot” Bang, incidentally, is a collaboration between Hublot and The Hour Glass. This watch is produced to celebrate both Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, as well as the 10th Anniversary of the Big Bang collection.
The Hublot “Red Dot” Bang had interestingly derived its name from a term that was used to describe Singapore by Habibie, the former President of Indonesia. Although it was disparagingly used to describe Singapore’s tiny geographic size, Singaporeans had often used the “Little Red Dot” to describe the country and her successes that she had achieved despite her limitations.
One of the main striking features of the “Red Dot” is the conspicuous digit “10” that was found on the meshed skeletonized dial. Is the only index notated as an Arabic numeral, the other hour markers being bars. The digit is there to signify its 10th Anniversary of the Big Bang, and red was used to commemorate Singapore’s birthday. Other interesting touches include the red minute markers, as well as the red stitching on the straps. Additionally, some additional touches on the caseback is the “Big Bang 10 Years” plaque on the sapphire crystal.
There are 50 pieces available in Hublonium, and 10 pieces in Yellow Gold. We reckon that they are one of the coolest SG50 watches around, and they will definitely be a big hit with the younger clienteles.
Hublot loves Singapore…and Thanks to Mr Jean Claude Biver for getting this wonderful video done!
Montblanc Star Classique Singapore Special Edition
On the Singapore flag, the white portion represents the values of purity and virtue. If there is one SG50 watch that embodies those principles, then the Montblanc Star Classique Singapore Special Edition is perhaps one of the strongest contenders. Featuring a gorgeous pure white Mother-of-Pearl dial, this watch exudes a sense of pureness and virtuosity.
Other than the Mother of Pearl dial, the rose gold watch also had some interesting touches to it. The subdial features the lion head symbol of Singapore. Paired together with the red second hands, this symbolic feature gives the watch a neat touch for this particular occasion. On the caseback, the sapphire crystal also features the city skyline of Singapore which includes landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
Besides the watch, Montblanc also introduced a limited edition Meisterstuck White Solitaire pen to commemorate this event. The pen features a white lacquer case, and it is paired with red gold fittings which includes some features of Singapore on it. There are three variants available: roller ball, ballpoint, or fountain pen. They are all limited to 200 pieces, with the exception of the fountain pen (100 pieces). The watch, on the other hand, is limited to only 50 pieces. We think the watch and pens are exceptional pieces in their own ways, and owning them as a pair is definitely something worth to ponder over.
Longines Master Collection GMT World Time SG50
Upon the first look, this particular Longines Master Collection GMT World Time does not seem to hold any sort of connections with either Singapore or her Golden Jubilee celebration. However, scrutinize closer and one would actually see the picture.
The 38.5mm rose gold watch is powered by Lognines’ Calibre L635.6, a movement that is based on the ETA 2824-2. It features several functions, which includes the GMT feature that works in tandem with both the timezone and the 24-hours indicator discs. If one looks closely at the timezone indicator, one would be able to find “Singapore” in place of the common “Hong Kong” on the disc. The word “Singapore” is in red, the other 23 cities text remain black. This definitely adds a nice homely touch to this timepiece.
Additionally, the sapphire crystal on the caseback also features a nice tribute to Singapore. The commemorative printing, done in black, consists of the five stars and the crescent, as well as the words “Singapore Celebrates 50 years of Independence”. Each of the 50 pieces that are produced is individually numbered as well.
We think that this timepiece is suitable for a frequent traveler for two reasons: it is a useful timepiece, and it definitely reminds one of home.
Orient SG50 Singapore Edition
We have featured quite a number of SG50 watches, and we reckon that the Orient SG50 Singapore Edition timepiece is one of the most popular pieces in the list. Within the first few days of the launch, all 500 pieces (with the exception of a few selected watches that were reserved for auctions) of the SG50 commemorative timepieces were sold out.
The Orient Bambino SG50 watch comes in a set, in which it features two similar looking watches. The difference, however, is in the case material. One of the watches is finished in plated rose gold, while the other one in cased in stainless steel. The watch comes with a domed crystal which it accentuate the vintage feel of the timepiece. Dashing good looks, we think. At the same time, coupled with its affordable price tag, there was no doubt as to why this watch was a big hit with many watch collectors in Singapore.
Ball Fireman Night Train SG50 Limited Edition
Finally, we have the Ball’s tribute to Singapore’s Golden Jubilee: the Fireman Night Train SG50 Limited Edition.
One of the highlights of Ball’s SG50 watch would be its aesthetics. The watch, cased in DLC, features one of Ball’s signature touches: the tritium gas tubes. These tubes are much brighter and longer-lasting than the SuperLuminova equivalent. As a tribute to Singapore, Ball had also used the tritium tube to design the words “SG” and “50” at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock position of the watch. The effects, is a rather unusual, but striking in the dark when the lume comes to life.
Limited to 1000 pieces, we think that this is a delightful watch for a young chap who wants something special to celebrate this occasion.
Although the writer was not around when Singapore celebrated her Silver Jubilee 25 years back, we strongly believe that watchmakers back then were not as proactive as this year when it comes to creating such commemorative pieces for the Little Red Dot. This is not surprising, considering the level of influence and affluence of this small nation.
If one have not bought a SG50 Watch to commemorate this historic moment, we would strongly recommend one to do so. Perhaps these watches may not be of much horological significance, but who knows, they are all limited editions, and mark a momentous occassion. They may well be worth way beyond the face value in time to come.
Anyways, we hope that you have enjoyed our special tribute to SG50, as well as the Golden Jubilee Weekend. Majulah Singapura!