Throwback Sundays: Six Watch Recommendations for the “God of Gamblers”, from Our Archives

The term “God of Gamblers” was derived from the eponymous Hong Kong made movie, all thanks to the lead character Ko Chun’s (portrayed by Chow Yun-fat) incredible gambling skills. The movie had subsequently generated many sequels and spin-offs, and it has somehow became a staple every Lunar New Year.

Ko Chun’s aptitude in the game of chance have generated many fans. Chow Yun-fat’s great acting have attracted many fans, and his portrayal have won many wannabes who were inspired and want to emulate his moves. Yes, there are apparently such people who model their lives after movie characters…apparently. Unlike the rest of us, who only dream of watches. Following the line of thinking that we aren’t gamblers, perhaps our interest in the movie might to speculate how the God of Gamblers spends his winnings. Or, more specifically, the kind of watches that he might consider buying.

So, for the fun of it, in today’s article, we step into the shoes of Ko Chun and decide on the horological devices that he might be interested in. What could he have chosen, were he not only a great gambler, but also a WIS? Let’s find out!

Rolex Sky Dweller

The Rolex Sky Dweller in white gold. This model comes with a matching massive white gold bracelet and a beautiful ivory coloured dial.

A gold Rolex is a symbol synonymous with success. But instead of the usual Daydate or Datejust, we have opted for something different — the Sky Dweller.

The Sky Dweller is one of the most complicated timepieces in the current Rolex line-up, featuring both the annual calendar and dual time-zone complication. This is derived from Rolex’s in-house self-winding Calibre 9001, which have a power reserve of 72 hours. The Sky Dweller’s sports an unusual bezel which can be used as a function selector, so the crown can be used to adjust the appropriate indicators.

The retail price of the Sky Dweller begins at S$53,180 (for the watches that are fitted with an alligator strap and the folding clasp), and it is available in either Yellow, White, or Everose Gold. This is definitely a timepiece that will attract attention at the gambling tables, and one that will surely befit the status of the God of Gamblers.

Manufacture Royale 1770 Voltige

The Manufacture Royale 1770 Voltige. A suspended balance with the escapement from the third wheel is exposed and visible from the dial side.

Next, we have the Manufacture Royale 1770 Voltige. Manufacture Royale is one of the newer kids on the block in independent watchmaking, revived from an old company that was founded by a French philosopher named Voltaire.

The Voltige is an interesting piece from their impressive collection. Its name — which is derived from the word voltigeur — implies that the manufacturers applied precision and great expertise, as well as a tinge of risk-taking in their endeavours. And that is rather implicit. The contemporary-looking watch is massive at 45mm, and it features a giant sapphire domed crystal with four exposed screws at the side to hold the “tube” which extends to the lugs. But the pièce de résistance of this timepiece is the dial, in which the suspended escapement sits in full view. It is a visual spectacle, and it complements the multi-layered nicely as well.

The 1770 Voltige retails at CHF 27,000 (S$38,300), and the red dial variant certainly makes this a rather interesting proposition. Not only does it gives the watch a striking appearance, but red symbolizes good luck in the Chinese culture as well. Definitely a compelling choice for a gambler.

Breguet Classique 7147

A classic dress watch, such as the Breguet Classique 7147, is a must-have in any watch collection.

There should be a classic dress watch in every gentleman’s watch collection, for any black tie or formal events. The Breguet Classique 7147, we reckon, is an excellent candidate for that.

The Classique 7147 is a beautiful example of what a dress watch should be — simple, elegant, and timeless. The 40mm timepiece is completely devoid of any complications, but it is compensated by different forms of decorative techniques and finishing for both its dial and movement. The main design motif of the 7147 is the “Clou de Paris” hobnailed dial, and it is complemented with an offset small seconds sub-dial at the 5 o’clock position that comes with a cross weave pattern. Other standard features include the blued “Breguet Hands”, as well as the coin-edge pattern at the side profile of the slim watch case.

Powered by the Calibre 502.3SD (based on the Frederic Piguet…um, now Manufacture Breguet 71 movement), the self-winding timepiece has a decent power reserve of 45 hours. Finally, the Classique 7147 retails at S$30,200 for the rose gold model (or S$30,900 for the white gold variant).

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked are available in stainless steel and pink gold. With the latter commanding a premium of more than $30,000 over the steel.

“To break the rules, you must first master them.”

The Royal Oak perhaps encapsulates that quote perfectly. The watch, launched in 1972, is revolutionary in its design and concept behind its pricing and marketing model. A high-end luxury sports watch is something that is relatively unheard of at that point in time, and Royal Oak was unusual in its design and the exorbitant price point.

Over the last 45 years, Audemars Piguet had constantly produce new timepieces for the collection. One of the more interesting watches in the recent years is the Double Balance Wheel Openworked. The highlight, as its name suggests, is the new movement that is fitted with two balance springs in opposition to improve accuracy. The movement is also finished nicely, and the skeleton dial is a certainly a visual treat.

The 41mm timepiece is priced at US$44,100 (approximately S$62,145) for the stainless steel model, and US$76,800 (S$108,200) for the rose gold variant. It is definitely on the pricier side, but an interesting fact is that the Octagon (which is found on the bezel) is a powerful symbol in the Chinese culture (it is said that it is capable of diverting away malevolent spirits), and we are think that it might come in handy for the God of Gamblers some day.

MB&F HM8

The MB&F HM8. For days when you want to be less serious.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But how about a fun watch on a day out? You can certainly count MB&F on that, with the HM8!

The HM8 was inspired by one of Max Büsser’s childhood dream — to be a car designer. This had led him to design a timepiece that is based on the Can-Am cars. The watch, interestingly, combines sensuous sweeping curves and transparent sapphire crystals to give the timepiece a rather interesting aesthetic. The watch is also fitted with the digital dashboard display that is similar to both the HM5 and HMX, although the mechanism had to be redesigned for the HM8 since position of the discs are flipped (due to the flipping of the movement). Other interesting features include the iconic battle-axe winding rotor, as well as the articulating lugs.

Overall, the HM8 is an extraordinary timepiece. We like the architecture of the watch, as well as its method of displaying time. It is certainly a conversational piece, and one that will capture both the hearts and attention of collectors and non-collectors alike. The watch is priced at S$127,800, and they are cased in either 18k white gold/titanium or 18k red gold/titanium.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Handsome watch, this Ref. 5270. Coupled with the rich heritage of Patek Philippe, and the magnificently finishing lavished on the complicated movement. This is certainly a keeper.

When it comes to fine watchmaking, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is probably one of the watches that is highly coveted by many. Its stunning good looks, coupled with its impeccable finishing and excellent complications, can certainly make collectors go weak on their knees.

The Ref. 5270 follows the lineage of the iconic Perpetual Calendar Chronograph watches, with its layout featuring three different sub-dials, as well as two apertures to indicate both the day and month. It is extremely proportional and symmetrical, which is possibly the reason behind its mesmerizing aesthetics. For this particular reference, Patek Philippe had actually included two apertures at both the 4:30 and 7:30 position to use for the leap year and day/night indicators respectively. This makes the watch much cleaner, and hence more legible as well.

This particular iteration — the Ref. 5270G-019 — comes with a yellow gold case and a matching midnight blue dial. At 41mm, the watch is sized appropriately for modern day standards as well. The watch is priced at S$216,500, and this probably one of the most timeless and exquisite timepieces that money can buy.

Concluding Thoughts

This week’s selection covers quite a good selection of watches in terms of design and style, although they are mostly cased in gold. After all, gold is a sign of wealth, and the God of Gamblers will want to lean towards that option.

Do you agree with our choices? What are the pieces that you might have selected, if you are the God of Gamblers? Let us know in the comments section below!