SINGAPORE'S community of watch lovers lost one of their more passionate members in August 2009, when Duncan Wang passed away at the far too early age of 44 years. An American Chinese businessman who spent a good deal of his time in Singapore, he was a true collector, choosing his watches based on his respect for the personalities who made them, rather than buying them for their potential resale value.
Shortly after his passing, Duncan's parents in the US requested his friends here in Singapore to find a fitting way to remember him each year, based on the two things that this gentleman was most passionate about - his watches and his favourite charities.
Thus, in late August last year, the first "Duncan watch" was auctioned off for a children's charity in Singapore, one that Duncan himself had supported before his untimely passing: The Kidz Horizon Appeal for children with chronic illnesses.
In 2007, Duncan's generous bid for a Vacheron Constantin timepiece helped to raise S$75,000 for this cause. Here's how he himself described this special piece, originally commissioned for the brand's 250th anniversary in 2005:
" On this piece, the Singapore flag was hand-painted onto the rotor creating a truly memorable piece. Personally, I have always had a tremendous affinity for the Republic of Singapore and have spent much of the past 10 years living there. The opportunity to own this special piece and help a worthy cause was irresistible. As a person with considerable involvement with charities, I always respect companies that demonstrate a true commitment to giving back to the community and Vacheron Constantin has been a tremendous supporter of charitable purposes, be them organizations assisting the less fortunate or those supporting the arts. Not only does the company produce the highest quality timepieces, but it also sets a standard for civic mindedness that I admire and hope other organizations will emulate."
(Duncan Wang, May 23 2008 --- [www.thehourlounge.com])
And last August, watched over by the President of Singapore as Guest of Honor, another sought -after Vacheron timepiece raised a further S$60,000 at the Kidz Horizon Appeal's s annual fund-raising ball. Fittingly, this first Duncan watch was the re-issue of a timepiece that Vacheron Constantin first made for the American market in 1921.
In total, $536,000 was raised that evening for sick children who need financial assistance. Of that total, $60,000 was raised by Duncan's watch, while Singapore's glitterati collectively paid a further $476,000 to fill the 100-table ballroom in the cavernous Ritz-Carlton Hotel here.
Led by Dr Caroline Low-Heah, a group of prominent volunteers from Singapore's social circle form the backbone of the volunteer organisation - Kidz Horizon Appeal - formed in 2004 to raise funds for children suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer or HIV. Typically, the beneficiaries of this charity are children whose parents may not be in a position to afford the expensive medical treatment they need. Caroline herself is something of a watch-lover, and has visited the Geneva Watch Fair with Duncan and his watch friends.
And the exciting news for 2011
Both Caroline and Duncan have always been unabashed admirers of A. Lange & Söhne, and so we are tremendously excited to announce that this respected German brand has offered to the Wang family a unique white gold example of their Lange Zeitwerk watch as the Duncan watch to be auctioned for the benefit of needy kids on August 27 2011! This sought-after watch brand of A. Lange & Söhne, from the same stable as Vacheron Constantin, has participated in charitable causes before, but this will be the first Lange watch to be specially produced for a charity in Asia.
The one-of-a-kind LANGE ZEITWERK in white gold with a grey dial and a special engraving will be auctioned at this year's costume Charity Ball for the Kidz Horizon Appeal to be held at the Ritz Carlton Ball-room, Singapore, on 27 August 2011. When Lange CEO Wilhelm Schmid was asked to contribute a one-of-a-kind Lange timepiece for the Kidz Horizon Charity Auction he and his team were immediately thrilled because they felt it was the right thing to do: “To care for the society we live in, and in particular for the young, is deeply rooted in the history and values of our brand.” The Lange manufactory was established in the first place to fight unemployment among young people in a destitute area.
While the usual production version of this white gold Lange Zeitwerk retails for $84,900, we hope that this unique and generous donation will be able to raise more than that for the benefit of Singapore's chronically ill children, who will not be able to afford medical treatment otherwise.
For more information on Kidz Horizon Appeal, please contact:
KK Women's and Children's Hospital
DID: + 65 6394 2322
Potential bidders for this piece can contact Tay Kok Choon via his email (email@example.com) and he can help to link you up with the person-in-charge or provide more information about the Charity or the Watch itself.