It’s not often that a woman is the interviewee in our Collector’s Series, but today Lung Lung Thun is star of the show! Lung Lung Thun is a 31-year-old securities broker with her own business, working in Hong Kong and Singapore. When she walked past an Audemars Piguet Boutique in Singapore in 2010, looking for her next watch after coming to terms with the fact that the Chanel J12 she had just purchased just didn’t suit her at all, she knew it had to be a Royal Oak. Lung Lung is pretty active on Instagram (@lunglungthun) and judging by her posts she’s a proper watch enthusiast. Now let’s talk about that super cool frosted AP Royal Oak of hers!
Frank, MONOCHROME Watches – How did you personally got to know Audemars Piguet? Do you remember when this was?
Lung Lung Thun: I remember it very clearly! 2010. I was walking passed an AP boutique in Singapore. I was looking for my next watch after coming to terms with the fact the J12 I had purchased just did not suit me at all.
What is it you admire in this brand in general (if you do)?
I love its history, the company’s philosophy with keeping to traditions but pushing innovation. More recently, as I have gotten to know the team in Hong Kong better, I can see how much effort goes into understanding each customer and enhancing their overall experience, I really appreciate that.
You chose a rare version of the legendary Royal Oak! With its new frosted look and the mirror dial, it looks pretty fab! Why did this particular watch stand out to you?
I ordered it the moment the photos were released. It was a no brainer for me. Yellow gold is my favorite precious metal. I know it will be incredibly rare to ever come across a royal oak with a mirror dial (if ever again). The actual piece turned out even better looking than the photos.
When did you buy it, and where?
I believe I got the first of the 300 pieces released. I hear they subsequently produced a 100 more pieces although I can’t confirm that. I got it from the AP House in Hong Kong.
What were the main reasons for buying it?
I bought this watch because the aesthetics of it just blew me away. Everything from the dial, the craftsmanship of the bracelet, and the rarity. I honestly did not have any special occasion to buy it, I just knew I needed that piece in my life.
Why did it have to be this particular model and not any other model from the brand/ collection?
Simply because it is unique. I value how rare a piece is. I don’t need the piece to be recognized or understood by anyone, but I like to know there aren’t many around in the world. This piece is also very versatile as it can go from day to night.
I quite like the other collections, especially the millenary and the concept pieces which I would still like to own one day.
Does your watch get a lot of wrist time?
Yes. Every piece that I have bought is a true extension of my personality and lifestyle, so I never have to struggle to find a reason to wear it. I get a lot of questions on whether the watch is too loud to wear during the day. I think these questions are valid but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters to me is how I feel inside when I put on that watch.
Do you ever get reactions if you wear or show the watch? Tell us about these, please.
All the time. I think I get stopped the most for this watch. Strangers will ask whether it really is an Audemars Piguet. Collectors (usually men) will ask whether AP will ever make a version for men in a bigger size. There was one time a couple from China picked up my watch from the tray at Van Cleef and asked whether the watch was for sale. The best moments are when I travel and the AP boutique staff from other countries want to have a closer look because they have never chanced upon the piece before.
Do you know the current market value of the watch? Do you care to tell us what you paid for it, if you would ever sell it and at what price?
I am not sure what the current market value of the watch is because I have never checked or considered selling any of my watches. I have nothing against collectors selling pieces they no longer wear or enjoy, but I am not at that stage yet. I like to look back and see how I have evolved and grown as a collector over time.
Are there any more watches you would like to buy? Which ones, and when?
There would never be enough space on this page for that. I have become more patient and disciplined with my purchases over the years. I decided in 2020 that every piece going forward had to mark a special achievement or occasion for me. Those who know me well know that I always leave space for one AP piece every year incase they release something that catches my eye. Otherwise, I am always reading and meeting collectors to see what I will get drawn to. Without a doubt a Patek 5004 in YG will always be on that list until I get it.
Can you give tips to other collectors who want the watch you possess?
I believe the watch has been fully sold out and there may be some on the secondary market. For collectors who want to get limited editions or “hard to get” pieces, just be patient. Let the brand get to know you better, whether it be your lifestyle, career, hobbies, it is all part of building your profile with a brand.
In terms of taking care of my watches, I am notorious for scratching them. I only removed my love bracelet from Cartier on my left wrist after having it on for more than a decade.
Do you have general tips for people who want to start collecting watches?
My number one tip would be to buy what you love. Secondly, do not get drawn into what is being hyped up on social media, trends will always come and go. Do your research, read, and ask around, and lastly- be patient.