Dato’ Sri Jeffrey Raymond, Executive Chairman & Managing Director of OEM Autoseats Malaysia Sdn Bhd
“I’m not a watch collector, I’m an enthusiast,” Dato’ Sri Jeffrey Raymond declares and I couldn’t agree more. At the mention of timepieces, his eyes immediately light up. “I have been guilty of admiring every lovely and creative piece that I see, and I do see a lot of them. However, I’m very discerning about the watches that I buy.” For almost two decades, he has been seeking out watches that he says possess the joy of time telling. “I have been guilty, on many an occasion, of looking at my watch, just to get that joy and admire the watchmakers’ creation. Sometimes, I look at it and wonder what that watchmaker was thinking of when he created that piece.”
On his quest for this delight, he has amassed a staggering 100 watches from various brands and price points. While he may seem like a watch collector, he disagrees. “I don’t go out to collect watches; it is never premeditated… it just happens.” To him, a true watch collector is one that goes out to look for special pieces based on rarity, age and collectability. “I would not buy a timepiece just because it’s collectable. My collection is focused on pieces that I fall in love with.”
Currently, he has much love for independent watchmakers. “In the last decade, I have found myself drawn to independent brands like MB&F, Urwerk and De Bethune. These watchmakers have so much talent and their creations are simply amazing,” he enthuses. “They produce such unique pieces that not only look different, but also find new ways to tell time. In this respect, I have great admiration for Maximilian Busser and MB&F.” This appreciation is evidenced by the MB&F Legacy One Alain Silberstein in his possession that was a result of a seven-year search. Also in his collection are the Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 that similarly required a seven-year wait, a Monsieur de Chanel Limited Edition watch acquired by luck, a Breguet La Tradition Dual Time GMT with Day/Night indicators and a Corum Golden Bridge Round that he regularly looks to for that pleasure.
Seeing the complete and utter delight he has for timepieces, one is bound to ask him for advice on acquiring a piece. To them, he has this to say: “When you are ready and have a set amount to dispose, remember that the brand and price does not matter. It’s the reason that’s important. You may love the watch, admire the brand or would simply love to own a timekeeping instrument.” He continues: “Sit at the boutique and take an hour or two to browse through, trying on watches at leisure. Revel in that process of buying a watch and feel the joy. Don’t go with a preconceived idea.”
“The first project that anyone may have had in their adult life, or the best gift they have ever received, no matter the age, is a watch,” reflects Dato’ Sri Jeffrey. “We live in a world where time is rich, important and moving endlessly. A watch helps capture those moments and allows you to see the changes.” Mulling over the irresistible charms of timepieces, he ends: “Time is infinite, time is everything – and that alone is the greatest power of attraction.”