Singapore is a watch collectors’ paradise, with more than a few dedicated horological appreciators calling the city-state home. Yet despite the presence on the global watchmaking stage – and a decent handful of brands based there – it doesn’t have the kind of flagship name it deserves. Benjamin Chee has set out to change that.
A serious collector in his own right, Benjamin Chee wanted something that would put Singapore on the map from a design standpoint, a brand that local collectors could be patriotically proud of. His vision was of something that melded contemporary style with classical watchmaking – the old world and the new. The result, founded just last year, is BCHH.
It’s easy to throw around the term haute horology, especially when it comes to new brands, but BCHH (Benjamin Chee Haute Horlogerie) lives up to the term admirably, bringing together some seriously impressive workshops. On the case front we have Voutilainen & Cattin, the casemaker of none other than finisher par excellence Kari Voutilainen. The dials too, often a Voutilainen speciality, are produced by the watchmaker’s Comblémine workshop, lending haute horology provenance to BCHH watches.
Of course, while provenance is a good way to pique interest, it’s nothing without a great watch. Say hello to the Sovereign.
Inspired by the aerodynamic sweeps of supercar chassis and the majestic curves of yacht hulls, the Sovereign is designed as the ultimate everyday watch, equally at home chairing a board meeting as racing down the Alps during ski season.
Like many a sports luxe timepiece, particularly at the artisanal level BCHH is working at, the Sovereign boasts a strong silhouette and muscular, faceted case shape made from platinum, the ultimate under-the-radar luxury. Contrasting with the circular bezel, every facet is polished to perfection, lending themselves to the precious stone and guilloche dials.
These, as you’d expect from anything associated with Kari Voutilainen, are stunning, whether white or green jade, aventurine or guilloche platinum. Due to the close working relationship with the dial maker however, bespoke dials are also an option. As a final flourish of attention-to-detail, each of the octagonal hour markers is black-polished, aesthetically linking the contemporary platinum case to the classical dials.
Behind each piece is the latest ultra-thin microrotor-equipped Vaucher movement. However, BCHH will soon be launching a hand-wound movement – as well as a number of intriguing future projects, including a jade and cloisonné enamel dial world time watch, a jade dial jumping hours watch, and an astronomical pendulum clock made in collaboration with AHCI clockmaker Alessandro Rigotto. We can’t wait to see how that’ll turn out.
By bringing together some of the most important and impressive names in the watch world, Benjamin Chee has created not only a stunning timepiece in the Sovereign, but a brand to live up to the horological legacy Singapore as a city-state continues to build – and if this is what BCHH is creating as just a year old, imagine what they’ll be doing in 10.
Visit BCHH’s website to the full BCHH collection – including the more classical twin to the Sovereign, the Celestial.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Sovereign
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter x 8mm thickness, 950 platinum case, aventurine, white jade, green jade or guilloche platinum dial, lumed skeletal hour and minute hands
Water resistance: 150m (15 bar)
Movement: Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Calibre 5401/32 or 33 with signed tungsten gold rotor, 29 rubies
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 48h
Strap: Bespoke hand-stitched and hand-edged leather with signed 950 Platinum tang buckle
More details at BCHH.