Montblanc‘s latest concept boutique in Paragon marked a series of firsts for the brand. It’s the first boutique in Singapore and the region to offer instantaneous embossing and engraving. The process now takes five minutes. Previously, customers had to wait five days.

The interior of the Montblanc boutique at Paragon
The interior of the Montblanc boutique at Paragon

It was also the first time that the media and VIP guests got to see Montblanc’s new friend of the brand, actor Desmond Tan.

We chatted with the 32-year-old prior to the opening of the boutique about his partnership with Montblanc.

Desmond Tan wears Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec Platinum LE25 106484
Desmond Tan wears Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec Platinum LE25 106484

How does it feel to wear a $72,000 Montblanc watch?

(laughs) My right hand feels slightly heavier than my left.

Are you left-handed?

No, I’m actually right-handed but I wear watches on my right. It’s been a habit since young. I used to try wearing it on my left hand after people told me that was the “correct way” but I kept thinking I had lost my watch when I was out and about because I would bring my right hand up when I wanted to know the time.

What are your personal experiences with timepieces?

To be honest, I never had a liking for any particular watches until recently. I guess when you get older and your lifestyle changes, you start to appreciate the finer things in life.

In the past, I was only about functionality but now I appreciate form too, especially if it’s coupled with substance.

How did your relationship with Montblanc start?

My relationship with Montblanc’s watches is a recent development but I am actually very familiar with the brand. In fact, the first ever luxury item I had was a Montblanc product. It was a pen given to me by my relative with the snowcap at the top.

I was still a student back then, so I didn’t know a lot about luxury items but when I grew older, I realised the great value of the pen. I appreciated the gift even more, not because of the price, but because the value signified how much I meant to my relative, and vice versa.

Do you still have the Montblanc pen?

Of course! It’s still with me.

President of Montblanc SEA Matthieu Dupont and Desmond Tan
President of Montblanc SEA Matthieu Dupont and Desmond Tan

If you could have any watch in the world, and if money was not an issue, what watch would you like?

I know I’m wearing this Nicolas Rieussec timepiece and it’s a beautiful watch but actually, I would love the Montblanc Summit. It suits my active lifestyle and I’m also in a phase where I’m exploring smartwatches.

That’s interesting. What are your opinions on smartwatches?

I know that mechanical watch lovers are not the biggest fan of smartwatches but I think the latter has evolved quite a lot in the past few years and will continue to do so in the next few years. If you think about it, the smartwatch is just a newborn with only a couple years of history and while it’s important to appreciate the provenance of a mechanical timepiece, being part of history in the making is even more amazing, isn’t it?

Well said. Who do you think is the Montblanc man?

He’s the august man (laughs). He’s someone who enjoys exploring as well as one who appreciates the finer things in life.

The new Montblanc boutique is located at 01-28 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road

written by.
Farhan Shah
Farhan believes that every man needs a good tailor and a better barber. You can usually find him at the gym, the bar or the poker table, usually all three in one night.

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