Perhaps the best example of Jung Woo Sung’s reticence was the fact that no one knew he was one of the dinner guests during the opening night of the two-day Longines Master Moonphase event. It was only halfway through dinner when one of my table companions realised that the tall man sitting beside Longines president Walter von Kanel a table away was the Korean actor. There was no fanfare marking his arrival nor an entourage of security guards to prevent anyone getting too close to him. It was refreshing.
Appointed as the Longines Ambassador of Elegance last year, Jung was in Taipei to unveil the new Master Moonphase watches. The Master Collection is the watchmaker’s most popular range and accounts for 33 per cent of the brand’s global sales, so any new addition would be a highly anticipated affair.
In this regard, the Master Moonphase watches are revelatory watches, not so much for the engineering but more so for the price.
By and large, moonphase complications are not the most useful feature on a watch. However, the skill needed to create this work of art and the precision required for the movement to power it is on another plane, which is why moonphase watches generally cost a lot more than your usual mechanical timepieces. The Master Moonphase collection starts from S$3,510, an outstanding price for such complications.
The soft-spoken Jung sat down with us to discuss the collection and his thoughts on elegance in this era.
What does being elegant in today’s day and age mean to you?
Elegance is not a quality you can get just by dressing up. It is your philosophy of living and your life values, which comprise elegance as a whole. and also how you get evaluated by other people. As a brand, I think Longines demonstrates elegance very well.
What is your earliest memory of watches?
One incident I remember fondly happened in my early 20s. I had received a timepiece, a gift that someone bought from me when he went overseas. But later, I found out that it was a knock-off watch [laughs].
A lot of people wear watches to express their personality. What does your watch express?
For me, I prefer being quiet and soft-spoken but to let my work speak for itself so that others know what I’m good at. The new Master Moonphase collection is a perfect representation of that. It looks like a normal, understated and quiet watch, but there’s also that uniqueness – the moonphase – that makes it stand out.
If Heaven existed, what would you like God to say to you when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I would like to ask God to remove all the wars on the world. I want there to be peace.
Oh, I don’t have anything for God to say to me because if I was already in Heaven, that means I had lived really well and I will be thankful for that.