Heritage, tradition, and history are hallmarks of Longines, which just celebrated its 190th anniversary – an impressive feat that brought the brand to the pinnacle of watchmaking. Its rich history is marked by both technical and aesthetic innovations, allowing it to be avant-garde, achieve excellence, as well as make innovation a continuous quest.
“I believe it has become increasingly hard for us to build a strong heritage tradition today, which is why many of us are looking to the past for inspiration, in order to build for the future.”
To celebrate almost two centuries of watchmaking excellence, Longines recently revealed a series of three exclusive timepieces from The Longines Master Collection, a range that’s emblematic of its rich heritage. The watches combine classic elegance and excellence, and are offered in steel, as well as yellow and rose gold, housing an exclusive in-house Longines movement with a silicon balance-spring.
As Longines celebrates this historical feat, we can’t help but celebrate the stewards and guardians of Singapore’s own history as well; individuals who have taken it upon themselves to preserve and protect both tangible and intangible treasures that the little red dot is known for. One of them is Fang Low, the founder of Figment, which is a boutique homes company specializing in heritage shophouse rentals for the creative class.
“Legacy and history matter to me as that is how all human beings preserve our culture,” reveals Low. He adds, “Inspired by local art and architecture, Figment curates heritage shophouses in neighborhoods around Singapore. We then craft them into well-appointed rooms and apartments for our members. Our commitment to creative placemaking also means we draw on local arts and culture to reimagine our homes as the heart of our neighborhoods.”
However, Low feels that in this day and age, time has accelerated with the advent of technology and the Internet. “I believe it has become increasingly hard for us to build a strong heritage tradition today, which is why many of us are looking to the past for inspiration, in order to build for the future,” he adds.
Low feels strongly and speaks fondly of the historic shophouses he and his company look after. He grew up in one, after all. “These homes had such character,” he exclaims. “Just imagine coming home to and being greeted by their handcrafted façade, an assemblage of ornate Islamic eaves, European Corinthian pillars, and Chinese stuccoes of mythical animals. Taking a page from Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk (Total work of art), the shophouse is the quintessential Singaporean work of art that could inspire and guide the way we live today.”
When asked how he’s working towards Figment’s longevity with its important role of preserving history and heritage, Low shares that he strives to look through the lens of ‘future history’ to curate a collection of heritage properties and selection of local creative partners. “It means nothing to us to make an incremental dollar of profit without thinking about the opportunity to make a broader cultural impact. If Figment can be here a hundred years from now – like many heritage brands today or the shophouses we steward – we would have done our jobs well.”
For more information on The Longines Master Collection, visit longines.com