Interchanged

1 10 2012

I debuted my GLYCINE Incursore on a trip to Universal Studios Singapore on 22 January 2012.

AT THE recent HUBLOT event, the guy who assisted me, Kelvin, Senior Sales Executive of The Hour Glass at their Tang Plaza branch, made a very astute observation as to the wristwatch I was wearing.  You see, I made a conscious effort to wear a brand that their store carries.

“That’s a GLYCINE, right?  But it doesn’t have its original leather strap.”

GLYCINE, fresh from The Hour Glass

 

I really adore the crown detail on the crown. Viewed a different way, it could very well be my initial – “E” for eNTeNG.

 

I dress up this watch with leather bracelets. Here, I stacked it up with a FOSSIL double–tour skinny leather bracelet. I took this shot on board the Circle Line on my way to a dinner at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

I brandished my timepiece as I launched to the story behind the change from the original deep dark brown leather strap to an all–stainless steel look.  The humidity in the Lion City could be unforgiving.  So as to preserve the original leather, I went on a frantic search for a suitable replacement – only a stainless steel bracelet would do.  Soon enough, I realized one thing – it is quite hard to look for something 24 mm in size, that doesn’t have the hollow voluminousness of tin can, and the ubiquitous look of Seiko.  (No offense meant to Seiko, as I do own several pieces from their Kinetic range.  It was just not the look I was going for.)

My search that covered the stretch of Bras Basah, all the way to the City Hall Area, and then to Raffles, culminated at ION on Orchard where I chanced upon one store that carries wristwatches from Denmark, pieces that exude “Scandinavian coolness and simplicity”.

I snapped up the one in really chunky, solid stainless steel that looked so cool and so simple, all the branding was on the timepiece’s 45–mm face and caseback – nowhere in the bracelet.  I thought to myself, all the more perfect for it to go incognito while attached to my GLYCINE.  And it is in the exact size I needed – 24 mm – not 22 that still makes the watch dangle somehow and certainly not 20 that calls attention to improvisation that should’ve been given more than just second thoughts.

I think I got props from Kelvin for my design and comfort aesthetic.  Though I do know that should I just want to satisfy my knack for contingencies, I could just go back to The Hour Glass and stock up on original GLYCINE leather straps I could place on order.

Here is the exact same GLYCINE Incursore, decked with an all–stainless steel bracelet of Scandinavian provenance – Denmark, by way of Copenhagen, to be exact.

 

A closer look at a somewhat transformed tick–tocker

 

I love how solid the bracelet links look and feel. It doesn’t hurt that they do remind me of chocolate bars. Haha!

 

The bracelet locks in place with a push–button clasp on a double deployant buckle.

 

The bracelet links are as beautiful at the back, here perfectly complementing the exhibition caseback.

 

See what I mean? It fits at a comfortably snug 24 mm.

I think that one of the best things about wristwatches nowadays is that it is easier to change straps.  And with the sound of the click that locks the lugs in place, a “new look” is heralded.  I think Philip Stein saw the huge potential of this feature when they came out with their wristwatches that not only have limitless options in straps – in terms of materials, textures, and colors – but also the ease of a spring mechanism to release or lock them in place.

Philip Stein Signature Large with its original lizard leather strap.

The craze over Technomarine, very early on, was warranted.  All you had to do was look at all the rubber/jelly straps on offer and you knew you wanted to have all of them.

Technomarine Apnea in red

 

Here is the same watch with a black strap.

 

Technomarine Raft Chronograph with a yellow face, in all–black

 

By the colors of the Italian flag

 

The same watch with the colors mixed and matched

 

The Technomarine Raft Chronograph, now in all–yellow

 

The exact same Raft, now really in all–yellow

 

Another one of my wristwatches that I’ve loved “playing” with is this nine–year–old Guess watch with an Art Deco face. I got it for a steal at ROSS in Folsom, California.

 

It originally came with a really supple black leather strap. But you know me, soon enough I was looking for an all–stainless bracelet. And I knew exactly what I wanted – mesh! Here is my feeble attempt at an “editorial” spread.

 

I really love the very Art Deco face. Well, hello gorgeous!

And at the HUBLOT Pop Up Store that day, I couldn’t be reminded any better by the wide array of choices for straps that could breathe life to that oft–heard expression, “like a kid in a candy store.”

See what I told you. I love putting my wristwatches in a V–formation.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

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I heart SQ

21 08 2012

I always take photographs of the wing of the airplane I’m on. (Wing, Boeing 777-200 Twin Jet)

WHILE MOST of my Singaporean and Malaysian friends expressed concern about my family’s welfare when monsoon rains submerged 90% of Metro Manila, I had more pressing concerns in mind.  Mama had been ill – getting confined in the hospital twice in a couple of weeks, spaced less than 12 hours apart – and just like any child thousands of miles away, I knew I’d rather be home.

Fortunately for me, I always have a Singapore Airlines ticket ready for me when I am.

I was anxious the whole time during this trip.  But somehow, flying with Singapore Airlines felt like flying with family.  On the Singapore–Manila leg (SQ918), I got my favorite seat and almost instantly, I was already home, up in the air, 30,000 feet in the skies.

Since the flight wasn’t even half-full, I could be quick to charge the impeccable inflight service to be due to the low flight attendant-to-passenger ratio.  There was plenty of attention to be spread.  But having been a loyal Singapore Airlines passenger all these years, I know better that the service was just their usual – top notch and uncompromising.  Actually, the operative word here is “usual.”  Why?  It is because they have been consistent at this excellent service level that anybody will be quick to dismiss any new experience to be – there’s that word again – the usual.

But having my anxieties brushed away, even for the three and a half hours I was airborne, I couldn’t help but feel grateful to the inflight crew.  Hui Hui (I hope I got her name right) was especially helpful that I just had to write her a thank you note.

I realized I was wandering aimlessly when I reached Gate E20 and when I looked up my flight’s boarding gate, it was E8. I was way off! It was on the other end of the terminal. Hehe.

 

On the way to my gate, I had to take a snapshot of Gate E5. It’s my favorite letter and number.

 

Whenever I pass by a mirrored wall…

 

Finally, Gate E8!

 

Comfortably ensconced in my favorite seat, the first at this section.

 

My favorite seat

 

I can’t look at this emergency door – right beside a flight attendant’s takeoff/landing station – without having images of action movies in my head. Haha!

 

I get all the papers available by the plane door – Financial Times (FT) Weekend, The Business Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Straits Times.

 

The moment I get in my seat, I work on the disembarkation card and the customs declaration.

 

As you can see, I always have my favorite pens with me – the Parker from my good friend Jian Cheng and the Bic from Timothy.

 

Amidst turbulence, I had to write down a quote from the movie I was watching.

 

Tiger Woods was giving me the eye. “Finish your papers, eNTeNG!”

 

Time check!

 

All of my travel papers and stuff – passport, e-Ticket, boarding pass, EP – are organized in this Muji passport holder. This was one of the first things I ever bought in Singapore.

 

I always travel comfortably, which this time meant my red Zappi shoes and khaki Topman shorts. My top was my five-year-old custom fit Ralph Lauren piqué polo shirt.

 

After the movie “The Lucky One,” I caught up on an episode of one of my favorite TV shows Grey’s Anatomy. That’s one of my favorite characters, the feisty Dr. Cristina Yang.

 

Dinner has landed!

 

I had stir fried fish in dry chilli and Chinese wine, seasonal vegetables and fried rice. For starters, I munched on a pasta salad of marinated seafood and penne.

 

For dessert, it was tiramisu “Ais Krim”.

The Manila–Singapore leg (SQ921) was full.  Getting yet another one of my favored seats was just half of the pleasant flight.  The other half was taken care of by the attentive, thoughtful crew.  I took note of one name – Lynn.  Again, I hope I got it right (her last name starts with H).

While some of my fellow passengers opted to drown the occasional turbulence with gin and tonic or Johnny Walker Black with orange juice, I chose to wash everything away with my favorite Campbell’s Tomato Juice.

By the second refill I heard the most beautiful words, “Would you like a whole can?”  I heard that in both flights.  I heart Singapore Airlines.

Before I knew it, it was time to go back to the Lion City.

 

NAIA was full! There lines everywhere.

 

As an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), I had to fall in line to get my papers validated.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the King of Pop!… “I’m starting with the man in the mirror…”

 

This flight was a bit delayed, but nothing disappointing. We were kept posted on the progress. By the way, it was raining when we took off.

 

For inflight reading, I brought a book from my bookshelf at home, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas.

 

This show “Cupcake Wars” caught my attention.

 

Of the many movie choices, I decided on the 80’s classic Ghostbusters starring, among many others, the very beautiful Sigourney Weaver. I remember seeing this movie as a kid.

 

A young Bill Murray. I still think he should’ve gotten the Oscar for “Lost in Translation.”

 

Finally the food has arrived!

 

I had couple of these warmed rolls!

 

Dinner is served! – pork spare ribs with preserved soya beans (rendered like a most sumptuous sauce), chicken rice (yum!), and steamed seasonal vegetables (though the menu did say Chinese mushroom).

 

The spare ribs were actually served boneless. The meat was really tender, moist and flavorful. Having watched enough Top Chef, I know exactly the exacting skill needed to dish out such a scrumptious meal.

 

I fell in love with this smoked duck and green mango salad. I have to say, I was mesmerized by the tangy dressing.

 

I must’ve gone through three of these. I lost count. I wouldn’t be surprised if the flight attendant would decide to start charging me. Hahaha!

 

Back in Singapura! This was my first time landing at Terminal 3. The place is just breathtakingly beautiful!

 

The place is huge!

 

I turn into a kid in a candy store whenever I’m faced by this Visitor Information rack. I have to say, I get my fill of the latest. Hahaha!

 

Please proceed to Belt 41 to claim your baggage.

 

I said I had fragile stuff inside. Little did I know, my luggage would get this treatment. Haha!

 

My excel spreadsheets at work are always colorful. So I love looking at this flight indicator board.

 

I love taking the last flight out of Manila all the time. Because I arrive in Singapore to a taxi queue that looks like this.

 

This was the lightest I have ever traveled in years. But still I managed to pack in some stuff for some special people back at my second home.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





OATM: Lapis Lazuli and Ruby

15 06 2012

(I realize that some of my text messages seem to be blog entries on their own.  So I thought anything that I feel worth repeating here, I shall post.  It shall be under the header of “Originally a Text Message,” or “OATM” for short.  Here’s the first one.)

Madam Ma Ma Gyi’s masterpieces alongside a Swiss timepiece

MADAM MA Ma Gyi of Chinatown made me two bracelets of rough tumbled deep blue lapis lazuli.  While working on my bracelets, I kept asking about rubies, my Mama’s favorite gemstone, planning to have one made for her.

She said it’s July’s birthstone.  I told her I was born in July.  She turned around, unlocked a drawer and brought out a tray of ruby beads and pearls.  “I’ll put a ruby for you.  Can?  No charge.  Since you’re July baby.”  She went on, “I’ll put wherever.  Can?”

Then, after slipping in the ruby, she said, “One only not nice.  I’ll make it two.”

I said to myself, “Wow!  For me and my twin.”

After she has worked on the bracelet, she laid it on the counter.  And that’s when I realized that she put the two ruby beads after the tenth lapis lazuli.

This bracelet really is mine.  I promised to see her again.

She laid it on the counter and I immediately “placed” where she placed the ruby beads. After the tenth lapis lazuli!

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





From the sidelines: Moments at a soccer carnival

17 04 2012

My good friend Kelvin was particularly inspired in all five matches. Anyone can see that it was with very good reason.

THE VICARIOUS THRILL of a spectator sport like soccer is the kind of rush that can shoot right through your cerebellum convolutions, form an upsurge of emotion in your arterial system, and make you clench your fist as you prepare to release your brewing manifestation of plain and unequivocal support and pride for one team, in one unbridled cry, “Go Team PE-E-E-E-E-E!!!

Quite obviously, you can tell I went to the Soccer Carnival to show my support.  That, and my fierce loyalty.  And you can tell for which team.

Those who can, do.  Those who cannot – like me – spectate.  I love being a spectator.

Or in the case of some of these wonderful people, just show not only their support but also their love.  (Wow!)

Or, still for others, just wait for their own time on the field.

This was where it all happened - St. Wilfrid Sports Complex, St. George's Road, Singapore.

 

A spectator can't go around running and screaming at the top of his lungs on an empty stomach! Since St. Wilfrid didn't have a cafeteria, I had to cross the street to the nearest 7-11 and get my fill. A bowl of instant noodles and jasmine green tea. Good enough for me. Five minutes and I was back on the field.

 

My trusty Adidas Samba, having stood on puddles of muddy water and grass on the sidelines, was in on all the action!

 

Present to support their friends are these lovely, brainy ladies - Chiet Yen, Cheng Cheng, and Ee Xyan.

 

A closer shot with the girls.

 

Yu Ting, Way Hung, Cheng Cheng and Chiet Yen

 

Stepping out of the white line: Yong Run, Way Hung, Kok Wah, Jeck, and Yu Ting (at the back)

 

As fields became free as teams got eliminated one by one, I had the chance to make some kicks of my own.

 

I was told to make a direct free kick.

 

Getting last minute instructions from Yong Run

 

eNTeNG makes the approach...

 

...delivers the kick...

 

...and scores! The crowd goes wild!!!

 

With Karen

 

With Yong Run

 

With Rohit and his medal

 

With very good friend Wee Sern. For this day at the soccer field, I wore a T-Shirt by Topman, khaki shorts by Topman, dark brown genuine cowhide leather belt by Esprit, Adidas Samba in classic black and white, Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarers in Black, Style in Play eau de toilette by Lacoste, and Incursore Automatic Swiss Made wristwatch by Glycine.

 

Gotta stretch in between!

 

Such a beautiful couple!

 

Someone sure is proud of that medal.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Moët at Attica with the Stylish Guy

11 03 2012

Moët at Attica, Clarke Quay, Singapore

MY IDEA of a good time here in Singapore has always involved full meals.  Really solid, substantial food you really need to chow down.  I must eat so much noodles that people around me probably think all the belief I have in me is about long life.  A night out that involves a diet of only liquids hasn’t really appealed to me.

Well, not until I decided to join the party for one of the really good friends I have made at work – Wai Hon.  He is taking a new step in his life and career and I wanted to wish him all the best.  I thought I could start by showing up at his party at Moët at Attica in Clarke Quay.  One of my closest friends, DJ Raoul, was invited too and came along.

The man of the moment, Wai Hon, here with his lady love.

 

These cocktails in test tubes were served with a couple of sparklers. Quite a show, if you ask me.

 

Wai Hon and friends

Not a drinker at all myself, I left it all up to the DJ to get me sloshed with his highly recommended mix.  See, my friend isn’t only dependable when it comes to music or video mixes.  He can make a mean cocktail too.  (At one point I thought he was giving some pointers to the bartender on how to make our drinks.  Haha!)

We made it to Clarke Quay!

If I remember it correctly, he got me a couple or three (I lost count!) of vodka cranberry (his highly recommended drink), a vodka sprite, and Wai Hon and the very nice and lovely Audrey got me a couple of drinks that came in test tubes.  The music was so loud and so nice we had to just dance.  On that, I again got an impromptu lesson from the DJ, who at one point told me to stop spinning around the dance floor.  Hahaha!  (DJ Raoul knew every single song!  A few beats at the start or in between transitions and he knew what song was up next.  Yeah, quite impressive.)

Vodka Cranberry!

 

The DJ

 

The Emcee

 

We soon had to move outside for some photo-taking and, obviously, some more drinks.

 

eNTeNG & the Vodka Cranberry

 

The DJ and the Vodka Cranberry

 

The DJ and a couple of new friends

 

The DJ, Wai Hon and Audrey

 

Wai Hon & Audrey

 

eNTeNG, Audrey, Wai Hon, and Raoul

 

eNTeNG, Raoul and Wai Hon

 

One more group photo... Yeah!

 

Both the dance floors were full! This one is at Moët, on the second floor.

 

This one's the main dance floor on the first level.

 

Getting our last Vodka Cranberry before calling it a night!

 

At exactly this point, the DJ played "The Club Can't Handle Me"... I love that song! Haha! I forgot to snap a time stamp shot when they played Adele's "Rolling In The Deep"!

 

A stolen shot of the DJ. Obviously, he was surprised!

I could feel the alcohol in my system (so that’s how it feels!) that I had to ask to get something to bite before we had to call it a night.  Good thing Señor Taco Mexican Taqueria was right outside the bar.  I had two cheese only quesadillas and half of a beef quesadilla.  Tempting as the Mojito sounded – Attica doesn’t serve mojitos! – I had to settle for freshly squeezed lemonade.

Señor Taco Mexican Taqueria!

 

What lies beneath... inside a cheese only quesadilla!

 

Pork Quesadilla

 

A tight shot of the pork quesadilla

 

The DJ and The Emcee and some damn good tacos

Wai Hon, all the best to you man!  We should hang out again real soon!  You and Audrey have the moves.

Wai Hon... We all wish you only the best!

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





New Lunar Year new wristwatch

31 01 2012

Just another shopping bag that says, "THE HOUR GLASS."

I CAN hear Nigella Lawson in my head, “But of course once you start collecting things, there’s no reason to stop.  So you get sort of madder and madder.”

As a guest here in Singapore, I found it apropos to observe the Chinese Lunar New Year, which has got to be the most festive celebration I’ve ever seen in the past seven months I’ve been here.  I also found it to be the perfect excuse to get myself a little something to mark the Year of the Water Dragon.  Hehe.

It was a hard decision to make as to which wristwatch to purchase.  Though one thing is clear, I’ve started to veer away from quartz movement, and have been exploring the world of automatic and mechanical-winding wristwatches.

Should I go Swiss, where the wristwatch-making industry was born, or should I go Russian, which was brought to my attention as it is the current fixation of my youngest brother?  Lucky for me, I have Alex of The Hour Glass at Takashimaya and Nicolas of Krasnaya at ION Orchard to guide my next step.

So what's inside a nice "THE HOUR GLASS" paper bag? An equally nice presentation box for a new wristwatch.

So here’s my new baby, the GLYCINE Incursore 46mm Automatic Ref. 3874.  (Nicolas, we’ll have to talk Russian again.)

Meet my new baby, a GLYCINE!

 

Gotta love all 46mm of it!

 

And I adore the screw-down crown that has, embossed on it, the brand's emblem – also a crown!

I love it for its size – 46mm across the dial, without the crown.  You can’t go wrong with a flat anti-reflective sapphire crystal for the watch glass, and hardened mineral crystal for the exhibition caseback that showcases the ETA Caliber 2824-2 25 jewels Swiss Automatic movement.  It’s screw-down crown – embellished with embossed image of the brand’s “crown” emblem – guarantees water resistance of up to 200 meters.  But I guess for the most part, it appealed to me because it is not as mainstream as other brands, but it does have a rich and colorful history to back it up.

The exact moment I first put it on!

 

The serial number of the wristwatch is laser-marked on to the solid stainless steel case! (Photo taken with my Blackberry Bold 9780.)

 

One of my happy places here in Singapore – THE HOUR GLASS at Takashimaya.

I debuted it at my first ever trip to Universal Studios Singapore.  And I couldn’t take it off ever since.

Taken on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved