SJX: A Singaporean take on Haute Horlogerie

By pablocruz in Lifestyle
May 14, 2019
SJX: A Singaporean take on Haute Horlogerie


After our latest conversation with Felix Scholz from Time+Tide, we now move onto our third interlocutor, taking us to Singapore. He has been passionately pursuing his dream of running his own watch blog since 2011, which has become a real staple in the watch industry thanks to its top-notch coverage and exemplary illustration. The founder goes by the name Su Jia Xian, although he’s probably better known to the watch world by his acronym: SJX.

As for so many of us, SJX’s interest in watches began in his late teens. However, what differentiates him from his peers, is the fact that his near-obsession with watches would one day form the basis of a highly influential watch blog with several ten thousands of followers around the globe. Fast forward almost 20 years and you’ll find the same old watch enthusiast, albeit one that has successfully turned his hobby into his vocation. He is not only a watch journalist, but also a passionate collector, author of newspapers and magazines in Asia and a highly sought-after advisor in all things watches.

With which intention and vision in mind did you found your watch blog? How did it all start?

To be a place that had the sort of content I myself wanted to, topics that interest me expressed in a style I like. This was in late 2010, early 2011.

Describe your watch blog in three words only.

Straightforward, concise and well-illustrated. 

What’s your value proposition and what makes your blog unique compared to others?

I like to think it is straightforward, concise and well-illustrated.

What are your main challenges and your plans for the future?

Building the team and building the team.

An excerpt from SJX’s book collection: A treasure of horological knowledge.

Which disruptive innovation might hit the watch industry next? Which drastic changes do you expect?

Retailers reasserting themselves in the face of brands growing their own boutique network, and online retail growing in many ways and forms.

Tomorrow morning you wake up as Michel Loris-Melikoff. What would you have on your agenda to save the Baselworld?

Do a Baselworld in Hong Kong, like Art Basel in Hong Kong.

In your opinion, which underdog watch brand doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves?

I could say Nomos, Sinn, Seiko and so on, but to be honest there are no brands, strictly speaking. Because of the internet many people have access to much information, and also to social media platforms to amplify their point of view. So there are lots of small brands with fanatical champions on Instagram with 5000 posts of the same thing. 

What’s more notable are the great watches from big brands that are overlooked, like the Rolex Cellini Moonphase, or Patek Philippe regulator annual calendar.

Describe your personal dream watch if you were to design your own.

The truth is a watch expert, especially self-declared ones like myself, cannot design watches. We can, with knowledge and experience, improve the designs of others – hence collaborations with watch brands – but starting from scratch is usually a bad idea.

Which advice would you give to a young watch enthusiast? Which brand would you recommend in terms of bang for the buck?

Instead of spending money on a watch to start with, first get an education, reading in print and online, though one has to be discerning when it comes to online information. And visit stores, and equally as important, auction preview exhibitions.

What would be your go-to watch in the following five categories on Montredo?

  • EUR 0 – 500: Seiko
  • EUR 500 – 1,500: Seiko
  • EUR 1,500 – 3,000: Nomos
  • EUR 3,000 – 5,000: Tudor
  • EUR 5,000 – 10,000: Rolex

Thanks for the informative interview, SJX!