Spotlight Interview With Regina Ong
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Recently there has been quite the conversation on gender focus when it comes to designing watches. In a market that is dominated for the most part by men, it is unsurprising that the market for ladies watches can be quite bland and to put it nicely, cliché. I speak to Regina Ong, well known for her role as Area Sales Manager for Jaeger-LeCoultre Malaysia, to get her thoughts on this amongst other things. Read on to find out more.
Regina, thank you for agreeing to be a part of the Spotlight interviews. Could you give our readers an insight into who you are and what you do for a living?
The pleasure is mine! Thank you and I’m honored to be part of this series. Most people would’ve known me as the “JLC (Jaeger-LeCoultre)” person as I was the Area Sales Manager for JLC from 2016 to June 2019 and it was during this time that I immersed myself into the e-world of watches via social media. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my run with JLC and now I’m equally glad to share that I’m now with Christian Dior Couture as the Client Development Manager where my portfolio consists of prospecting, strategizing and management on all client-relation dimensions.
You obviously have a passion for Jaeger-LeCoultre, what is it about the brand that you love?
My passion for the brand was seeded into me the moment I started my job at JLC. It was in my role that I started deep-diving into the maison’s history, the collections, the technical working of watch movements and needless to say; since I’m also an avid history junkie, I was easily won over with the whole romanticism of how JLC used to contribute so much to the watchmaking industry.
It was also very important for me to believe in the brand that I represent so when I told people that I loved the maison that I was working for, I said It with conviction and sincerity.
Watch collecting is a hobby still dominated by men, however, there has recently been a rise in interest by women. What are your thoughts on this?
Traditionally speaking, there’s always been this non-written rule where men collected watches and cars, while women collected bags, accessories and shoes. However, in our current symbiotic society, I believe this is no longer the case. Men and women alike are given the freedom of choice. Therefore, even though certain hobbies like watch collecting are still largely dominated by men, no one should feel like it’s a barrier to entry. At the end of the day, a hobby is something you pursue which makes you happy, so gender should be the least of anyone’s concern.
How do you feel about brands marketing watches for both men and ladies?
I’ve seen plenty of interesting campaigns for masculine watches, but it has been underwhelming for feminine offers. However, I do see the effort that some brands are making into boosting the watch segment for ladies. Richard Mille’s Bonbon was a standout this year with their ultra, unconventional approach, and it was a breath of fresh air as opposed to most feminine offers which focuses on diamond studded dials and bezels.
Do you have any significant watch stories to share?
I have so many! But I’d like to share a recent one about the Rolex Datejust. Many years ago, I purchased my first “luxury” watch. It was a Rolex Datejust 26mm in white dial, roman numerals and a fluted bezel. At the time, I knew nothing about watches but I knew Rolex was a safe choice, so I went with it despite knowing in my heart that I merely liked it and did not love it. After a month, I realised that I got bored of it so quickly I decided to sell it. After which I told myself that I was going to steer clear of the brand.
Years passed, I started collecting other watches from Seiko, JLC, Audemars Piguet and others, while still retaining that stubbornness of not wanting a Rolex. I was hardheaded to the point that I was becoming so critical to all Rolex watches because of my one mistake of buying something I didn’t love years ago.
I’m not sure what changed this year or why. Maybe it was because I was getting bored, but I decided to give the brand another go. I saw a 16233 beckoning on display and asked the sales agent to try it on. After trying it on, I felt as though Rolex was telling me “you didn’t love me then, but you will love me now”. I fell so hard. Long story short, I bought it on the spot and I’m now looking at other pieces! So what did I learn from this? To not be too certain or write anything off because everything can change at any given time.
What does your current watch collection look like and is there a grail in mind?
I currently have about 20 watches and no I do not have a grail in mind. I usually only want something only after seeing it and if I want something, I will get it right away. There’s no waiting.
Outside of watches, do you have any other passions? How do you unwind from your busy schedule?
Pole Dancing. Yes, I know that this sport has such a negative perception from the media which associates pole dance to stripper clubs, but I take it upon myself to educate people that pole dance is not just about that. It really is a fantastic form of fitness which pushes you to use your core strength for an overall body work out and requires plenty of discipline.
Follow Regina on Instagram @regina.osm