Musings on Watch Collecting: The Grail Watch

Musings on Watch Collecting: The Grail Watch

When watch collectors talk about a "grail," usually they mean a mythical timepiece, horology unattainable by virtue of some combination of price and rarity.

But I reckon a grail can also mean the one watch- the only watch. The sine qua non of one's collection- i.e. without this singular watch one's collection would possess such a hole in it to be empty. 

Read More

"Plutocrats Against Democracy" (Krugman): My thoughts

"Plutocrats Against Democracy" (Krugman): My thoughts

Paul Krugman's Plutocrats Against Democracy column yesterday is a great read. I don't agree with Krugman all that often, but this piece is clear, well-reasoned, backed up with solid data even if he can't help himself from taking some partisan swipes while he's at it. Also, he uses Hong Kong as an example for a macro-generalization about what is happening in the world, so if you're glued to the #umhk definitely check it out.

What get's me thinking is Krugman's spectre of polarity. He frames it as Plutocrat vs. Democrat, and everyone has her or his preferred words- I call it Local vs. Cosmopolitan.

Read More

Umbrella Movement told thru Cirque du Soleil

Umbrella Movement told thru Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil, the self-described “dramatic mix of circus acts and street entertainment” is spectacular. In addition to the spectacle of the performance, Cirque du Soleil is remarkable from a business standpoint too. They have basically turned the circus business, which was ailing for decades, on its head. And, in redesigning the circus experience they created a lucrative new segment[i]. For the purposes of this blog entry, the features of Cirque du Soleil's business model also provide an interesting lens to view issues underlying the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.

Read More

6pm Oct 3rd: Causeway Bay by Forever 21

Here are some photos from Oct. 3rd, in Causeway Bay at the scene of  scuffles between pro and anti occupiers.

4-5pm Causeway Bay: A City Divided

These stills are from earlier this afternoon, right outside of the gleaming Hysan Place Mall. At this point in the afternoon, Occupy Causeway Bay was hanging by a thread- some thirty protesters remained at the frontline, and for a while, stood resolute but unbarricaded. The plastic ties holding together their steel barriers were cut by the Police, and later roving bands of "anti-Occupy" counter-protesters dismantled everything. I saw one guy (depicted in one of the picture's in the gallery) strike someone who happened to be holding a mobile phone. The guy struck so hard the phone flew into the sky. I almost laughed when I saw it because it looked comical- the phone got projected so high it was like the clown act where the clown pulls out kinds of nonsense out of his pocket and lobs it into the air for effect. But this wasn't funny.

There have been all kinds of reports today of pervasive intimidation- in addition to isolated incidents of sexual assault and physical violence. The students have shown some remarkable resolve- especially when they have been in standoffs with adults, sometimes in greater numbers- and sometimes against, let's face it, absolute thugs and goons.

All in all- it has been a very sad day for Hong Kong. I never imagined my hometown could be so divided.


6-7am Oct. 2nd Scenes from #UmbrellaMovement #OccupyHK

Taken early this morning. CWB-Admiralty-Central.

Giving the Umbrella to Swiss Watches

Giving the Umbrella to Swiss Watches

Though I love watches and the habits of being a watch collector, I’ve cooled to luxury wristwatches over the last few days.  As someone raised in Hong Kong, I feel that something is off-base with the Watches and Wonders 2014 extravaganza given the protests literally outside the Exhibition Center’s front door.  And though I would ordinarily attend as a watch lover, I won’t be participating this year for one reason. 

Read More

Fearless Faces

These were taken in and around Harcourt Rd. and the main Admiralty Protest Site on Sept 29th, the second day of the protest.

5min to Understand Occupy Central's Theme Song

5min to Understand Occupy Central's Theme Song

Reporting on the ground in Hong Kong, various media have written about protesters singing the “Do you Hear the People Sing” tune from Les Misérables (see here, here, and here). I’m sure that is the case that it was sung, and sung in various places in and around town at the protests sites around the city (including the latest one to sprout up, in Tsim Tsa Tsui) in the #occupycentral civil disobedience movement.

But I’m not sure that song is the anthem of the protest. There’s another tune that is a much likelier contender.

Read More

5pm Sept 29th How The Wanchai Police HQ Standoff Began #OccupyCentral

This was about 5pm, earlier today. Near one of the ol' stalwarts: "American Restaurant" in Wanchai, on the onramp to Gloucester Rd., opposite the Hong Kong Police Headquarters a brand new standoff occurred.

Right now, at 1:40am tonight it is turning out to be one of the most tense standoffs between the protestors and the police. The fact that it is happening meters away from the very symbol and main organ of the HK Police, their Arsenal Street complex, in addition to their ingress and egress point for all manner of HK Island-based vehicles and personnel makes it obviously a transit point the HK Police cannot cede.

I was there this afternoon to capture the moments when protestors took the skybridge leading down to the standoff line, shooing away a whole column of passenger vehicles. Here are the photos: