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Jeremy Monteiro to launch watch brand

His passion for watches dates back to his youth when his father gave him his first timepiece
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 05:50
BT_20160928_NKMONTEIRO29BDS1A_2515053.jpg
The veteran jazz musician is launching his own watch brand, J. Monteiro Watches, which feature two models in a black and a white face, with 21-jewel automatic movement and sapphire crystal glass.
BT_20160928_NKMONTEIRO29BDS1A_2515053.jpg
The veteran jazz musician is launching his own watch brand, J. Monteiro Watches, which feature two models in a black and a white face, with 21-jewel automatic movement and sapphire crystal glass.

Singapore

JAZZ musician Jeremy Monteiro is celebrating his 40th anniversary in show business with a star-studded concert this Friday, but the jazz extravaganza is not the only thing to look forward to from the Cultural Medallion recipient this year.

He will also be launching J. Monteiro Watches, his own watch brand, in November, featuring two models in a black and a white face.

While many might know him for his decades-long jazz career, some might be surprised to discover that his passion for watches dates back to his youth when his father gave him his first timepiece.

"My father basically started a tradition - when I turned 16, he gave me a Tissot watch. And I did the same for my son when he turned 16," Monteiro told The Business Times.

By the time he reached his 20s in the 1980s, he had developed such a strong interest in timepieces that when approached by watch company Zenith to perform for an expensive watch in lieu of payment, he gladly accepted.

"Along the way, I bought quite a few watches," he added. "To me, the price doesn't matter. I'm more interested in how beautiful it looks to me."

The J. Monteiro watches feature a 21-jewel automatic movement with sapphire crystal glass. They are priced at S$750, but will come at an early bird pricing of S$608 for orders before Nov 16.

Monteiro was involved in the aesthetics of the watch, while his partner, who is from the watch-making industry, took care of the mechanics, consulting Monteiro on the watch design, covering everything from the strap to the crown.

"I like classic-looking watches. It's something I like to do in my music as well - take tradition and infuse some sense of modernity into it. I think that's the approach we took for this particular model," he said.

On why he decided to launch a watch brand, Monteiro said that he was inspired by his friend, Bruno Brugnano, a film score composer based in Thailand. Brugnano was a man of many talents, directing his creative energy in not only music, but also in home design, as a restaurateur and as a chef. "That was quite life changing," Monteiro shared. "I asked myself why do I only put my creative energy in music and only in jazz? I've done music for 40 years, and thought, hey, I can do more. Now I channel it in my writing and in watch design."

Monteiro is currently working on publishing a book and had previously worked with watch brand Azimuth on a limited edition Jeremy Monteiro watch to mark his 35th anniversary.

Next year, Monteiro plans to release a women's version of the watch, and another men's design. In 2018, he will be commemorating his 30th anniversary of performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival with a Swiss-made watch.

"Maybe in five years, we will have a full line of watches," he mused. "None of the watches will be limited edition . . . Like jazz, I want to create something that is perennial and long-lasting."

Tickets for Jazzy Business, which is jointly presented by Jeremy Monteiro and The Business Times in celebration of their 40th anniversaries in their respective industries, are still available from Sistic. The concert will be held Sept 30 at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets are going for S$40-100. Book now at bt.sg/jazzybusiness

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