Kids These Days
Tatler Malaysia|December 2020
Best known for being the first watch collector to collaborate with Audemars Piguet, Austen Chu is setting up shop in Hong Kong
Annie Darling

One of Austen Chu’s greatest regrets is selling his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Openworked Perpetual Calendar. For years, the platinum edition was his dream watch. He even had a photo of it as his laptop and phone backgrounds for a while. And by a while, I mean for four whole years. But with an original asking price of about US$150,000, it was a lot of money to spend for the then 19-year-old. So, Chu tracked down a steel version, which was much more affordable—to him, at least—at about US$45,000.

He flew to Switzerland to collect his new purchase and stayed with a friend at an acquaintance’s house in Geneva. “We decided to celebrate and have dinner afterwards. We got so drunk, like absolutely plastered. By the time we left the restaurant we couldn’t even remember our own names.” It was one o’clock in the morning when the boys stumbled into the back of a taxi and realised both their phones had died. “I had no idea where we were staying and my friend kept repeating ‘straße, straße’, which is German for street. That’s the only bit of the address he could remember.” They spent the night in a park and slept in shifts, with the new Openworked Perpetual Calendar on Chu’s wrist. He had another watch that he’d worn to the boutique—a US$20,000 Royal Oak Selfwinding Ref 15400ST—in his shopping bag.

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