Perrelet 1777 and Sung Kang cross paths thanks to a racing car
Famous for his action movies, the American actor of Korean origin Sung Kang has become the ambassador of Perrelet 1777. For the occasion, the brand has made a “Sung Kang” version of its most famous piece, the Turbine. Fast and Furious revving!
Tell us a bit about your interest in mechanics, and especially in the FuguZ
There are many similarities between car mechanics and watches. When you look at a watch, you know that there is definitely a story behind it, waiting to be unravelled. The same thing goes for the racing car Fuguz, a 2.4-litre in-line six-cylinder (150 hp) model, which is very similar to the Datsun 240Z from 1973. In other words, it is accurate and it offers very good quality. Building the car and driving it on circuits on weekends has been quite an adventure. We have made a global buzz on social networks. I learned everything about mechanical art and its language by building this car, which is in its own way a work of art. For me, this apprenticeship has been a bridge towards understanding watch mechanics as well.
Is this how you took an interest in watches?
I was not a fan of watch brands, but one day I stopped in front of a store and asked myself: “why would I buy a particular watch instead of another? Is it because of the social status it conveys?” My love for both racing cars and watches comes from their history. My passion for speed and the hum of racing cars started with the two friends with whom I built the FuguZ. They are Michel Jeans and Thomas Smell. The latter introduced me to the watchmaking world and to the history and aesthetics behind leading brands. All in all, he explained that it was not just limited to bling-bling stories but that it required an understanding of the quintessence of timepieces. I have to admit that it's almost the same as what happens with racing cars.
Tell us a bit about the creation of the Turbine Sung Kang, made in a limited edition of 350 copies for Perrelet
It was a liberating experience to collaborate with the prestigious Perrelet since I was granted artistic leeway for designing it. Of course, I had to respect some limits but I can tell you that I devoted body and soul to this project.
As you know, I am a fan of zooming around circuits and I have played in quite a few action movies such as Fast and Furious. I wanted a watch that was really different from everything else. In a way, the Turbine Sung Kang is the story of my life. Plus, I have always liked the watches worn by pilots and drivers. Their technology might initially be seen as rudimentary but it actually requires a high level of sophistication.
You started with car mechanics before venturing into the watchmaking world. How did this happen?
Well, I very much enjoyed helping the construction of the FuguZ prototype – the rigor and accuracy involved reminded me of the effort you put into a work of art. I took a picture of the engine and I realized that it wasn't much different from the assembly of a watch. It is above all a human story.
Do you wear other watches?
I always wanted to start a collection of this kind of art objects. But for the time being, I don't see myself wearing a watch without my signature on it. The Turbine Sung Kang reflects a part of me, of my DNA. I owe Perrelet my loyalty.
When I was a kid, I used to watch movies starring James Dean and Paul Newman and I remember that they wore captivating watches and drove racing cars. This is what I wanted to achieve with the Turbine Sung Kang and nothing else will do.
Isn't it a bit self-indulgent to inscribe one's name on a watch?
No, I don't think so and besides, my name is not very obvious on the watch, you have to look for it to see it. This watch conveys values such as fraternity, discipline, generosity and success. It's how I see its brand image.
How did your collaboration with Perrelet go?
It took us some time to... affix the high-end and manufactured label on the watch and for me to understand how the prestigious Perrelet worked, and to delve into watchmaking, of course. You can imagine that in any watchmaking project, one needs to understand the brand's history, its values and prestige and also to respect it and to take all necessary precautions. I hope that this partnership will be a long one.
TURBINE SUNG KANG A1098/2
Case: Round, stainless steel. Black PVD. 44.00 mm - 13.30
Movement: Self-winding. Manufactured. Swiss Made
Clasp: Deployment buckle. Stainless steel
Water resistance: 5atm/ 50m/ 165ft