Christopher Liang's Devotion to the Finer Things in Life

Decades of devotion in the pursuit of excellent wines, whiskies and watches have made Christopher Liang a formidable tastemaker in all the finer things in life. He talks to Prestige about what it takes to build a successful career and his rise to the top as a leader in watch design and precision watchmaking in Asia, starting with his latest venture, Ciel.

You have a penchant for the finer things in life. Were you always a collector?

I’ve been engaged in collecting art and fine wines as a hobby for nearly a decade now, as a way to express my personality and interests, and as a store of value in appreciating asset classes.

From whiskies and wines, you’ve now founded your own watch brand, Ciel. What motivated you to get into the watch industry?

My first business was actually in real-estate investments and venture-capital financing. However due to the “new normal” with the pandemic as a catalyst, I decided to make fine wines and spirits my main business as I had the
fortune to strike gold with our underlying portfolio picks – and I believed these liquors would stand the test of time. The watch project was an extension of this, as I believe fine watches will be a worthwhile legacy project as well as a personification of ourselves.

How did the name Ciel come about and what makes the Ciel watch a collector’s find?

Ciel is actually a double entendre that reflects my favourite colour, as well as my initials in a fun way. Horologically
speaking, it also refers to the importance of the sky and the heavens in timekeeping from an astrological perspective. We believe the collection value of our watches lies in its timeless design as well as its intricate mechanical movement, the creation of which we had the pleasure of collaborating with the renowned watchmaker Ronda.

What, for you, makes a watch worth investing in?

A watch that exudes elegance, timelessness and, of course, precision timekeeping will always have a premium market value.

As a leading tastemaker in Asia, who and what inspires your taste in whisky, wine and watches?

I remain steadfast that the pursuit for quality creations is at the core of my ethos with respect to our beloved 4Ws – namely, our wines, whiskies, watches and waters – and are constantly inspired by our dedicated business partners and colleagues who share this view to ensure that our products are all best in class in their respective categories.

As a successful entrepreneur, what advice can you offer anyone trying to make a name for themselves?

Have a clear mission, vision and business plan for what you hope to achieve before embarking on an adventure, and check in periodically with a trusted mentor to make executive decisions on necessary adjustments.

Christopher Liang

Do you have a motto that you live by?

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they worked on it every day.

What are some things you wish to achieve for yourself before you’re 40?

I hope the 4Ws, which make up the pillars of our legacy, will be firmly established by then so as to permit us to further magnify our joy and social contribution through charity work and philanthropy. In fact, our Wine Culture Chamber has been set up as an NGO and in due course we look forward to collaborating with Unesco on its World Food Programme.

Learn more about Paragon Trading Asia here

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