How Cortina Watch and Sincere Fine Watches placed their strength in numbers

With its massive retail footprint across the Asia-Pacific region, Cortina Holdings dominates all corners of the market through Cortina Watch and Sincere Fine Watches.

Singapore may be one of the smallest countries in the world by land size, but when it comes to its appetite for fine timepieces, this island nation stands tall aside giants in comparison. Jostling among the world’s biggest markets for luxury Swiss watch exports, Singapore frequently ranks between sixth and seventh position globally.


One primary catalyst behind this continued robust demand is definitely the nation’s top-notch retailers, such as Cortina Watch and Sincere Fine Watches, both of which currently make up the complete retail division of Cortina Holdings and are familiar names to generations of watch lovers all around the region.

The largest Patek Philippe boutique in Asia is located at Taipei 101 in Taiwan, and is operated by Cortina Watch

Indeed, to say that watch collecting here is never complete without a walk through one of Cortina Holding’s numerous retail points of sale is no understatement, and ever since the company acquired Sincere Fine Watches in 2021, this massive retail network has gotten even wider. Both Cortina Watch and Sincere Fine Watches are equally regarded for their extensive collection of brands and great presence throughout the region — although each has its own specific areas of focus that make the merger all the more meaningful and complementary.


Where Cortina Watch holds strong to its market leader position — something it has steadily cultivated over more than 50 years — the company represents the industry leading stalwarts such as Rolex and Patek Philippe, with which it shares a long and enduring partnership. In addition, Cortina Watch shows continued support towards exclusive independent brands such as H. Moser & Cie., Parmigiani Fleurier and more.

The SHH flagship boutique in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Meanwhile, Sincere Fine Watches has increasingly asserted itself as a powerhouse of modern independent watchmaking with the re-establishment of the SHH (Sincere Haute Horlogerie) concept stores exclusively retailing brands like Arnold & Son, Czapek, Greubel Forsey, Ferdinand Berthoud, Laurent Ferrier and Moritz Grossmann, along with the portfolio of classic brands in its multi-brand stores.


Following the acquisition, Sincere Fine Watches’ stable of 20 multi- and mono-brand stores located in major cities across Asia including Pendulum in Bangkok, Thailand, joins that of Cortina Watch which comprises 30 multi- and mono-brand boutiques throughout Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. A quick look at this vast distribution network very clearly demonstrates the group’s retail strategy, which is to position Sincere Fine Watches as the purveyor of independent watchmaking, given the steady growth of SHH (Sincere Haute Horlogerie) stores as well as the continued production of SHH limited edition timepieces co-created with brand partners which are extremely sought after by collectors.

Franck Muller boutique in Orchard ION, Singapore

Sincere Fine Watches also runs mono-brand stores for TAG Heuer, Tudor, Bell & Ross and of course Franck Muller. Meanwhile, Cortina Watch forges ahead as the leading retail destination for the industry’s most desirable luxury brands, managing numerous monobrand stores on behalf of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tudor, TAG Heuer, Cartier, IWC, Panerai, Franck Muller and Jacob & Co.

Building a Legacy

Within a short span of two years since the acquisition, Cortina Holdings has moved strategically to expand the network of stores under Sincere Fine Watches, reinforcing its position as the region’s premier luxury watch specialist. At the same time, Sincere also capitalizes on the great synergy it shares with Cortina Watch, joining hands to offer fresh and exceptional new experiences to watch lovers throughout the region — a step that recalls the Sincere Watch Academy during the mid-2000s when it spearheaded numerous horological get-togethers and made them not only educational but fun and memorable too.


Having represented the world’s top watch brands for almost 70 years now, the company has always positioned itself as more than just a seller of beautiful timepieces, but also a de facto meeting place for watch enthusiasts of all stripes.

CEO of Cortina Watch, Jeremy Lim

Currently in the hands of three generations of the Lim family, Cortina Watch celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022 with much fanfare, and saw no fewer than eight brand partners joining in the festivities with special limited edition creations. Patek Philippe came in with the Ref. 20145M-001 “Singapore Skyline” dome clock, as well as the Cortina-exclusive Calatrava Ref. 5057G-010 with a unique triple-row hobnail guilloché bezel.


This is the second such reference that Patek Philippe has made for Cortina; the first was a rose gold one made in 1997 on the occasion of the retailer’s 25th anniversary — and one can only imagine what might arrive on its diamond jubilee. Other brands that created special editions for Cortina Watch include Cartier, Chopard, Franck Muller, H. Moser & Cie., TAG Heuer, Blancpain and Corum, many of which are gem-set models, underscoring the retailer’s forte in ultra precious timepieces.

Indeed, Cortina Watch has carved a strong niche with gem-set timepieces and gem-set high complications. At the turn of the millennium, the retailer brought forth new perspectives in haute horlogerie, recognizing the growing interest in sophisticated jewelry timepieces, and established the Jewelry Time exhibition series.


Held from 2000 to 2014, this was a biennial event merging the exquisite crafts of high jewelry with high watchmaking, encouraging watch enthusiasts to embrace the glamorous side of watch appreciating. In 2001, Cortina Watch introduced the then-new “Espace” retail concept, which swiftly won the “Best Retail Concept of the Year” award from the Singapore Retailers’ Association.

Rolex boutique at Gurney Plaza, Malaysia

The “Espace” concept was subsequently adopted in its flagship stores in Malaysia and Thailand, marking a key milestone for the company just before its 30th anniversary 2002 when it eventually went public on the Singapore Stock Exchange.


Suffice it to say, Cortina Watch has evolved far beyond its humble origins, ranking high among the very best in global luxury watch retail today. Likewise, Sincere Fine Watches has developed its unique voice in independent watchmaking retail, which is something it has always been championing, being the exclusive distributor of Franck Muller in Southeast Asia and Australia for more than 30 years.

Passion for Horology

With watch connoisseurs showing increased interest in independent watchmaking, Cortina Holdings swiftly moved to take the luxury consumer even further into the intricacies and wonders of this unique segment of fine watchmaking, specifically, through the new high watchmaking division earmarked as SHH (Sincere Haute Horlogerie), which is managed by third generation member of the Cortina founding family, Kate Lim, alongside CEO of Sincere Fine Watches, Ong Ban. After all, to delve deeply into the art of haute horlogerie, and to revel in the traditional handcraftsmanship, finishing and savoir faire, one only needs to take a glance at the many horological vanguards on display for instant gratification.


Conceptualized to resemble a contemporary art museum rather than a classic retail store, SHH reprises its role as the curator of thematic spaces for watch lovers to gather and share in their passion for exceptional timepieces.

Here, the watches are handpicked based on horological excellence whether in terms of mechanical mastery, sheer handcrafted artistry or technical originality. In addition, the visual merchandizing isn’t always organized by brand — since the creations are so highly exclusive — but rather, by sheer horological ingenuity.


Every timepiece on display is a wonder unto itself, from the celestial complications of Christiaan van der Klaauw and the state-of-the-art Mirrored Force Resonance of Armin Strom to the mechanical wizardry of a Greubel Forsey, the grandeur of a Fabergé, and the unique allure of brands such as Lange & Heyne and Grönefeld. Within this hallowed realm, there is no space for mediocrity and even the simplest creations are executed with utmost finesse.

Re-entering the market in 2022, SHH is now officially present in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, with the Kuala Lumpur boutique poised to become the new global flagship of this bold new concept. Its sprawling 5,000-square-foot store spans two floors situated within Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, occupying its own glamorous façade and a private vehicle drop-off point.


Gleaming showcases invite you to peer into the miniature universes of each haute horlogerie creation while thematic timepiece exhibitions curated by the passionate team behind SHH are certain to spark intrigue in watch connoisseurs of all levels. Moreover, this boutique offers a multi-sensorial experience and even includes an exclusive dining room where guest chefs from all over the world will be cooking up a storm.

SHH Boutique at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

From luxury watch icons and retailer exclusive timepieces to fine handcraftsmanship and unique experiences in horology, Cortina Watch and Sincere Fine Watches come together to complete the retail big picture for Cortina Holdings, and show how swiftly the company responds to the rapidly changing trends in luxury watch retail. Today’s luxury consumers are increasingly savvy but so are these retailers who understand the market and have built such strong bonds with their customers over the years that it’s not so much a clientele but a community of watch enthusiasts who gather over a shared passion for horology — and this has been the case for both Cortina Watch and Sincere Fine Watches since the beginning.


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