Mr Tay Liam Wee has an estimated networth of around S$135m.
The son of the group’s founder, Tay Boo Jiang, Tay Liam Wee began his work experience in Sincere Watch Limited in his teenage years during his summer holidays, starting right at the bottom as an across-the-counter watch salesman. He learned the trade fast and worked his way up.
In 1984, upon graduating from the Lakehead University in Canada, Liam Wee joined the group as the executive managing director and created a new chapter in the history of Sincere. In the face of stiff competition in a fast-evolving environment, Liam Wee’s acute business acumen and strong spirit of entrepreneurship transformed a traditional watch company into an international established watch group.
Liam Wee conceptualised the four business pillars – the Fine Watch Retailing, Travel Watch Retailing, Brand Management and Lifestyle Watch Retailing - which would later form the foundation on which the Sincere Watch business is now built.
As the executive director, Liam Wee first introduced the concept of Fine Watch Retailing where his excellent interpersonal relationships with the watch makers and his keen understanding of the watch industry enabled him to acquire the distributorships of prestigious brands such as Patek Philippe, Jeager-LeCoultre, Audermars Piguet and Girard-Perregaux, thereby elevating the status of Sincere Watch to a brand to be reckoned with.
Recognising the desire of customers for a total shopping experience, Liam Wee pioneered service quality in Sincere Watch by enforcing a strict shirt and tie dress code on the shop level. Sales managers dressed in shirts and ties was a concept that was unheard of in the early eighties, and it helped distinguish Sincere Watch as an upmarket boutique in which to enjoy and purchase a prestigious watch. To further enhance fine watch retailing, Liam Wee enrolled the Sincere Watch’s sales staff in Service Quality (SQ) training courses established by the National Productivity Board and Singapore Airlines.
Liam Wee was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Singapore 2004. This prestigious award honours entrepreneurs whose ingenuity and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures. The Lifestyle & Retail Entrepreneur of The Year Award also went to Liam Wee and these two awards are a reflection of the resilience and determination of the team at Sincere Watch. Receiving these awards during the year of its 50th founding anniversary has made it all the more significant for Sincere Watch.
Amongst the record achievements for 2004, Sincere Watch is one of the six Singapore companies to make it into Forbes’ “Best Under a Billion” list of companies in the Asia-Pacific.
In 2005, Sincere Watch Limited was promoted to Main Board Listing of the SGX. In addition, in line with Sincere’s aim to promote the culture of horology and to develop an appreciation for the art of watchmaking among consumers and the media, there are plans to set up a Watch Academy. Liam Wee believes that this proposed Watch Academy, which is the first-of-its-kind in the world, will reinforce Singapore’s leading position in the global watch industry and provide an engine of growth in the coming years.
He sold 50% stake in family business Sincere Watch in early 2008 to Hong Kong watch retailer and distributor Peace Mark at a market high. In Sep 2008, it was reported that he resigned from Peace Mark as director(see article below. Peace Mark ran into financial problems and now Sincere is being sold. Tay is considering bidding with other investors to buy it back.