Bertrand Mak knows he can't control time but the former Christie's watch specialist certainly finds it a rewarding playmate. 'Time is a tricky fellow. I'd like to control it but know I can't,' he says. Part of his attraction to watches is that 'as soon as you pull out the crown, you can stop time'. Time is also what drives this 28-year-old entrepreneur to success. 'You never know how much time you have left,' he says. Mak finds the ticking of a watch comforting, no doubt a result of spending much of his childhood in his godfather's watch store on Queen's Road Central. 'My father had an old Omega and with Hong Kong's humidity the leather strap would often need changing, so my mother would take me to visit my godfather's store,' Mak says. For Mak, watches are about the emotions they inspire. 'I react emotionally to watches - especially vintage and handmade watches. It's amazing that separately the components are inert, but together they transform into something that's literally like a beating heart. 'It's not so much the price tag for me, I have been there and seen amazing pieces that were sold to museums. For me, the ultimate watch would be from a watchmaker I admire and made exactly to my specifications.' His appreciation for hand-crafted, authentic products led him to collaborate with award-winning British shoemaker and designer Rupert Sanderson to open the latter's flagship store in Asia in Central, which already has a growing A-list celebrity following. These days much of Mak's time is spent marketing the Rupert Sanderson brand and deciding on the next business manoeuvre. 'Most start-ups will understand when you're a small company the way you spend your time is not so clear-cut. If you want something done properly, sometimes you have to do the job yourself, no matter how big or small.' Mak uses the time difference between Hong Kong and Britain to his advantage, and he is often up until 2am checking his e-mails or holding conference calls with Sanderson. 'For me, this is efficient as I am able to fit more into my day. 'I'm always thinking about the next step. There're so many ideas or projects and sometimes you just have to manage your time carefully. He is looking to expand and has his eye on the mainland, specifically to launch sales points. He is also opening an online store for Asia, and is eager to diversify his business beyond the luxury segment. His spare time is still consumed with watches. 'I still spend a lot of time studying watches and keeping up-to-date with what's happening in the watch market. I don't want to be detached from the watch scene.' What about turning his passion into a business? 'For me watches are so emotional, I don't want to tackle it from a business perspective. With any business, it would be about making money and sustaining that business. I don't need it to be about doing that.'