Watches & Jewellery

Where to go to get Japan-made watches customised in Singapore

With at least 69 straps and 51 faces to play with, Knot at Tiong Bahru’s Eng Hoon Street gives you more than 3,000 configurations for a timepiece that’s truly yours
 

Photo: Frenchescar Lim

 

Knot, the Japanese watch brand (which has a first-in-Singapore franchisee at a Tiong Bahru shophouse) started four years ago in Tokyo. Its intention: to take the watch configuration movement to the next level by making it more individualistic, easier, and accessible.

 

Photo: Frenchescar Lim

 

It tackled the first point by selling its watch faces (51 of them) and straps (at least 69 here) separately, which allows customers to truly customise - with up to 3,000 possible combos. To do that easily, you must be able to put faces and straps together without special know-how, tools or any aid. Knot’s answer is the “easy lever”, which literally snaps the parts together or takes them apart. For accessibility, it cuts out middlemen in the creative stage so it can price its watches affordably; straps are $50-$95, while a quartz face starts from $195.

 

Photo: Frenchescar Lim

 

These traits are not the only qualities that attracted Wakako Uemura, 40, to franchise the brand here and help grow it. She was also drawn to how Knot combines artisanal craftsmanship with artful chronological chops. “Its leather and fabric straps are manufactured in Japan by traditional artisans and obtained directly from the sources: leather tanners in Tochigi and Himeji; silk braiders in Kyoto; and umbrella craftsmen in Yamanashi,” says Uemura.

 

Photo: Frenchescar Lim

 

Technical nous is provided by Citizen and Seiko (Japanese watch companies are revered for their quartz tech), which make the interior quartz and automatic movements.

 

Photo: Frenchescar Lim

 

“In a world dominated by technology, a watch driven by moving parts may seem obsolete, but Knot recognises the danger of vanishing artisans and seeks to redress this issue. I would like to see a real artisanal watch making its rounds around the world,” Uemura says.

 

Knot is at 10 Eng Hoon Street. Engraving services are available. Opening hours: 11am-8pm. Closed on Mondays.

 

This story was first published in the June 2018 issue of Her World.

 

Photography Frenchescar Lim

Art Direction Shan

Styling Bryan Goh

Model Mary Tisch/Mannequin

Manicure Ann Lim, using OPI

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