Switzerland and Singapore are two countries that have a lot in common, to the point where Singapore has been referred to as the ’Switzerland of Asia’.
They aren’t just neighbors in terms of the alphabet. Both are known for their high standards of living, cleanliness, and natural beauty.
One area where Switzerland is in a different league, however, is watchmaking. And while its Asian counterpart doesn’t have the historical pedigree of Switzerland, start-up brand Horae is trying to appropriate some of that Swiss watchmaking heritage nevertheless.
Officially launched through Kickstarter on 31 January 2018, Horae is the product of Shane Leong and Aaron Choo, a passionate duo based out of Singapore.
Trained professionally in engineering and architecture, their passion for watchmaking and a critical take on the overuse of ‘affordable luxury’ by other start-up watch brand led them to start their very own.
Looking at their initial offering, the inspiration for their designs is very much classic, if not vintage. The range at the moment includes four models: a Two Hander, Complete Calendar, Chronograph, and an Automatic.
Prices range from US$ 125 to US$ 325, with lower prices across the board for those that choose to contribute to their Kickstater campaign. Even without an early-bird discount, the watches look to be a good deal based on their entry prices.
What makes them stand out is their focus on personalisation. The brand’s watch configuration tool allows users the choice of finish and case type, dial, hands and indices. That’s a interesting feature, but it also plays a dual purpose.
It’s known that the more one is invested in assembling a product – for example through a watch customization tool – the more that individual is likely to be invested in the final product. The person is also likely to value it relatively higher than something just picked up off the shelf, ready made.
Psychological motivations aside, the finishing of Horae watches is good, especially considering their price points. A few notable features include a vintage-sized 38mm steel case and applied indices, with clean dial designs.
The brand also offers a wide range of full-grain Italian leather and double-woven Perlon straps, which also adds more versatility and customisation options to their watches.
Overall, and despite being in the very early stages, Horae looks well-placed to surpass its funding goals, and to keep its momentum going. We’ll keep you abreast on how they fare in the near future.