THE CON­CEPT OF WATCH WONDERLAND

The store’s spe­cial­ity: indie time­pieces from mi­cro brands, and a place for the watch com­mu­nity.

Herworld (Singapore) - - NEWS - – RT

Indie time­pieces from mi­cro brands.

Sugi­harto Kusumadi, 42, an In­done­sian who’s a per­ma­nent res­i­dent here, is not a new player in the lo­cal watch mar­ket. He owns Red Army Watches, a chain of stores in Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia and In­done­sia that sells mostly Rus­sian time­pieces.

But for his se­cond act, which is pos­si­bly more game-chang­ing, he wants to spe­cialise

even more – not only with the kinds of time­pieces he sells, but also with a space where ev­ery­one, not just the rich, can learn more about me­chan­i­cal watches, at­tend work­shops, and make be­spoke pieces. “I want a place where brand own­ers, crafts­men and the watch com­mu­nity can get to­gether and col­lab­o­rate,” says Kusumadi.

Watch Wonderland at #01-470/472 Sun­tec City Mall doesn’t of­fer the usual sus­pects. What it does have is watches from mi­cro brands – which don’t have cen­turies-long his­tory; brands that are not fa­mous (yet); brands that are hard to find here and in the re­gion; brands from coun­tries not known for horol­ogy; and brands you don’t need in­ter­est-free credit card in­stal­ments for (prices are $200 to $3,000).

To keep things con­stantly in­ter­est­ing, “three to four new off­beat brands” are added ev­ery sea­son to its ex­ist­ing base of al­most 30. Each is tested for ac­cu­racy, fin­ish­ing and per­for­mance.

And to keep en­thu­si­asts com­ing back, Kusumadi has in­tro­duced two acad­e­mies – one for how to make a watch, and one for how to make a leather strap.

There’s also a Watch Concierge ser­vice, which can cus­tomise and repair watches. It part­ners with lo­cal leather maker The J. My­ers Com­pany for be­spoke leather straps.

Watch Wonderland opens from 11am-9pm on week­days, and 10.30am9.30pm on week­ends.

Cheap doesn’t mean lousy: The brands at Watch Wonderland are cu­rated for their brand sto­ries, me­chan­i­cal in­tegrity, aes­thet­ics, ma­te­ri­als and longevity. Styles range from fun and kitschy to se­ri­ous and min­i­mal­ist. Here is a se­lec­tion rec­om­mended by owner Sugi­harto Kusumadi: BALTICUS From: Poland USP: De­signs are both sporty and dressy, and it’s one of the few brands to use rare aven­turine in its time­pieces.1. Star­dust, $1,190. KENTEX From: Ja­pan USP: Tough tool-qual­ity watches – the brand pro­duces time­pieces for the Ja­pan Selfde­fense Forces. All its watches are in ti­ta­nium and ceramic.7. Marine­man White, $1,190. MEL­BOURNE WATCH COM­PANY From: Aus­tralia USP: Its sim­ple but func­tional de­signs strad­dle dressy and util­i­tar­ian, and are uni­sex. 2. Carl­ton, $520. 5. Collins 38 Gun­metal, $739. MR JONES WATCHES From: Bri­tain USP: Bring­ing wear­able art to the masses with quirky de­signs through artist col­labs. Its watches fea­ture mul­ti­layer di­als and un­con­ven­tional ways of dis­play­ing the time.3. The Prom­ise of Hap­pi­ness, $398. 4. Queen, $398. 8. Time­wise, $328. THE ELECTRICIANZ From: Switzer­land USP: Watches in­spired by elec­tric­ity, and which of­ten fea­ture vis­i­ble wiring cir­cuitry as their key de­sign el­e­ment.6. Cable Z, $560.

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