How did two young brothers from Singapore start out making such classic timepieces that are wowing people the world over? We sat down with Nicholas and Jonathan from Schaffen to find our more…
We are all about celebrating creativity and championing craftsmanship, and we believe you’re never just buying a product, you’re always buying a story… that’s why we always get to know the makers we feature, to understand why and how they produce their wonderful products.
This time we’re talking with the founders of Schaffen Watches.
Set against the backdrop of Singapore’s panoramic skyline and with the vision to build an internationally recognised label, the duo set out to create dress watches befitting the modern, well-dressed millennial. Designed not only to be sleek timepieces, Schaffen Watches have broken the traditional brick-and-mortar process of buying watches. In addition to a range of signature styles, customers can design their own unique timepiece, customise each element and include signatures, text and requested designs inscribed on the watch dials, ensuring total personalisation.
“A friend and mentor once shared, “boys never really grow up, they simply change their toys”. Crafting watches is and always has been a passion for us. When customers return to tell us how much they enjoy their timepieces, it is our continuing validation and grows our obsession with delighting our customers. Now, even as the team has grown, everyone on the Schaffen team continues to be driven by the same founding passion — crafting products that capture our customers’ unique style and individuality.”
Nicholas Han, Co-founder, Schaffen
Fascinated by how two young guys got started, we asked them to tell all.
1. We simply love your products, what made you want to do this?
It started when Jonathan was when looking for a watch and couldn’t find something ideal. Being a watch enthusiast, he challenged himself to build a timepiece and created something unique which he was proud to wear. The idea about building timepieces tailored to each individual is what keeps people coming back to us and continues to motivate us in what we do.
2. Tell us about the design and production process, where you get your inspiration and how you produce your goods?
As we wanted to keep our timepieces classy, we drew inspiration from timeless dress watch designs with a focus on quality components. We consulted watchmakers in Singapore as well as producers in Switzerland and Japan to set up our supply chain and reiterate our designs.
3. What lessons have you learned on the way?
To be proud of where we are from. Initially we were unsure how people would take to a brand from Singapore, but over time, we realised that if we cannot hide where we are from, we might as well be proud of it — even though some people might not be confident in a product made in Singapore, there are plenty more who are interested in our story and our roots.
4. Any regrets?
I would spend more time talking to more people and creating wider networks, for that is very important for any company trying to start from ground up.
5. Any advice for anyone thinking of doing the same?
Speak to people in the industry and always be open and humble to advice
6. What’s next?
Automatic watches! We are very excited in this next stage of development.
7. Last one, what’s on your ‘love’ list?
We were always watch enthusiasts to begin with. We love timepieces that have a history or a story to tell, such as the Omega watches that withstood the NASA tests and were later brought by astronauts to be used on the moon.
We’re very excited to be working with the boys, honoured to showcase a range of their sleek, beautifully designed timepieces and can’t wait to see what comes next…
For a selection of their signature watches, click here. Priced at $299, they’re available in a range of coloured dials (35mm or 40mm), paired with a genuine full-grain calf leather strap, in either smooth or in gator grain.