Ok I’ll be honest. When I was asked to review a wrist wear brand, I was a little hesitant. Frankly I’m not very much a watch person for several reasons.
1. I don’t feel a need for it. I’m glued to my smart phone and I won’t need a watch to tell the time.
2. I am very conscious about my skinny wrists. It’s extremely difficult to find a wrist-wear (including bracelets) that will look good on them.
3. I think good watches especially branded ones are very expensive and I don’t want to pay that kind of price for one.
And then I visited Knot Singapore, and I’ll be honest again.
I have fallen in love with watches for the first time in my life.
I do own a few time pieces from some of the trending brands, and even jumped on the whole NATO band(pun!!)wagon. But I never felt much for these watches other than seeing them as fashion accessories. After a while I stop wearing them because the trend fades or until the watch batteries run out and I never bother to replace them.
But for the first time, I picked the very watch that my heart asked me to, and it totally sparks so much joy that I feel so happy just looking at it.
I never thought I could write such a long post about watches, so bear with me even if you are not a fan of watches, because I hope this post can change your mind about watches (like I did).
“Has the art of watchmaking come to a halt, like the hand of a watch that needs to be wound?”
“Products made without the spirit of craftsmanship are like an empty shell. We want to return watches to action.”
“Here are Knot. We have chosen another path in the world of watchmaking. Watches that are made in Japan, available at reasonable prices. The technology that permeates Japan is our connection to the future.”
Made in Japan by Shokunin
Yes. Made in Japan.
My heart never fails to fall for that 3 words.
And for Knot, it is beyond just Made in Japan. It is made in Japan, by the souls and hearts of the most experienced shokunin (craftsman/artisan) with finest skills and the work of hands to extreme precision and minute (haha pun) details.
If you are in Knot’s Singapore Gallery Shop in Tiong Bahru, you can watch videos of the the making of Knot watches by the shokunin on the screen display, how their delicate fingertip artistry that has been passed on for generation makes the time piece that you will be wearing.
A Play with Fashion
Shopping for the watch is also such an enjoyable experience, as it’s now a game of fashion. You can choose your favorite face and pair it with different straps.
All Knot’s watches are fitted with the “Easy Lever” system so anyone can change straps as their mood changes or to match their outfit of the day with just a snap of finger (serious I tried, it only takes seconds!!!).
So many different materials, colors, designs… there are over 10,000 combinations, you are gonna spend quite some time finding that unique combi that belongs only to you! Waka san was helping me out with decision making.^^
This is where things get interesting. “Musubu” in Japanese means “to tie a knot”, or in another word, to connect.
The mission of Knot, is to connect Japanese tradition with the world through wristwear. Such a huge ambition!!
That’s how Knot collaborates with some of these manufacturers to communicate the manufacturing traditions that live on today in places throughout Japan, to the world. I also see it as an effort to preserve some of the fading trades that were to just quietly disappear otherwise.
Makita Shoten, for example, is a manufacturer who has been weaving beautiful umbrella fabric since 1866 and is Japan’s Imperial household’s preferred umbrella maker. However how many of us truly appreciates the art of an umbrella at this generation? A few dollars and you can get a plastic umbrella from the combini and it does its job.
Youichi Makita, fabric manufacturer director gave a new life to his umbrella fabrics. For the first time in Makita’s 150 year of history, its umbrella fabric is used to make watch straps.
In the store there’s an actual umbrellas by Makita Shoten, it’s super gorgeous (and apparently cost 30,000 yen!!)
Find your favorite NATO straps (left) made by Makita Shoten! There are also other gorgeous prints such as their signature dragonfly motif. Woven with threads dyed in water that flows underground around the foot of Mt Fuji, the straps are highly resistant to friction and stains. It will make a great strap that lasts years.
Tochigi Leather is one of the world’s few tanners that continues to use only natural vegetable tannin. If you look at their leather straps (that come in many interesting texture, have a feel!), the colors are rustic and earthy, and that’s because only naturally made tanning solutions are used.
Atsushi Osozawa is Tochigi Leather’s tanner. The tanning process takes about a month. There are short-cuts to complete the step in a few days, but he takes the long way to ensure the production of flexible yet sturdy leather.
Love at first sight with this cream braided Tochigi Leather strap. So so soft!
A “Kumihimo” is a cord made of complexly braided threads, it has a long history of being treasured by Buddhist ritual and tea ceremony tools, armor, swords, and some of you may be familiar with this – the ties for obi belts of the finest kimonos.
Showen Kumihimo continues to find its role in modern time, and now it has found its way in creating beautiful watch straps with carefully chosen silk with the same traditional technique.
Did you know? Every single braid is done by hand. I’m getting goosebumps…
I picked this Kumihimo strap as it called out my name. And perfectly matches my outfit that day too.
Takeyari – Okayama Prefcture
Takeyari is a canvas maker in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture founded in 1888. In the olden days, they made sails and harnesses and today, they have grown Kurashiki into a major canvas production area with their work wear, bags, interior goods and of course now, beautiful canvas straps you can wear on your wrists.
I’m so loving this series of Takeyari navy canvas strap with Tochigi leather, it’s just a little too loose for my overly skinny wrists. Please check them out, it’s my top choice!!
And lastly, the watch face.
Knot’s watches are made of “Sapphire Glass”, the second hardest material after diamond which is often used for luxury Swiss watches and “Stainless Steel 316L” to help prevent allergic reaction to the metal casing. Movements are Japan-made, some are by SEIKO.
The automatic watches are created at one of the top-grade metalworking factory in Hayashi Seiki, Fukushima, where skilled shokunin perform polishing to a perfect mirror finish.
After a lot of trying and thinking, here are my picks to complete my first Knot!
A black solar watch face (so that lazy people like me will never have to change the battery!) ($235), with a Tochigi Leather original mesh strap ($70) and Silk Showen Kumihimo Ayakorai strap in Matsuba ($65).
So happy with my first Knot experience.
Haha see what I wore on my wrist? A spiral hairband paiseh lol. I’d be more stylish now with Knot!!
Waka San from Tiong Bahru Gallery Shop.
Making it even more special
Do you know that you can engrave up to 10 letters behind the watch for a special someone or to commemorate something special? And it’s only $20 for 1 watch and $35 for a pair!!
And of course, coming from Japan, you can be sure that their gift boxes and wrapping are made to be full of hospitality. It would really make a perfect gift for a loved one.
There’s even a reward program! Find out more from Knot Singapore!
Pop Up Store
Knot has a Pop Up Store now until 7 October in Plaza Singapura!!
Looks very popular the day I visited!
I was very shocked that it is actually a temporary pop up store because the interior is fully Gallery-Shop-quality. Beautifully decorated with wooden furniture, and of course a big space for you to try and explore your favorite mix-and-match of watches.
With Eri-chan who hosted me at the pop up store.
Lastly, if you can’t make it to the pop up store or too lazy to drive out, you can even order it online!!
Free shipping throughout Singapore! ^^
Knot Tiong Bahru Gallery Shop
10 Eng Hoon Street
#01-01, Singapore 169760
Tuesday-Sunday / 11:00~20:00
If you visit Japan, they also have stores including Omotesando,Yokohama, Shinsaibashi and more!
Find out more from their website!
I guess I could understand now. I could literally feel the love of the shokunin when I wrap the watch around my wrist. I also think now I can feel the connection Knot talks about. From the people who made the hands of the watch full of dedication, people who polished and assembled the casing with a keen eye, people who carefully weaved the straps from sunrise to sun down… Now their heart and love it’s all on me. I feel loved.
I’m very thankful for Knot that through just a simple watch-shopping experience, I actually learned so much about Japan that I didn’t know about, I think that’s the true mission of Knot – bringing Japanese quality to the world, while sharing its tradition and stories.
If you are looking to get Knot for yourself or your loved ones, here’s a little something for you!
Use the code “CHEESIE10” for 10% off your purchase until 31 Dec 2018!