Hello everyone! In this article, I’ll be compiling my Christmas gift guide for 2022, comprising 11 local brands that offer great, functional products.
In sum, the below items are some of my favourites out of all the products that I’ve reviewed this year, and I believe they would make for great Christmas gifts. Without further ado, let’s get into the listicle!
1) Aries Gold
If you’re planning on personalising a watch – by a local brand – then Aries Gold offers great value for money.
My opinion: Aries Gold is a brand that is often scoffed upon by watch enthusiasts, and I think that’s a shame. Personally, I sincerely believe that Aries Gold offers some of the best value propositions that you can get for under S$500. For example, the Great White that I reviewed earlier this year has a sapphire crystal, a Miyota 8215 movement, a stealthy black coating, scratch-proof ceramic bezel, and a striking dial. Gift wrapping and personalised cards are also available, along with dial/caseback engraving options, making Aries Gold watches great options for gifts.
Review: I reviewed the Aries Gold Great White here.
Where to buy: Aries Gold’s webstore. Just for my readers, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 20% off watches from Aries Gold. A curation of my favourite Aries Gold watches can also be purchased on The Shiok Shop.
2) H2 Hub
If Aries Gold isn’t your cup of tea, you can still browse a variety of watches on H2 Hub.
My opinion: H2 Hub carries a variety of watch brands, from S$69 fashion watches to 5-figure Vulcain watches. However, my pick would be H2 Hub’s in-house Swiss-made brand WULF, which is currently on sale for just S$199 across all models. This includes the WULF Exo, which I have previously reviewed here. At that price, it’s a no brainer and an absolute steal. For full disclosure, it’s my understanding that the brand is going defunct, and H2 Hub is clearing stock. However, that shouldn’t detract from the inherent build quality of the watch. It does put a question mark on aftercare service, but I believe that given H2 Hub’s brick-and-mortar presence one should be able to bring the watch back to any of their outlets should any issues arise. And like Aries Gold, personalisation options are available, making them viable gift options.
Review: I reviewed the WULF Exo here.
Where to buy: H2 Hub’s webstore. Just for my readers, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 5% off watches from H2 Hub’s in-house brands, including WULF and Aries Gold.
3) Maison 21G
Maison 21G specialises in “tailor-made perfumes”, allowing customers to create their own unique scent at an affordable price.
My opinion: Maison 21G has grown by leaps and bounds, and a key driver of that is its bespoke perfume workshops. I think Maison 21G has struck gold with its perfume workshop. It’s affordable and beginner-friendly enough even for those who know nothing about fragrances, but also has the option to delight perfume enthusiasts due to its knowledgable workshop facilitators as well as the Black Label scents. With such mass appeal, I won’t be surprised to see more Maison 21G showrooms opening this year to cater to the demand. Of course, one can customise the perfume bottle at the end of the workshop, making it a great gift. Should a workshop be too much of a hassle, the brand also sells DIY perfume creations (which are personalisable).
Review: I reviewed Maison 21G’s MBS perfume workshop here.
Where to buy: Maison 21G’s webstore. Maison 21G’s perfume workshop starts at $180. For those interested, the promo code “WAHMAISON20” will grant readers 20% off all perfume workshop bookings from Maison 21G online (including both weekdays and weekends), as well as all other products on their webstore.
If you’re looking for a fun touristy activity – or even a family-friendly outing – then do consider Scentopia’s perfume workshops.
My opinion: Scentopia is a unique proposition in itself – I can’t think of any other scent attractions in Singapore, much less one in a tourist destination such as Sentosa. The perfume workshop process was fun and engaging, with a very different concept as compared to the other local perfume workshops in Singapore. Scentopia also has features such as AR exhibits that make it a great family activity to do with kids as well. If you’re simply looking for an entertaining date idea or an interesting family outing, or are simply a casual perfume user looking to get into the world of perfumery, then I’ll recommend giving Scentopia a try. Treat your friends or loved ones to the workshop – I guarantee it will be a blast.
Review: I reviewed Scentopia’s perfume workshop here.
Where to buy: Scentopia’s webstore. Just for my readers, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off perfume workshop bookings.
5) Oxhide Leather
For those on a tight budget, I recommend checking out Oxhide Leather.
My opinion: If I have to sum Oxhide up in a word, it would be terrific value. Oxhide’s range of wallets is affordable but mostly made out of full-grain leather. As compared to those cheap wallets you see being sold in Pasar Malams, their wallets are clearly a tier higher in quality. For those uninitiated in leather, leather generally comes in three quality tiers – genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather, in ascending order of quality. More information about leather quality can be found in this terrific article here. Honestly, I think Oxhide makes some of the cheapest full-grain leather wallets in the market currently, and they are even backed by a 6 months guarantee. Granted, Oxhide’s wallets aren’t the most visually striking, but if you’re simply looking for an affordable wallet that won’t break after a few months, Oxhide fits the bill perfectly. Furthermore, all of its products can be personalised (as seen above), making them great gifts.
Reviews: I reviewed a variety of Oxhide’s latest wallets here.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here. As Oxhide Leather is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK-SHIOK“ to enjoy 10% off all online orders. A curation of my favourite Oxhide products can also be purchased on The Shiok Shop.
6) Obbi Good Label
Obbi Good Label is a Singaporean company that specialises in offering rugged, durable leather products.
My opinion: Founded in 2008, all of Obbi Good Label’s leather products are made in-house in their Geylang workshop by their team of artisans, all of whom possess at least 10 years of experience. I’ve personally visited the Obbi Good Label workshop, and I must say that I’m blown away at the brand’s dedication to making leather products that will stand the test of time. It’s important to note that its products are produced locally in Obbi Good Label’s workshop by local artisans, and not outsourced to some developing country for cheap.
Reviews: I reviewed its latest outdoor accessories here.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its web-store here. As Obbi Good Label is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all non-promotional products store-wide.
7) The Man Bag Co
If your loved one needs a travel or everyday carry bag, then seek out The Man Bag Co.
My opinion: I enjoyed using the Day Sling. Be it on a trip to the gym (and dinner in town afterwards), or holidaying overseas, I really appreciated its functionality. There are plenty of compartments and pockets to organise my items, and for the most part, the bag feels well-built. At $76.50 (after the promo code below), the Day Sling is relatively affordable as well for a crossbody sling bag. If you’re looking for a functional gift, consider the Day Sling.
Reviews: I reviewed the Day Sling here.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here. As The Man Bag is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all non-promotional products store-wide.
8) Otago Optical
For those looking for affordable eyewear, then I highly suggest checking out Otago Optical.
My opinion: I had a great experience at Otago Optical. I had a blast picking a new pair of spectacles, and found the transparent pricing refreshing for the infamously opaque optical industry (puns intended). Despite being part of the premium range, the Omata that I got (with lenses and eye test) only costs $120, making it eminently affordable for a titanium frame. However, what I appreciated most was the education that Tim imparted. I left feeling educated about all things eyewear, which is something I can’t say about other eyewear stores I’ve been in. I sense the genuine passion Tim possesses for optometry, as well as his authenticity – he has pride in his work, and it shows. In fact, I was so impressed with Otago Optical that I collaborated with them to launch a pair of collab frames.
Review: I did a full review of Otago Optical here.
Where to buy: 264 South Bridge Road, #03-01, Singapore 058813 (look for Kele’s golden pineapple as a landmark). Those interested in purchasing eyewear from Otago Optical can quote SHIOK10 or shout “WAHSOSHIOK” in-store to enjoy $10 off glasses packages (frame+lenses). Promotion is valid until the end of 2022.
9) Arden Teal
Arden Teal offers a wide selection of full-grain leather dress shoes and leather bags at an affordable price point.
My opinion: If you’re searching for bang-for-buck dress shoes, I’ll highly recommend Arden Teal. At just a little over $100, you get a sleek-looking shoe made of full-grain calf leather. The walking experience in them is surprisingly comfortable as well, with rubber swathes applied to key areas of the outsole to aid traction. In addition, Arden Teal includes accessories such as a dust cover and a shoehorn with every purchase as well – something uncommon at this price point. If you know of someone who needs a new pair of dress shoes, Arden Teal is the way to go.
Review: I reviewed Arden Teal’s latest offerings here, and its Chelsea boots here.
Where to buy: Arden Teal shoes can be bought online here. As Arden Teal is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all shoes store-wide.
The leading ergonomic brand locally, ErgoTune chairs are a godsend in this current WFH climate.
My opinion: If you know of someone who’s spending long hours in front of their desk (especially during this WFH climate), then the ErgoTune Supreme V3 would be a great gift. Since using the ErgoTune Supreme V3, I’ve found the simple act of sitting to be a much more comfortable experience. Ultimately, I’m impressed by the innovativeness of the ErgoTune Supreme V3. The proprietary DuraWeave™ Hybrid Mesh material is breathable and robust, the ATLAS system conforms to the user’s back and works like a charm, and the level of customisation available is simply the most comprehensive at its price point. It even manages to look youthful, and comes with a lengthy warranty of up to 12 years. At its price, it’s a no-brainer alternative to the generic office chairs one finds at IKEA.
Review: I reviewed the ErgoTune Supreme V3 here.
Where to buy: Ergotune’s webstore. Just for my readers, you can use the promo code “22+WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy $30 off the ErgoTune Supreme, and $20 off the ErgoTune Classic. Currently, ErgoTune is running a Christmas sale where the Supreme V3 can be purchased for just $479.
Standing desks are all the rage currently, and after using one for the year I can definitely see why.
My opinion: I definitely enjoyed the EverDesk+ Max, and it’s certainly an upgrade over my previous table. I appreciated the robust build quality, the clean aesthetic, the practicality of its organisational accessories, and its adjustable height. It’s also cheaper than its main competition – the Omnidesk Ascent starts at $850, as opposed to $749 for the EverDesk+ Max). In other words, it’s still relatively value-for-money as far as standing desks go. There’s even a 10-year warranty, so you can be assured that the desk is built to last.
Review: I reviewed the EverDesk+ here.
Where to buy: EverDesk+’s webstore. Just for my readers, you can use the promo code “22+WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to save up to $145. The discount is tiered: you get $25 off min. spend $500, $45 off min. spend $900, $85 off min. spend $1300, and $145 off min. spend $1800. In other words, the more you spend, the more discount you get. Currently, EverDesk+ is running a Christmas sale where desks can be had starting from just S$449.
That rounds up my Christmas Guide for 2022! All the products listed above were some of the most enjoyable products that I’ve reviewed this year, and I’m sure your loved ones would appreciate them too. All of them are also local brands, so you will be doing our local economy and entrepreneurs a favour as well. Do note that each brand has its own cut-off date for Christmas orders, so do be mindful of that when ordering.
P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.
P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.S: If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.
P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.