Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean article! On this shiok Sunday, I shall be sharing with you the media outlets that I personally follow – websites, magazines, Youtubers, Instagram influencers, etc.
In this lockdown – let’s just call it what it is – there’s perhaps no better time to catch up on all your reading and deepen your knowledge. I’m a firm believer in the power of reading, in consuming content that inspires and enlighten you. I remember how I got into watches. I was shown a video of Hodinkee’s Talking Watches with John Mayer (back when Ben Clymer actually appears in the videos), and I was instantly hooked.
As such, I’ve decided to compile a list of media platforms in the realm of horology and menswear that I personally consume, almost on a daily basis. I love all of the mentioned channels, publications and influencers below, and one day I hope Wah So Shiok will be at the same level as some of them.
I love watches – in case that wasn’t obvious – and I love all sort of watch-related content. However, I’ve listed some of my personal favourites below!
It wouldn’t be a credible list without including the ‘Dink. After all, it was Hodinkee that first got me into watches, and I suspect I’m not the only one! Although it has lost some of its charm over the years – the website and Youtube channel feels much more commercialised now – it is undoubtedly still the leading website for all things horological. If you only have time to read just one watch-related website a day, it should definitely be Hodinkee.
Of course, I have to support my fellow Singaporean! Yes – Su Jia Xian (the man behind SJX) is local. I love the content he produces. The website covers a wide variety of watches, from affordable microbrands like Humism to a hands-on review of a Roger W. Smith watch. I love the way Jia Xian writes too – his editorials and reviews just reads so elegantly. A few readers have told me that Wah So Shiok reminds them of SJX, in the sense that the author’s identity is intrinsically attached to the platform. Unlike Hodinkee where you don’t really feel Ben Clymer’s influence much anymore, Jia Xian’s presence is still keenly felt in his eponymous website. I look up to Jia Xian and his work as an inspiration, and it drives me to constantly improve Wah So Shiok.
Another website that covers watches of a wide variety of price points is Monochrome Watches. I love Monochrome, especially now that they have updated their website to its current sleek look. I think they produce some of the most detailed watch reviews on the net – in my opinion the most detailed out of all on this list. Their photos are stunning too!
I know I said that Monochrome publishes – in my opinion – the most detailed watch reviews on the internet currently, but Worn & Wound is definitely right up there with them. I love the more affordable focus of Worn & Wound, whereby they usually review watches under $5000. They also make great collaborations with microbrands – I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t get in on their fabulous collaboration with Baltic. Personally, I admire Worn & Wound for the way they collaborate with smaller watch brands. They definitely got me thinking of perhaps collaborating with a watch brand for a Wah So Shiok special!
Given that Wah So Shiok mainly reviews microbrand watches, I do browse and read up on other reviews of similar microbrand watches in my free time. Whilst there are quite a number of microbrand focused watch review websites out there, I think Watch It All About by Joshua Flagg is definitely the best of the lot. The quality of their content is superb, and I’m insanely jealous of the beautiful pictures they take. WIAA makes me want to improve my photography, and perhaps even the layout of my website – the WIAA website is gorgeous! No surprise, given that Joshua Flagg is a WordPress coder by day. If you’re into microbrand/affordable watches, do give WIAA a look!
Magazines are rather obsolete nowadays – I can’t actually remember the last time I saw someone reading a magazine. That being said, I’m a loyal fan of Revolution. There’s a couple reasons why. Firstly, its Founder – Wei Koh – is Singaporean, and the team is actually based in Singapore. Secondly, the writing is superb. Just take a look at this article Wei Koh wrote on the death of Baselworld. Who else in the industry writes like that? While Hodinkee’s Talking Watches first got me into watches, it was really Revolution that deepened my fascination. I remember how I would go into various ADs, chumming up with the sales associates, before asking – almost like it was an afterthought – if they have any spare copies of Revolution available. Chances are, if you came across as a watch enthusiast, the ADs will gladly give one to you for free. I know Revolution may not be the most happy with me about sharing this (the magazines are technically paid subscription), but I highly encourage you to try asking for a copy of Revolution when you next pop into an AD. I guarantee, you will fall in love with the writing and the imagery. No other watch magazine makes watches look as cool as Revolution does. Sorry Watch Time – your magazines look like it came from the 90s!
Known as the most popular pair of talking hands in the watch world, I love Watchfinder for their beautifully produced videos. From a technical perspective, Watchfinder takes horological Youtube by a mile! Some of the macro shots that they include in their videos are simply mind-blowing. As the icing on the cake, the narrator’s voice is also incredibly soothing and eloquent.
If you find it weird to watch a video of a pair of talking hands, why not check out Teddy Baldassarre instead? The guy shoots absolutely beautiful watch review videos as well, though it’s still a step down in quality as compared to Watchfinder. However, where Teddy Baldassarre really shines – for me at least – is the channel’s documentary videos. This is the dude that went to visit MVMT in their office and interviewed their founder/CEO! Oh, and he brought Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary out watch shopping. In terms of content creation, Teddy Baldassarre is definitely my favourite.
I only discovered Marc Gebauer a few weeks ago – when the lockdown measures first started – but I absolutely adore his videos. He is a watch dealer that essentially does reaction videos, and reacts to some of the other watch videos on Youtube. His videos are equal parts entertaining and informative. I love the way he talks too – I find his German accent super sexy, and adds to the allure of whatever expensive watch he happens to be talking about.
Another Youtube channel I really like is Watchbox. I think Watchbox makes some of the best interview videos on Youtube currently, better than even Hodinkee’s Talking Watches! Let’s face it – Talking Watches hasn’t been the same since Ben Clymer stopped doing the videos, with newer episodes lacking the charm of earlier episodes such as the aforementioned John Mayer Part 1. Thankfully, Watchbox not only picks up the slack, but also goes into more depth than any Talking Watches I’ve seen. Take this two-part interview with the Armoury’s Mark Cho for example – it’s one of the best interviews I’ve watched in recent memory. Can’t wait to see who they get on their show next!
This is probably a controversial pick – I know that the T&H channel is quite polarising amongst the watch community. To me, what I like about the channel is Christian’s ability to give his frank, unfiltered thoughts on a particular watch, or a brand. For example, he has publicly stated his disdain for certain models such as the Bell & Ross BR05 and the Chopard Alpine Eagle in his videos. I like that. When was the last time someone from Hodinkee publicly stating that they disliked a new offering from a major brand? I appreciate Christian’s alternative viewpoints and opinions, and it helps me formulate a more cohesive opinion about a particular watch overall.
Founded by Tom Chng, Singapore Watch Club is undoubtedly the country’s biggest group of watch enthusiasts, or as SWC calls it, a “glocal horological secret society”. I assume that ‘glocal’ is a portmanteau of the words global and local, which describes the club’s global perspective, but local heart. They have a wonderful Instagram page, where several of Tom’s personal collection are regularly featured. There’s some real heavy hitters – Audemars Piguet Star Wheel, De Bethune DB28, Vacheron Constantin 47101 chronograph, and more! They also do some sick collaborations with major watch brands, such as this recent one with Hublot that features Chinese calligraphy on the dial. Definitely one to follow if you’re a watch enthusiast in Singapore.
If you’re a fan of sporty, avant-garde timepieces, you got to follow Austen Chu on Instagram. I personally think that Austen has great taste, and his photos are simply phenomenal as well. He’s one of the most popular watch personalities on Instagram too, with a 6-figure following. He also regularly features in watch interviews on Youtube, such as this one with Revolution and Wei Koh. In fact, Revolution calls him “Instagram’s best known Audemars Piguet Collector”! With a collection of highly impressive haute horology pieces, Austen is definitely a must-follow if you’re into horology.
For those into rare (sometimes even piece unique) watches, you got to follow A Collected Man on Instagram. For those who are unfamiliar with the brand, A Collected Man is essentially a purveyor of ultra-rare timepieces, often from independent watchmakers such as Voutilainen, F.P Journe, Roger W. Smith, etc. I love their Instagram feed, which often shows the drool inducing timepieces that they have in stock. Their Instagram feed inspires me – one day, I want to buy a watch from A Collected Man. That’s how I know I’ve made it.
One of my favourites on this list. Isochrono is run by Adi Soon, who used to be the Editor-in-Chief for Revolution. He has since left Revolution, and founded his own watch website here. I love the photos taken by Adi, which is no surprise given that he has been a photography enthusiast all his life. I really like the variety in coverage – microbrands such as Nodus are featured right alongside haute horology ones such as Urwerk. He’s pretty responsive in replying to comments as well, at least in my personal interactions with Adi on social media. Definitely give him a follow!
I’ll admit that I’m a bit biased here – I know Daniel (the man behind Horogenie) personally, and we have hung out together at events before. I even featured him in an interview here! Nevertheless, I do genuinely think that he takes great photographs – I think the layers and textures in his shots are pretty awesome. I love the way he composes his shots. In fact, I think I’ll catch up with him after this circuit breaker ends for some tips on how to improve my own photography.
Of course, I love menswear in general as well. If you’re a sartorialist, here are some media outlets I personally follow to improve my style game!
Gentleman’s Gazette is definitely my go-to when it comes to all things sartorial. I love their articles, which are always highly informational. From learning how to tie a tie, to how to fold a pocket square, I’ve learnt a lot from Gentleman’s Gazette. If you’re a beginner when it comes to menswear, but want to kickstart your sartorial journey and delve in deeper, I highly recommend checking out Gentleman’s Gazette and their huge trove of educational articles.
For in-depth reviews of specific menswear products (suits, shoes, perfume, etc), I read Permanent Style. When I first ventured into reviewing menswear (I was solely reviewing watches at the start), I read a lot of Permanent Style to see how others review menswear products. The way Simon (the man behind Permanent Style) writes his reviews really influenced the way I write my reviews, and even till this day I often find myself turning to Permanent Style for inspiration when I hit a writer’s block. If you’re an enthusiast for bespoke menswear, you have to check out Permanent Style.
Finally, I read Parisian Gentleman for their opinion pieces. I think they write some of the best opinion pieces in the realm of sartorial menswear – their writing really influenced my outlook of tailoring. Their articles are often on interesting topics, such as this article by founder Hugo Jacomet on the importance of alignment in tailoring. In recent times however, Hugo seems to be concentrating more on his new Youtube channel Sartorial Talks rather than the PG website, with the website having not been updated since last year. Hope they publish new content on the website soon!
Founded by Wei Koh – yes, the man who also founded Revolution – The Rake is quite possibly the leading magazine in the realm of sartorial menswear. In fact, Ralph Lauren – the man himself – has publicly stated that The Rake is his favourite menswear magazine! You can find The Rake in tailors and classy bars islandwide. Like Revolution, I don’t personally subscribe to it (sorry Wei), but I always try to pick a copy up and read through it whenever I’m at a tailor or a bar, which in fairness is pretty often. Like Revolution with horology, The Rake makes the traditionally stuffy realm of sartorial menswear come across as cool and badass, and I love it.
He Spoke Style is definitely my go-to Youtube channel for anything sartorial. I love Brian’s (the founder of HSS) content. I love his video suit reviews – perhaps I should venture into video reviews too, hmm – and I found videos such as this one highly informational as well. He’s definitely someone who knows his stuff, and I appreciate how polished his videos are. Brian is someone with taste, you can tell that from watching his videos. His reviews seem pretty genuine too, and he’s unafraid to criticize a company for their flaws.
Another popular Youtube style reviewer I personally subscribe to is The Kavalier. While video production quality is a step down from He Spoke Style, there’s a certain homegrown, amateurish quality about the channel that I like. With HSS, you get the sense that it’s a media entity – they have a web-store, and collaborate with brands on special editions. In contrast, Jon (the man behind The Kavalier) comes across as a passionate menswear enthusiast who’s just giving his honest opinion on products in front of a camera in his living room. Curiously though, the channel’s most popular video till date (with over a million views) is a review of mens underwear. That’s interesting, to say the least!
Although Mr Porter is best known for their online store, the brand also has a Youtube channel – with 300K subscribers! That’s more than He Spoke Style and The Kavalier combined. Personally, I enjoy the short films that Mr Porter produces, such as this one on Kiton. The production value is really fantastic, and their videos are highly enjoyable. I also really liked this series of short films on Tom Ford. This is definitely the style channel that I get inspired by.
As mentioned above, Mark Cho is not only a known watch enthusiast, but also the founder of The Armoury, a modern mens tailor with outlets in Hong Kong and New York City. I love following his Instagram just to see the latest designs that his shop carries, what he’s wearing on that particular day, as well as watch some of the QnA videos that he posts on his feed. I think that Mark Cho is hands-down one of the most stylish guys on the planet at the moment. I like the fact that he’s relatively young too (mid-30s), and it’s refreshing to see him make traditional tailoring cool again.
The founder of men’s style blog Manolo Sweden, Andreas Weinas regular posts amazing pictures of his clothing and watches on Instagram. I love Mark Cho, but if you’re not into the more classic styling of The Armoury, then you’re out of luck as Mark (understandably) wears mostly what he’s selling. In contrast, Andreas wears garments from a variety of brands, and posts pictures of himself in a variety of styles and outfits. Personally, I follow Andreas for the sheer variety of clothing and styles that he posts. He’s definitely one of my stylistic inspirations!
Like Mark Cho’s The Armoury, the Anthology is another Hong Kong-based new age tailor that’s trying to bring classic tailoring back into popularity. I really like the house style of the Anthology – I would say that their garments are really in line with my personal style. I love their “soft tailoring” approach, as well as the use of wide lapels and generally clean drape throughout. Sometimes, I find myself referring to the Anthology when commissioning a new piece of garment, both for inspiration but also to illustrate the look that I want. I hope that I’ll be able to visit them in Hong Kong one day!
That rounds up my list of websites, magazines, Youtube channels, and Instagram influencers that I personally follow for watch/sartorial content! I hope this has been useful to you, and that it was interesting to see the media that I personally consume. I would encourage everyday to follow the above media platforms – I really enjoy their content, and I know you guys will too!
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.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.