Today, I’m very excited to introduce another homegrown watch customisation effort – HORAE. HORAE describes themselves as “a new independent watch company that makes affordable personalized timepieces while embracing the history and provenance of watchmaking”. Customisable watches seems to be the trend lately, but HORAE tries to differentiate themselves in a few key areas. Firstly, the designs are vintage inspired – something that is rare for customisable timepieces. (The only one I can think of is the Urban Vintage line by Undone) Secondly, HORAE is launching FOUR different watches with varying complications, namely the Two Hander, Complete Calendar, Chronograph and the Automatic. Lastly, the offerings are incredibly affordable, ranging from $125 SGD to $325 SGD. Watch their Kickstarter video below!

 

HORAE was founded by the passionate duo of Shane Leong and Aaron Choo. Trained professionally in engineering and architecture, their common appreciation for analog instruments gravitated them towards watches. However, discussions about contemporary watches often develop into criticisms of the plethora of fast-fashion watch brands and the incessant use of the catchphrase, ‘affordable luxury’. As such, they founded HORAE with the vision to deepen consumers’ appreciation for watchmaking from its technical, artistic and historical perspectives. Through tasteful appropriation of the styling, proportions and character of vintage watches, HORAE hopes to share the experience of owning vintage watches without the hassles commonly associated with it. The company also believes in creating value through quality timepieces, meaningful experiences, and reasonable pricing.

Currently, HORAE is looking to crowdfund through Kickstarter. Without further ado, let’s take a look at their Kickstarter project!

Horae – the Kickstarter

Centred around personalization, HORAE’s watch configurator puts consumers in the seat of a watchmaker, taking them through the choice of finish and type of the case, dial, hands and
indices. This allows them to experience the process of realizing their own classic timepiece, and ultimately building watches tailored to their individual tastes.

The Two-Hander

A great alternative to those fast-fashion watches out there.

Priced at a mere $125 SGD, the Two-Hander is HORAE’s most basic offering. I like the minimalist looks of it. For the price, you’re getting a good-looking watch of decent quality that you designed yourself. Sure, the crystal isn’t sapphire, but at $125 one must be realistic. That said, the plexibox crystal has a nice, vintage vibe to it. A great alternative to the current mainstream options (Cough, DW, cough, MVMT).

TECHNICAL DETAILS

CALIBRE Miyota GL20 | 6-3/4 x 8 Ligne | +/-20 seconds/month

CASE 316L Stainless Steel Case | 3 bar Water-resistance | 20 mm Lug Width | Screw-in Caseback

FUNCTIONS Hour – Minute | Shock-Detection | 5-Year Battery Life

DIAL Metal dial with applied indices | Sunburst finish

CRYSTAL Plexiglass Box Crystal

The Complete Calendar

A ton of complications for a small sum of money.

Next up the line we have the Complete Calendar. It offers a day, date, AND month indicator, as well as a moonphase window. That’s a lot of complications for a relatively small amount. Sure, its quartz – but it’s still something different. If you always wanted to own a complicated watch (but don’t have the 5 figures to splash on a Blancpain), the HORAE Complete Calendar can be yours for a mere $165!

TECHNICAL DETAILS

CALIBRE Miyota 6P80 | 10-1/2 Ligne | +/-20 seconds/month

CASE 316L Stainless Steel Case | 3 bar Water-resistance | 20 mm Lug Width | Screw-in Caseback

FUNCTIONS Seconds – Hour – Minute | Day – Date – Month | Moonphases

DIAL Metal dial with applied indices | Multitone frosted and circular brushed finishing

CRYSTAL Plexiglass Box Crystal

The Chronograph

Love the vintage vibe of the telemeter/pulsation dials.

The chronograph is my personal favorite. The vintage vibe is strongest on this piece, and I absolutely love the choice of either a pulsation or telemeter dial. I actually like the HORAE dials better than I do on the vintage Undone Urban chronographs. And at $195 only, the HORAE chronograph is half the price of the Undone! The star of the collection for me. Looks great on the double-woven perlon strap that they offer too.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

CALIBRE Seiko Epson YM91A | 12 Ligne | +/-20 seconds/month

CASE 316L Stainless Steel Case | 3 bar Water-resistance | 20 mm Lug Width | Snap-down Caseback

FUNCTIONS Hour – Minute – 1/5 Second Chronograph | Small Second | Minute Chronograph | Date

DIAL Metal dial with applied indices | Multitone frosted and circular brushed finishing

CRYSTAL Plexiglass Box Crystal

The Automatic

A Miyota 9015, sapphire glass, and full grain (or double woven perlon) strap for $325? The bargain of the series.

While the chronograph is my personal favorite, the Automatic has to be the bargain of the series for me. For as little as $325, you get a Miyota 9015 movement, sapphire glass, the choice of either a full grain leather strap or a double woven perlon (the leather strap looks better on the automatic), AND the chance to customise the design. Schaffen’s customisable dress watch cost $595 – the HORAE is almost half the price! To be fair, Schaffen offers a Swiss Sellita movement, as well as a greater degree of customisation (You get to inscribe text on the dial, as well as personalise the rotor). However, if you like the idea of a customisable dress watch, but was unwilling to spend so much, the HORAE is a great option.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

CALIBRE Miyota 9015 | 11-1/2 Ligne | 28800 Vibrations per hour | -10~30 seconds/day | 24 Jewels

CASE 316L Stainless Steel Case | 3 bar Water-resistance | 20 mm Lug Width | Screw-in Exhibition Caseback

FUNCTIONS Automatic & Manual Winding | Seconds – Hour – Minute | Date | Hacking Seconds | Shock-absorber for Balance Staff | 42 Hours Power Reserve

DIAL Metal dial with applied indices | Multitone frosted and circular brushed finishing

CRYSTAL Sapphire Box Crystal

Conclusion – Great value for money

HORAE is currently live on Kickstarter. If you like what you see, back them on KS here and support another homegrown brand! Their funding goal is quite high, so they will need all the support they can get.

Actually, I take my words back – the Automatic looks quite good on a perlon strap as well!

HORAE introduces the world of customisation to consumers at an unprecedented price point. Everyone can find something they like with HORAE’s line of offerings. If you just want a simple, inexpensive watch, the Two-Hander is for you. For lovers of complications, the Complete Calendar is perfect. The Chronograph is for those who are big on vintage styling. Lastly, if you are a watch geek and would rather die before wearing a quartz watch, they offer an Automatic version as well. All in all, there’s something for everyone in HORAE’s lineup, and the value is simply superb. Furthermore, HORAE’s customisation tool is actually already live on their website, so you can go there and tinker with the available options before committing on KS! I genuinely like what HORAE is doing (this post is non-sponsored BTW), and hope they go far.

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