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Making time personal

The Han brothers, founders of Schaffen Watches, want to involve their customers in creating their own watches

Claudia Chong
Published Fri, Feb 24, 2017 · 09:50 PM

Singapore

ENCOUNTERING some degree of scepticism is hardly unusual when one tries to start a business.

But university undergraduate Nicholas Han, 25, and his brother Jonathan, 22, had to take some sneers and derisive laughter along with that as well.

Nicholas, 25, recalls the trip they made to Hong Kong, where they told some big suppliers about their plan to set up a watch company selling customised timepieces and were laughed off, "maybe because we look young".

"We told a supplier we were going to inscribe certain details like a person's signature onto the timepiece, and he asked: 'How are you going to do that? Are you going to use your own pencil to write it on?'"

But more than a year on, the brothers have set up Schaffen Watches, an online retailer that invites its customers to personalise timepieces. Customers pick the dial, hands, straps, markings and inscription on the dial and case back. (Said inscription is done by high-quality eng…

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