Before I get anything started, I want to preface this article by saying this has little to do with another “hot models pick” or “in-depth comparison” of the watches I love. Sure, it still relates back to watches because what else do you think Gnomon Watches are pro at? And since the whole team, and yes, the entire freaking team, including our back-end staff, are definitely into watches in tandem with our career here. At least as much as the next guy you know throws at you their passion on the new mechanical piece recently acquired.
Today, I’ll like to spend some time dwelling on this question of who Gnomon Watches is and the apropos of the company’s identity. That’s because to the core team, when we said that Gnomon Watches are more than us bringing home our salaries through retailing watches to consumers, it is actually more than meets the eye. We’re determined to carry on building the legacy of Gnomon in tandem with our niche passion while at that. Therefore in this somewhat unbosoming style article, I would like to share my thoughts on what Gnomon Watches might be all about. Nonetheless, it will not be as exhaustive as when I’m comparing cases’ bevellings or polishings. But if you are intrigued to get geeky, I’d recommend checking them out on our media site. So let’s begin!
Who even is Gnomon Watches?
Honestly, this is not as straightforward a question as it seems, especially to many new folks here who just came across us. We’d be only identified as for them in searching for the best “value for money” Swiss-made watches, or even those well bang-for-bucks watch straps for your Black Bays and Seikos. Y’all might be just half right. As I mentioned clearly in the title, we’re certainly not your next-door watch shop, selling off the shelves stocks like your parents at grocery runs. But if you insist, we will change your watch battery if you ever pop by our store and have a quick chat with our watchmaker.
So how did we get started? Our beloved founder Mr. Anders Tan started Gnomon Watches in 2002, but the story goes way before that. As a watch enthusiast himself at a young (He still is today), he was deep into those that were military rooted, to be specific. From the likes of “Dirty Dozen” to those Teutonic like Sinn and such, he preferred those qualities, form-follows-function wristwatches since the beginning. He might be the first few in Singapore who actually cares so much about wartime watches, intrigued by how they were built to last in the field and being good at that throughout decades. So much so that he simply wants to share this passion and actual military watches with the rest of us.
So he began to collect them directly from those once suppliers, along with the retailers who stocked them at the time, and brought some into Singapore and started selling them himself. He started his biz online on forums, where he often spent time on his personal hobby. All that has happened was in pre-Gnomon days, but you could clearly see where I’m heading. Not long, his ambition grew, wanting to share more of his passion for these military pieces with the world. He then started his official store, both online and physical, in 2002. He then named it after one of the early forms of time-reading – a sundial that shows the time by the position of its shadow – “Gnomon” Watches. What a journey for this man, but this is only the beginning.
Once things were official, he started recruiting his “A” team in Singapore and getting more brands to join the Gnomon’s journey. He discovered emerging companies like Steinhart and Squale, who simply wanted to make reliable Swiss Made watches for the best money one could ever require. Also, his undeterred taste for non-mainstream watch brands continues to grow in him, as we can see from these watches gradually onboard Gnomon. Indeed, this was one man’s dream he ever could imagine doing – building a small empire based on his singular passion. Okay, I lied. He likes to collect other kinds of stuff, but watches were a big part of him.
That said, “Who even is Gnomon Watches?” This question has only started revealing itself now as the company operates with time.
Gnomon and its Watchmaking Friends
I think it’s essential for me to give a brief overview. Okay, let’s talk about one main strength of Gnomon Watches, wherein its core identity is forged. And that is to understand our close relationship with each of our partners. Why does Gnomon have friends in an industry where everyone is competing in both making and selling watches?
The thing about our company is we do not simply take on any watch brands and their watches into our business. Even if they are in vogue and FOMO-ing to put them up for sale. Although that might be favorable, no-no. Gnomon Watches pays a lot of emphasis on building an authentic connection with every single brand or supplier that it has wanted to work with for the longest time. Speaking of which, all these relationships have to be in tandem with the qualities we procure the watches themselves too. For us to sell a particular item from our store to you, first is to form a long-term relationship with the watch brands and then carefully curate their array of watches and accessories. It goes beyond that manner of simply making quick profits for both but earnestly deepens our common consensus. And this is also a reason why we curated great watches for your money while building both Gnomon and its friend’s reputation altogether.
So how do we get going with our partners? Once an ideal company or supplier is in mind, Gnomon would captivate in ways to realize if they are in sync with us. Building a close relationship with all individuals is not a simple task – I guess some of you might be aware by now of building a bond with another person. To show our relentless effort to work closely with our partners, Anders and I would visit them almost on an annual basis (we would continue to do so once this pandemic dies down), ensuring that they are all well before we even start laying down those future plans. When we can’t travel to visit or vice versa, we’d still have close contact with them almost every day.
Yes, we even speak to some of them on the phone every single day, especially our good friends like Dietrich, Damasko, Steinhart, and Squale, just to name a few out of an extensive list of brands we have.
Evidently, you could further affirm our strong partnerships through our site video with several personal interviews we recorded frequently. From our long friends Mr. Steinhart and Mr. Maggi to Mr. Wein himself. These are how Gnomon tag-team with its friends, providing brand collections and, most importantly, keeping our consumers up to date on what’s going on and excited about what’s coming. Who else could maintain this level of commitment with their partners so closely and regularly? And these do not include our other business partners who help us create incredible watches like Dievas and Hitori Watch Co. Like our long-term pals, our strap suppliers, who provided us with a massive range of well-made leather straps, become a neighbor of Steinhart. And that’s Rios.
Not only do we work closely with them to cater a fantastic spread of products to every watch aficionado, and to grow together through the process. We faithfully cater to our own marketing process at every step of design planning and development to shine them in the spotlight they deserve, even with our recent partnerships with several Swatch group brands like Rado and Hamilton and brands like BALL Oris. We continue to work closely with their local teams by having constant two-way communication to keep ourselves updated with new stuff and what our consumers would like to see in the future. These factors would be my next point below to understand Gnomon Watches’ identity more.
Staying Exclusive And Ahead
Now, another noticeable thing is there are specific models by the brands that are only to be found at Gnomon Watches. That’s because, on top of our close relationships, we can work on collaborative models. These are designed with both input by the watch companies and us, plus specific new models launched that are explicitly handed over to us, simply due to our strong bonds. Yes, it’s that simple. Things work both ways when we have a genuine relationship with our partners, and these are the evidence.
Each model we came up with was endured affably by its makers. For instance, some of the alluring Steinhart Ocean models are specifically made for us with our input of designs and ideas – while keeping the Steinhart DNA – offering those coveted designs that we’d know the watch consumers seek. Or like the BALL watch’s Fireman Enterprises and Damasko’s DSub 1. We’re excited to work with those models and execute with value propositions. These are just some recent examples that are out there.
Why do we want to make such exclusive timepieces? Because it is well worth it to have something that collectors like you and me covet. Do remember the process of launching one such is a long, tiring journey for them (and us, but mostly them) to get all our criteria right, just so for you. Sometimes when we go overboard with our designs and nitpicks, our partners would patiently guide and keep us in check within their boundaries. I genuinely don’t see we could have accomplished all that if we didn’t have reasonable grounds with each of the brands in this way.
We Know What You Are Looking For
And since we’re on the topic of designs, this led me to the next point – we know what the market wants, especially those that patronized Gnomon for quite a while. Whether it is the next vintage re-issue trend or what is anticipated at the start of a new year, Gnomon has paid great attention to every single news and movement within the watch world. I truly hope everyone who read this article can appreciate that we’re much more than selling what everyone else is retailing. In understanding we are true watch lovers too, we yearn to have something that we personally would like to have and doesn’t break the bank. If not, why would we start Gnomon Watches in the first place, am I right?
The truth is, we really love watches. Period. Suppose by now you’d realized after reading more often on our blogs like “What Matters” and those in-depth articles about the brand and its watches. In that case, you’ll find that all of us at Gnomon breathe and live around watches every single day. Therefore, when it comes to what we can offer – both our store carries and those Gnomon collaborations – all of which are timepieces we passionately want to share with anyone who gets excited with watches. When it comes to inputting designs and ideas on our exclusive models, there are a lot of details, or should I say, tell-tale signs that we prioritize what we desire to collect and wear.
From the quality check of each element to balancing palpitation-inducing adornments with the quality one would seek in a specific watch. These are then placed in a package that is way more affordable than one might expect if they were to be made by other watch companies. And if you’re still having the mindset of us selling good value for money watches, then I should admit that till now, you are absolutely right. Come on, we have been selling many magnificent watches like Steinhart for less than 900USD for most models and have been at it for more than a decade! That’s right, we treasure “the best price you could get” for a proper mechanical watch that consists of at least an outstanding Swiss caliber.
Sound Check, Quality Check
At this point, I’m still boasting on Gnomon Watches credentials. So now, let me enlighten all of you on our doings – especially what happens when you want to purchase from us. If you have always wondered how we process your purchases, this will be a good breakdown of what we do. In this aspect, I would answer some golden questions that are often on top of our customers’ or to-be customers’ minds.
Firstly, every single model you browse on our website and in-store is all brand new watches straight from our watch brands and suppliers. And no, we don’t sell you some “brand new in box” used watches or any particular relation to it being worn by someone else. However, we have to clarify that sometimes we offer “new old stock” watches from the brands themselves, like the Squale Corallo Chronographs and our exclusive Aristo Fliegers. These are still considered brand new as those watch cases and components are brand new since they were produced a few decades back – and the watchmakers are casing them up, making sure they are running well before we retail them as brand new “vintage” to you. We have taken our integrity seriously since the day Gnomon Watches was established. Therefore we would never sell any used watches to our customers.
Secondly, we’d practice quality checks on every timepiece and accessory that comes through our store. I would like to emphasize this point as some might think we’re casually selling things without proper checking. Speaking of which, where does this kind of selfish thinking come from? Anyway, I digress. Whenever you placed an order with us, that particular item would go through several human checks, and then we packed them up for shipping. And that includes our beloved watchmaker, who takes his duty seriously and makes sure that the watch you ordered is good to go. Once he did his part, our packing team would double-check it once more before placing them in an utmost secured manner before shipping them to you. If one has not seen what our way of the packaging looks like for shipping, you can check out some of our first-hand online reviews by customers themselves.
Thirdly, Gnomon only worked with the best carriers to date to ensure your watch gets to you in the safest and most efficient ways. We have established long-term relationships with our local DHL and FedEx team and our local couriers, who also deliver for our fellow supporters within Singapore. Oh, did we mention that it usually takes 3 to 5 working days for your order to get to you, as we use the DHL Express expedition? All of this with no additional charges.
Another thing I would like to remind our dear customers is that these operative cares have been our core practices, ensuring each of you could enjoy your purchases as quickly as possible while making sure that everything is in check. Whether you order a NATO strap from us or a $500USD Steinhart Ocean, the team would consistently strive for the best for you, delivering these company values that other retailers cannot guarantee.
Doing Things In-house
This is the last merit point I would want to highlight for all of you, though I have much more to boast about. It is indeed a fact that the majority of our content is churned in-house by our own team. That’s right. From the fantastic banners to those essential angles one would be keen to see in a watch they are interested in – all of that are taken and edited through the team’s efforts. Furthermore, daily social watch shots you see on our Facebook and Instagram (not forgetting Twitter now) and daily promotional emails to keep you guys up to date on what we have for you. All the photos and product write-ups (especially specifications) are executed by the Gnomon team, allowing you to gather each aspect of a particular item most efficiently. These are all curated and shared by our passionate marketing team members every day. If you pay enough attention, you would even see some of Gnomon’s favorite food and places along with their #wristcheck, just to keep things fun and genuinely engaging.
In recent years, Gnomon Watches has further launched a new media website. It is because we are eager to share more on all things watch-related. It also allows us to let our readers be intrigued by what we like about watches personally. You know, the stuff that keeps us going. I won’t go into many details as you can find the information here. Also, we included some of our kind customers and people who are genuinely keen on our offerings, bringing their perspectives on how’d they find and feel about their choices. And we would want them to do so with an unbiased take too. You could tell we want to provide a fantastic personal sharing on “why do we like Gnomon’s watches” and “these particular watches” that each individual has collected. Just check out these articles.
The process of churning more valuable content for you was indeed another unique experience Gnomon has accumulated throughout the years. We learn more about our own watch collecting habits and receive mutual feedback from the community. Vice versa, we’d get the opportunity to work with some of the equally passionate people around us, bringing a refreshing take on how they feel about their horology perspectives for both you as consumers and us at Gnomon Watches.
So there you go! The above are some main points that might help both you and me know who Gnomon Watches is and what it does in the watch space. Simply put, we are just a bunch of watch chaps that love watches just like any of you and provide the best value for money yet Gnomon-qualified timepieces and accessories. We work relentlessly with all of our partners and supporters to provide the best value propositions in each product, in tandem with our services and knowledge sharing.
The above story also seeks to help you better understand how Gnomon Watches has shown its dedication and tremendous effort just so one could simply have a pleasant and informative buying experience with us. I hope by tackling the question of “What Gnomon actually is”, I could gain your trust with us on the watches the company carries and of all kinds related to them. I’ll just come right out and say this: we are definitely more than just about selling watches as a product.
Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.