By: Bryan Foo and Germain Tan
NUS Horology Club had the privilege to interview the founder of Regia Timepieces, William Chuen, an up and coming local microbrand breaking into the watchmakers industry. These microbrands are often start ups who manufacture their own watches using Euskadi Ta Askatasuna(ETA) and Miyota watch movements. They tend to offer something creative at an affordable price. Besides having more unique designs, microbrands today have also put in more effort to connect with customers on a personal level.
We at NUS Horology believe that the recent growth of microbrands is sparked by the increasing number of people, passionate in modifying unique yet affordable watches. The spike in attention to microbrands is also in part due to the rising prices among established watch companies. We are inspired by the story behind these microbrands. Hence, we got William to walk us through the history of Regia Timepieces. Something that really caught our attention is the unique brandname that they gave themselves. ‘Regia’ means “Royal” in Spanish.
Regia’s first timepiece “Armare Regatta”, inspired by the ref. 3646 from the 1940 prototypes has been on the drawing board for 3 months and finally crafted into a modern timepiece. The faults of the early prototype 3646 case were mainly due to the wire lugs which proved to be too fragile, also the water resistance of the early screw-in crown designs were not fully suited for military diving usage. However, Regia’s very own “Armare Regatta” did a very good job in rectifying these faults.
The Armare Regatta is manufactured with a diameter of 44mm and a thickness of 13mm, appealing to both ladies and gentlemen. It comes with a big and bold dial which makes it easy to read and a fixed dodecagon bezel. The first editions of “Armare Regatta” will be introduced as limited editions with 3 modern unique dial colourations in 2 dial designs, limited to 100 pieces (50 pieces for each of the green). Regia timepieces offers quality and reliability at exceptional value for all watch enthusiasts. They carry a vintage look with a spark of modern design and innovation.
William is also the owner of the popular blog, www.seikoparts.wordpress.com, where he regularly blogs about his modifications of Seiko watches. With the encouragement of his good friend Jake B from Dagaz, William made the leap from modifying Seiko watches to becoming a creator of his own brand of timepieces. In fact his recently launched Patina dial series humbly started off in his kitchen. William soaks brass in water and leaves it out in the sun, before adding ingredients such as baking soda to complete the final watch design. This culture of experimentation and creative innovation is what William is in the business for: to spark an energetic modification culture among us Singaporeans.
As Regia Timepieces aims to spark a watch modification culture, buyers are given the opportunity to purchase parts and accessories off their site if you wish to DIY the watches. Regia Timepieces are able to help you mod the watches for you if you are inexperienced too. By allowing people to mod their own watches, William hopes everyone would see the joy in having the freedom to personalize your watches.
Regia watches comes in limited pieces especially the Patina Dial Series which are limited to one piece each as each dial is unique. Watches each comes with a 1 year warranty and are reasonably priced from USD375-USD415 depending on the series. Regia Timepieces may be purchased here!