THE LAKESIDE ATELIER PART II - Collection
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
About three weeks after His consultation, Ren Yi reached out to Him for collection. Ren Yi had thrown in a hall pass to visit the workshop and to learn a thing or two about luxury watch straps. He gleefully accepted without remembering what was ordered.
Ren Yi, aged 24, founded Solitaire in 2013 based on these values - “Quality over branding, passion over business.” Ren Yi watched a Facebook video on Hermès leather craftsmanship during his 2nd year in Polytechnic, and as they say the rest is history.
Ren Yi is a self-taught one-man band. Everything is done by hand - from the stitching, to the sewing and the painting. Ren Yi hopes to share his workmanship and to make something truly bespoke. From the top leather, the lining, to the buckle and clasp - it is all up to the customer.
“What is your comment on people who insinuate that I am a fool for spending closed to 50% of my watch on a watch strap?” He asked hoping to be justified. “The watch does not matter. A bespoke and well made strap will enhance both the client’s and the watch’s personality.” On Ren Yi's favourite watch strap, it depends on the style of the watch. A sporty watch is able to don a playful and quirky strap, while a dress watch should be accompanied by an understated strap. Time and place - an atelier’s wisdom.
Here is a quick 101 in watch straps. There are 4 layers to a watch strap - top grain, padding, lining and threading. Taking it a notch up to luxury watch straps involves using the best tanneries in the world and having the know-how to care and craft the leather. No one does this better than Hermès. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and Ren Yi takes pride in being able to replicate the French luxury goods manufacturer’s technique as closely as possible.
In a way, Ren Yi has created an offshoot La Montre Hermès in Jurong.