One of the most interesting attributes of independent watch brands these days is their versatility. They are not bound by corporate models and expectations. New products are born from sheer love and passion for timepieces, leading to a wide range of indie offerings from pure haute horlogerie with intricate movements and precious metal cases to watches with new looks and mind-boggling technical innovations. Personally, I love quirky things; especially watches that combine modern technology with vintage charm. Singer Reimagined has perfectly struck this balance with an advanced movement housed in a case reminiscent of the 60s and 70s. Therefore, I was delighted to sit down with Marco Borraccino to talk about Singer Reimagined at last year’s Dubai Watch Week.
More often than not, independent watch brands are made up of a small team of industry professionals. In my experience, this is frequently a group of friendly guys who love talking about their latest creations. You can see the passion in their eyes as they describe their latest model – at least that was my impression of Marco Borraccino and Rob Dickinson when I first met them a few years ago in Geneva. Marco has a background in industrial design and has worked for other watch brands in the past, while Rob may be familiar to the petrol heads and music fans out there. In any case, both could be described as Renaissance men. While their paths up to this point have been very different, they’ve both found themselves working on the same project: Singer Reimagined.
Rob Dickinson is a British singer-songwriter and founder and creative director of Singer Vehicle Design, a restoration company that takes old Porsches and turns them into amazing works of art.
The firm does more than just restoration, however; they give already impressive German sports cars a new lease on life. Marco is somewhat of a car guy himself and had long been a fan of Rob’s work. Eventually, the two men met and the idea of creating a watch brand inspired by Singer Vehicle Design was born, but neither of the gentlemen are watchmakers. While the creativity was there from day one, they needed someone to sort the mechanics behind the designs. This is where Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, one of Switzerland’s most creative watchmakers, and his company Agenhor entered the scene. Jean-Marc and his team are responsible for the intricate movements that run inside each Singer Reimagined timepiece.
This brings us to Singer Reimagined’s one and only model: the Track 1. While the company has not yet produced any other watches – though Marco was very optimistic about 2020 in November last year – five iterations of the Track 1 have already seen the light of day. The very first model, the Singer Reimagined Track 1 Launch Edition, was the introductory piece. It came in a 43-mm Grade 5 titanium case that is 15 mm thick, making it a pretty hefty watch. This is not what makes the Track 1 an intriguing timepiece, however. Alongside its looks, the movement is equally responsible for it becoming a favorite among watch journalists and fans alike. The Agenhor-developed caliber consists of 477 components, has 67 jewels, a 55-hour power reserve, and runs at a frequency of 3 Hz. The watch was originally priced at 43,500 CHF (approx. 48,000 USD), and is now sold out.
Since the Track 1 Launch Edition’s initial release, Singer Reimagined has introduced four more variations to the market, all of which are still available. These variations all share the same basic design and functionality as the original model. The Geneva Edition was the first iteration to hit the market. It is housed in an 18K yellow gold case. The Hong Kong Edition was next with its matte black ceramic aluminum case. The Track 1 Hong Kong Edition won the Chronograph Watch Prize at the 2018 GPHG. The next variation is my personal favorite: the London Edition. This watch features a beautiful deep blue dial and strap as well as the same Grade 5 titanium case from the very first model. Singer Reimagined presented their latest version of the Singer Track 1, the Emirates Edition, at Dubai Watch Week 2019. The mid-case is made of ceramic aluminum, while the bezel, case back, pushers, and crown are all made of golden ZrN-treated Grade 5 titanium.
After speaking with Marco a number of times, one thing is very clear to me: he, Rob, and the whole Singer Reimagined team are very determined and smart about the brand’s development. They understand the inner workings of the watch industry and have a clear view of potential obstacles facing young brands. “Today, the key is to be able to create a strong perception of the brand and a strong identity,” Marco Borraccino explains. “So, we are trying to define a very clear position and vision in terms of aesthetics and what this brand stands for.” It’s been several years since Singer Reimagined entered the indie watch scene, and they still only have one model, but this is a conscious move. “We need to make people understand what the product is and what we stand for,” says Marco. You cannot expect independent brands to release new models as often as the major brands do – they simply cannot keep that rhythm up. Instead, they work at an intentionally slower pace. I strongly believe that Singer Reimagined is on the right track. We will see more amazing timepieces from them very soon – I’m sure of it.