Showcase #79: Watch Designer from Hong Kong
Welcome to the Urban EDC Showcase! Each week, we feature one member of the EDC community and the gear they rely on every day. Want to be featured? Submit your gear photo.
As a testament to how EDC unites us all, we head to Hong Kong to chat with Clara (@claradead) who works as a watch designer. Drawing on her penchant for preparedness and technical inclination, she takes us through her practical and stylish selection of gear. Read on for Clara’s full rig rundown!
- Utility Knife: Big Idea Design Titanium Pocket Tool (TPT)
I am the 'handy' person among my (girl) friends, and often presented with things to fix on the spot. I also have a lot of watch samples to go through before each watch is mass produced to make sure colours and materials are right - this helps with opening packages and parts of watch dummies. It does jobs cleanly preventing chipped fingernails!
- Flashlight: NiteIze Inova STS Microlight
This was gifted to me 7 years ago; I only started using it 4 years ago when I started hiking. There is a mode where it flashes; it helps my friend to spot me when we're stuck on the mountains at night. I occasionally use this to charge the lume on my watches. The rubber is disintegrating, but it still works fine. Battery never seems to die out on this one!
- Watch: Seiko Prospex SBDN028 Solar Diver Scuba 200m
I mostly wear a different watch every day, but the Seiko Solar Diver (on a perlon strap) gets a lot of wrist time because it can go from a hike in the wilderness back to the conference room for a meeting! And I don’t have to be worried of it being ruined by the recent unpredictable rains.
- Wallet: Custom Veg-tan Wallet
I believe I’ve had this for 8 years, handmade by a friend. It was originally almost white in colour and it has acquired so much character over the years! I used to clean and oil it regularly - now, there is everything from booze to hand cream all over it.
- Card Holder: BEAMS
Gifted to me 4 years ago; contains the local metro card. A necessity for daily life in Hong Kong. So much more than your wallet because with this single card, you can travel to all corners, buy all sorts of things, and even keep your tummy full! This one is starting to split apart though.
- Key Holder: Custom Brass Holder
This was from a friend; It does help keep the keys quieter and prevents them from cutting into things in my bag. My friend had to drill holes in the keys because the original holes on them were too small! I like how it makes opening doors easier, somewhat acting as a lever.
- Spinner: HogDoggins Naval Brass BallBuster 2 Ball
I recently injured my neck and can’t look down too long at my phone - I got the spinner to kill waiting time and calm me during meetings. It is one of the few spinners in the current market that is visually appealing to me and has multiple fidget points like the lodged carbide balls at both ends, and the curve on the spinner button feels like those you get on a perfect worry stone! The spinning is secondary as I have short fingers and can’t do powerful spins! (Note: My kids do not know I have this, yet.)
- Spinning Coin: "Astronomer" Double Spinning Coin
Honestly, I got this as a gift for my sister but took it out for a spin tryout. It spins well on many surfaces and the details are intricate. Now, it’s mine.
- Pen: Kaweco CLASSIC Sport
I realize I draw and write a lot. Everything is just so much clearer down on pen and paper! I would say that the form and function of the pen body work for me, but the nib needed break-in. Also a good conversation starter - no one seems to know how to use a fountain pen anymore!
- Notebook: Field Notes Pitch Black
Not too happy with Field Notes. They bleed easily and wear down too quickly for my liking. The fibres of the paper also catch on fine fountain pen nibs easily. I actually used Rhodia for more than 10 years and wanted to see what the hype over Field Notes was about. Good for note-taking during Wing Chun, or keeping the kids busy with simple written puzzles but definitely not for serious meetings!
- Pouch: Nahe (A6) General Purpose Case
I have a few of this cases in various sizes for all sorts of daily items. The extra compartments inside and behind are handy! It keeps my stationery organized, and odd bits name cards and memory cards to receipts and stickers. I have also keep a slingshot inside.
- Digital Tracker: TrackR Bravo
The only thing I often lose are my keys - that sucks and staying alone doesn’t help. The TrackR Bravo provides me with a sense of security.
- Shades: Ray-Ban Clubmaster
A gift from myself to myself 10 years ago after obtaining my diploma. I don't think it is common for locals (I was then still in Sunny Singapore) to be spotted with sunglasses; people seem to be immune to the immense heat and light. I wear it a lot because I suffer from thin cornea. I really like the fit and style of this - most of my friends prefer the aviators but I find that fits silly over small Asian faces.
- Measuring Tape: Muji
Bought it 6 years ago, before I started professionally designing watches. I was designing many other products and wanted a lightweight measuring tool by me 24/7. Another surprise that it's still functioning perfectly!
- Whistle: Munkees Slim Whistle Aluminum
One of the older EDC tools in the current rotation - 7 years? The least used EDC, but when you have to bring more than 20 kids out, it works!
- Jacket: Muji Ladies' Organic Denim Jacket
It looks good, feels good, and great for the sudden chilly rains/winds. (Copper hardware patinas well too!)
A lot of my EDC items were gifts, usually from the men in my life - I think the typical girl doesn’t go out hunting for cool EDC gear, but knowing how 'boyish' and unlucky I am, these things were given to me to prepare me for the worst of situations! (Also, I appreciate that quality EDC gear lasts extremely long; I never really needed to go out and buy a replacement unless I lose it!)
Over the years, I rely on them unknowingly, and carry all my EDC gear everywhere, even to the beach. Some of my friends laugh at me for being 'over prepared' even saying things like "You might as well bring your whole house with you!" until of course when they need to borrow something from me..!
My hobbies include hiking, Wing Chun (a form of Chinese martial arts) and volunteering (mostly with kids from needy families). My man is very busy, but we do enjoy spending time doing the usual booze and food alongside good board games and bad movies. Note: He does not approve of blades in my pockets.
Favorite EDC Tool:
I suspect, currently the Big Idea Design Titanium Pocket Tool (TPT).
I have been wearing jeans/pants a lot just so I can hook it on the waist loop (dresses don’t come with waist loops.). Actually, I used to collect penknives (I had many models of the NT cutter!) since school days, but it was shunned upon as carrying a 'knife' out was illegal. (I was born and bred in Singapore.)
I've also had the cutters removed from me when I’m 'out of work' by bosses/co-workers in fear that we would get stopped by law enforcers. I heard it is not cool to be showing off blades in Hong Kong either, but I don’t really care (I swapped out the safety blade immediately upon receiving the TPT.). It is just so light yet reliable that I have to keep it close!
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