GANE is about old school cool automatic timepieces. As a lover of everything old school, I hope to convey this through the design of GANE Watches.
My name is Raymond and I grew up in Malaysia loving art; playing the guitar, piano and drums; painting and doing photography. I started photographing watches in 2018 and it fueled my passion in horology design ever since. I feel so grateful and honored to be able to express myself artistically through the launch of GANE Automatic Watches. I had the privilege of producing this entire website - every word, photo, drawing and video - and it gave me so much joy in the creative development process.
My design philosophy is based on timeless aesthetics with vintage cues, unique and intentional design, while making artistic and functional sense. True to the Japanese word Hagane (pronounced ‘hah-gah-neh’), my automatic timepieces center around brushed steel metalwork, an area I am both enamoured by and intrigued with. I feel that brushing brings out the essence and the perfect look of steel, while keeping it robust against scratches, wear and tear. It is the most beautiful method of texturing the steel surface.
The other main design language came from my observation of clocks. I derived so much inspiration from exploring clock designs, where there is an abundance of culture and history. I was blown away by a Japanese clock design that emphasizes minimalism and the use of light to tell the time. I am first a watch enthusiast and second, a watch designer. I have picked up beautiful, subtle design cues over time and combined them in a package that I hope will bring you as much joy as it does to me.
Lastly, I had to finish the look with something classy with the satinized, five-link 316L solid stainless steel bracelet with a quick release function, consistent with the brushed case; or a more radical, edgy, high quality 4mm thick-cut European-made leather strap, with a quick-release function to make strap changes easy. There is nothing like a finely crafted, distressed leather on a cold, brushed steel.
Let me first tackle the two elephants in the room.
Firstly, I intend to bring exceptional quality to watch enthusiasts. I feel strongly that high-level finishing forms an important part of a watch enthusiast's experience. Hence, I formed a partnership with a trusted company from Switzerland, a member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH, to manage the execution of the watch project. Our watch cases are manufactured using medical/marine grade 316L stainless steel with solid, boxed sapphire crystal lens.
Secondly, we brought in a reliable, easily serviceable automatic movement while keeping it cost effective. Hence, we chose the Citizen Miyota automatic heartbeat from Japan. This movement is easily serviceable at low cost in your own location without the need to send it overseas. Every single watch is tested for function and autonomy in Switzerland.
With these bases covered, I started the design process and ended with the Type C - C being the starting note of the musical scale - as my first launch. It represents my observation of a gap in current watch offerings, and ticks all the boxes in a watch that I hope you will be as excited about as I am.
I opted for a closed caseback so that I can design something meaningful from scratch. While I was looking for design ideas from the natural elements, land animals and sea creatures, I realized I was searching for aesthetics rather than meaning. I decided to hand-sketch a caseback design based on a tribute to someone very important to me; my late mum, Justilla.
Her name means fairness, and she brought up me and my siblings with both fairness and love. Therefore, I drew a scale that measures all children fairly, as they represent our future. The scale is integrated into a lampstand which represents illumination and knowledge, as well as due to my mum's love for beautiful lamps.