Eight years ago, Colin Chen started The General Co, a pioneering collective of local artisans, in order to promote the craft scene here in Singapore. The entrepreneur and trained leatherworker shares, “The hope is that with the The General Co, we will be able to introduce more appreciation for the processes that create the products that we love, and hopefully, make ‘Made in Singapore’ a cool thing.”

Aside from providing support to local makers and running craft and design workshops under The General Co, Chen also juggles several personal projects. Most recently, he launched Grams, a line of sustainable homeware. Made from an eco-resin called Jesmonite, the plates and trays are crafted in small batches, and have a special defining trait: If they happen to get chipped or damaged, they can be easily restored or recycled to be made into new pieces altogether.

(Related: How a round-the-world trip helped Colin Chen to reassess his priorities in life.)


The serial entrepreneur is also a co-founder of The Refinery, a three-storey multi-concept space that includes a restaurant serving modern Japanese fare. Even though it might seem like a departure from his work with The General Co, these ventures, says Chen, are all intended to serve the same end: To bring together talents from all fields, be it woodworking or the culinary arts, and elevate artisanal crafts here on our shores.

On his wrist

In the video, Chen wears the Longines Spirit watch, a 42mm steel timepiece that is part of a new collection by Longines. Inspired by famous pioneers and explorers associated with the brand, the range includes time-and-date automatic models (40mm or 42mm) as well as a chronograph (42mm), and are all powered by COSC-certified self-winding movements. Learn more about the watches here.

Longines Spirit 42mm