In Singapore’s Quest To Be The Best, There Is No Space For Nostalgia



Who wears a watch anymore?

It’s the age of mobile phones. The age of speed. The age of efficiency.


Who cares about some old, colourful buildings with dilapidated shophouses selling outdated items like wristwatches?

Built in 1977, Rochor Centre, with its signature yellow, green, red and blue blocks, is slated to be demolished in September 2016 to make way for the North-South Expressway.

Among the 187 shops that will have to shut down or relocate is Khatena Masood & Sons, watch keepers for over three decades.


Watches are a lost art. Business is not what it used to be.


The gloomy silence is only broken by the conversations the Masood brothers have with their old-time customers. Perhaps it’s a mistake to call them ‘customers’. Friends is a more appropriate term, for they go way back.

Generations of friendships. A mountain of nostalgia.

And it’s all short-lived.

Soon, these last ‘watch keepers’ of Rochor will have to pull down their shutters.


It’s the end of an era, but the Masood brothers are smiling.

Change is inevitable. It’s how you deal with it that defines you.

Watch ‘The Watchmen of Rochor’ by Jeremy Ho (Singapore) on Viddsee:

Just one more! Next, watch this documentary ‘Simi Kopitiam’ about how there’s more than family business at stake in Singaporean classic coffeeshops. There’s also heritage and legacy.

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