Not sure where on earth this simile is going but you get the idea, yo.
Anyway, I’ve been having problems with my vision lately, so I decided it was time to get a new pair of spectacles!
Through recommendations from Togusa, I visited New China Opticians, a shop famous for vintage and quirky frames for those in the know.
I settled for some round frames because my face is rather angular in all the wrong ways, so I figured a round frame would balance it out.
Stole this photo from NCO’s Facebook page. Thanks Wendy!
The shop is, for want of a better word, cluttered, but in all the right ways. This is the closest a Muggle can get to Ollivanders, okay? I apologise for the rather lacklustre photos this time round because I could only snap a few quick shots with my phone.
Frames are stuffed into every nook and cranny, and the kind Uncle Tony (aka the Towkay) let me run free in the shop! So I spent an hour poking through almost everything…
It took about an hour for my spectacles to be ready, and Wendy and Tony kept me entertained the whole time, regaling me with funny anecdotes.
While I was loitering, the shop saw a steady stream of customers, both new and old. It was like everyone was a part of a group or something, strangers striking up conversations over frames and their shared love for something unique.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve met a friendlier optician or a shop that has made me feel so at home.
For those who are interested in the history and people behind NCO, fret not! I have taken the liberty to
harass ask Uncle Tony.
The shop was first set up as a branch of Daming Optical in 1925, but after WWII, the two split ways. Since then, NCO has been passed down a few generations, with Uncle Tony taking over 8 years ago. NCO is no stranger to famous names, with the likes of Bobby Tonelli, Joanne Peh, Rebecca Lim, and even political figures as their loyal customers.
The shop is infused with so much nostalgia, perfect for people who miss the yesteryears. Even the spectacle case and cloth features a print of a mural that has been in the shop since 1995!
The frames are sourced from all over the world, and Uncle Tony says that most of them are “dead stock”, and you probably can’t find them elsewhere.
So, if you’re looking for a pair of reasonably priced yet unique frame, head on down to New China Opticians!
They are located at:
3 Coleman Street, #B1-12 Peninsular Shopping Complex
Singapore, Singapore 179804