What Makes a Watch Truly Japanese?

Asian Made & Swiss Asian watches

What Makes a Watch Truly Japanese?

Postby koimaster » June 5th 2017, 9:49am

ABOUT 50 YEARS after watchmaking started in Geneva, and nearly 100 years before Daniel Jeanrichard introduced watchmaking to the Swiss Jura, Jesuit missionaries established a vocational school in Nagasaki. It was 1600, and the school taught the Western crafts of making watches and clocks, organs and astronomical equipment.

Despite sakoku, the Japanese isolationist policy that began soon after, in the mid-1630s, the school remained open, minus the missionaries—and spawned others. Mechanical watchmaking and clockmaking blossomed. There was, however, a crucial difference to Western practice, and that was Japan’s system of timekeeping.

The Japanese day was divided into two periods: day and night, determined by the times of sunrise and sunset. The day and night were split into six periods each. As the length of the day and the night varied during the year, so did the length of each of the six periods. In summer, the day periods were longer and the night periods shorter. The reverse happened during winter. Japanese makers met the challenges of this system by devising clocks, called wadokei, with a different escapement for the day and night periods. Makers also invented mechanisms for the Japanese lunar calendar, and then added chimes and alarms.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-makes ... 1490273922


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Re: What Makes a Watch Truly Japanese?

Postby bedlam » June 5th 2017, 11:40pm

Interesting...had no idea about the day vs evening timing in Japan
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