JAPAN : Watch trip of a rambling enthusiast

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JAPAN : Watch trip of a rambling enthusiast

Postby koimaster » March 26th 2018, 9:17am

DISCLAIMER: These are merely the ramblings of one watch enthusiast, and all views expressed are his personal ones. Not everything is discussed in detail; these are a collection of what made the biggest impression on the author.

Tokyo and Hong Kong are places that are synonymous with watch enthusiasts and are filled with what Chairman of renowned Japanese watch retailer Shellman Mr Yoshi describes as ‘insane collectors’. As such they are two of the most popular destinations for WISes to head when they want to see rarer watches that are not available at home.

I began my short trip at Tokyo’s Narita airport where I immediately started musing about a possible connection between the population’s efficient and structured mindset and their penchant towards collecting these small and fine mechanical machines. I also pondered about whether due to smaller dwelling sizes of metropolitan Tokyo, it would naturally make sense that they would shift more of their disposable income towards smaller more collectible items.

But philosophical meanderings aside, Tokyo definitely proved to the perfect place for any WIS.

My first stop was Seiko’s flagship department store Wako, as it is also one of the first watch shops in Ginza to open on the weekends.

Upon entering you immediately see endless counters and counters of watches all with Seiko labelled back drops. Almost half of the ground floor is reserved for Seiko’s sub-brands such as Grand Seiko, Galante and Credor as well as Seiko’s more ‘ordinary’ lines; the other half is occupied by more familiar German and Swiss offerings such as Glashütte and Vacheron Constantin.

One thing that more Japanese-centric enthusiasts will notice is the huge variety of Grand Seiko special and limited editions available at Wako, with almost endless dial and case combinations as well as a complete line up of GS pieces from the crowd favourite ‘Snowflake’ (SBGA011) to the rarer chronograph models (SBGB003/ SBGB001) as well as Japan Domestic Market (JDM) exclusive special coloured versions.

As well as these, there is something special : a small glass display with Japan’s independent watchmaker: Mr Hajime Asaoka’s tourbillon piece. This was a piece that surprised me, as I had very high expectations, and it certainly involved a lot of workmanship.

Some brief background information on Asaoka reveals why this piece is such a landmark in watchmaking – it appears that he has not received any formal watchmaking training but that he has been self-taught through his reading of George Daniels’ definitive ‘Watchmaking’.

https://horologium.com.au/2016/02/24/ja ... nthusiast/
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Re: JAPAN : Watch trip of a rambling enthusiast

Postby artman » March 26th 2018, 3:16pm

Those hoity-toity boutiques in Ginza are cool when you're all dressed up and want to act like a pretentious rich fucker, but I prefer the top floors of Bic Camera, Don Quijote and such.
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Re: JAPAN : Watch trip of a rambling enthusiast

Postby biglove » March 26th 2018, 4:06pm

Salivating over here. And wishing I could win the Powerball.
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