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Thread: Watches in Tokyo

  1. #1

    Watches in Tokyo

    Going back to Tokyo in a couple of weeks. I know a lot of spots for the more mainstream JDM watches (such as Ginza Seiko Boutique, Yodobashi Camera, Jack Road, etc.) but was wondering if there are any micro brands I should have a look at and where, as well as just more unusual watch places. I know it's a long shot, but I'd love to find some used/NOS RXW, especially Plasmir. As with everything in Japan, it's quite impenetrable unless you know exactly where to look, so any pointers would be welcome.

    It's going to be my first time back in 3 years, but I've had some really good purchases there. With the Yen at an all time low I'm quietly optimistic to find some good deals.

  2. #2
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Minase, Naoda Hida, Citizen Chronomaster to name 3

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    Minase, Naoda Hida, Citizen Chronomaster to name 3
    Oh, good shout about Minase. I'd love to see those up close. I know many of the stores listed so that will be easy.

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    Watch shopping in Tokyo remains as good as ever! :-)

    You've named / know a lot of the main spots. Slightly more micro I'd recommend Chrono Theory, which is happily located in Ginza, so pretty central to get to. Another good one is Private Eyes. It's a little out from the centre (take the Mita subway line from Otemachi station out to Nishi-sugamo, then it's about a 10 minute walk). You can search the stock on the website, but it changes, and a great place to poke around.

    As you'll know there's also the usual pawn / secondhand shops that you find all over Shibuya, Shinjuku etc., that are always worth popping in and looking around.

    https://chronotheory.jp/
    https://www.watchnet.co.jp/en/shop.html

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    Oh, another helpful technique is to use Rakuten (use Google Translate if needed), and search for the watches you're interested in, but limit the search to Tokyo. It will show you shops which carry those brands / models, and you can decide from there if worth a visit, how to get there etc.

  6. #6
    Craftsman Caminos's Avatar
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    Post some pictures when you back


    Sent from my iPad using TZ-UK mobile app

  7. #7
    It may not be your taste but I've been to one of their shop in Omotesando while I was there.....


    https://en.knot-designs.com/

  8. #8
    Thank you guys. Much appreciated. It's exactly the kind of info I was hoping for. I'll be there 8 days, so lots of time to hit up a bunch of spots. I tend to go twice a year, but have usually stuck to the usual places I listed above, so would love to expand.

  9. #9
    Craftsman Wyvern971's Avatar
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    If you're looking for new, then a couple of pointers.
    As you're probably aware, most places deduct tax at the counter, make sure you carry your passport with you.
    Not everywhere will price match, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Look up what you're looking for on kakaku.com using a browser with a translation plugin.

    Some second hand stores (not all) will also be able to do tax free, just ask.

    Tax free is pronounced men-ze-i

    Enjoy it, I'm planning a trip out there with some friends next year, but won't be doing watch shopping unless I make a significant cull before I go.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using TZ-UK mobile app

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wyvern971 View Post
    If you're looking for new, then a couple of pointers.
    As you're probably aware, most places deduct tax at the counter, make sure you carry your passport with you.
    Not everywhere will price match, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Look up what you're looking for on kakaku.com using a browser with a translation plugin.

    Some second hand stores (not all) will also be able to do tax free, just ask.

    Tax free is pronounced men-ze-i

    Enjoy it, I'm planning a trip out there with some friends next year, but won't be doing watch shopping unless I make a significant cull before I go.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using TZ-UK mobile app
    I am well acquainted with tax free shopping! Didn't know what it was called in Japanese though. I love shopping in Japan. I mostly shop for toys, but every couple of years I come across a Seiko I can't pass up.

  11. #11
    Thought to update this for anyone interested as I just returned from Tokyo.

    I didn't take any photos in watch shops as it's a bit of a no-no in Japan, with "no photo" signs everywhere. For some reason they are really not happy with having photos taken of stock in shops, which I have always found a bit perplexing.

    Anyhow, it was an amazing trip with Japan fully welcoming tourists back with open arms. Extremely low Yen made it particularly great. In the end I only bought a G-shock for myself and a friend, but I got a Corum Bubble Bats Auto for my wife as she loved it and the price was good (£1400 new). I did go to quite a few shops though, Jack Road again impressing the most with really good prices. They seem to have shifted away from used watches and now mostly stock new, but pre-registered. I am not sure how it works, most watches are new, but with guarantees filled out by the AD starting usually a few weeks or months prior, with JR then adding 3 years of their own guarantee. They carry everything from Seiko 5 to Patek to some really extreme diamond monstrosities, so it's really exciting to see a huge range all in one spot. There was a guy next to us buying 6 different high-end watches. Their prices really were excellent as there was also a Black Friday thing going on with a lot of them, so that Corum was about £2200 (UK rrp is £4000), but with the discount it was almost impossible to refuse.

    Seiko have had a reshuffle in Ginza. Now they have a dedicated museum just around the corned from their iconic building as well as a standalone boutique for Seiko (not GS), but then only s few steps away is their famous building with the clock which carries everything from Seiko Presage an up. The ground floor is an interesting mix of their own stuff, GS taking pride of place, and a select number of other brands with their own counters (Panerai was one, but the rest I can't remember, I was there for Seiko). The watch that really stole my attention was the GS Godzilla. I couldn't stop going back to it, but in the end talked myself out of it even though it would've been about £3k less than in the UK.

    The second floor has a display of the historic GS reissues as well as a Credor area and then a big customisation area where you can spec your own GS out of a range of options. There is also a large display of jewellery by a single brand, which makes me think it's Seiko owned.

    Yodobashi Camera was a bit of a disappointment as they had mostly just run of the mill models at ordinary prices. The most extraordinary thing was that they had some used Rolex for ridiculous prices, £60k+ for sports models. It's really strange as Yodobashi is a discount electronics retailer, I've never seen anything else used there. But Rolex market in Japan seems to be super hot and completely removed from all other brands. Tudor seems to be making a massive push there too with standalone boutiques and areas within department stores.

  12. #12
    Craftsman leo1790's Avatar
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    @adigra Nice read, thanks.
    Japan's been on our list for a while and our youngest (and myself) really want to experience Tokyo, so it's nice to hear there are some good watch places to visit.
    The Godzilla's my favourite Grand Seiko of all.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update Adi - interesting!.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  14. #14
    Master 50kopek's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for the update. Sounds like you had a good time. Got me excited as it looks like I’ll be going to Tokyo next spring. Would you happen to know if there are specific places of interest to go for someone who’s mostly into vintage (Grand) Seiko?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by 50kopek View Post
    Thanks a lot for the update. Sounds like you had a good time. Got me excited as it looks like I’ll be going to Tokyo next spring. Would you happen to know if there are specific places of interest to go for someone who’s mostly into vintage (Grand) Seiko?
    I think I would start with Nakano Broadway. That's where Jack Road is, but also another 10 or so various dedicated watch shops as well as numerous others which carry used watches along with other stuff. Traditionally Nakano Broadway has always been about toys and other manga related collectables, but over the last 6 or 7 years there has been a large influx of watch shops.

    There is one where my friend wanted to buy some vintage beer coasters, but under the glass counter top they had a few vintage Rolex and Grand Seiko. One of the great things about Tokyo is this juxtaposition of really cheap and really expensive goods side by side.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by leo1790 View Post
    @adigra Nice read, thanks.
    Japan's been on our list for a while and our youngest (and myself) really want to experience Tokyo, so it's nice to hear there are some good watch places to visit.
    The Godzilla's my favourite Grand Seiko of all.
    Tokyo is by far my favourite city to visit. Seems daunting at first, but it's actually really approachable. As it happened, this was my 10th visit there in the last 10 years and I still can't speak more than a few words.

    Even my wife was completely taken by the Godzilla GS. The strap alone is a work of art.

  17. #17
    Master 50kopek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adigra View Post
    I think I would start with Nakano Broadway. That's where Jack Road is, but also another 10 or so various dedicated watch shops as well as numerous others which carry used watches along with other stuff. Traditionally Nakano Broadway has always been about toys and other manga related collectables, but over the last 6 or 7 years there has been a large influx of watch shops.

    There is one where my friend wanted to buy some vintage beer coasters, but under the glass counter top they had a few vintage Rolex and Grand Seiko. One of the great things about Tokyo is this juxtaposition of really cheap and really expensive goods side by side.
    Thanks very much!

  18. #18
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adigra View Post
    Tokyo is by far my favourite city to visit. Seems daunting at first, but it's actually really approachable. As it happened, this was my 10th visit there in the last 10 years and I still can't speak more than a few words.

    Even my wife was completely taken by the Godzilla GS. The strap alone is a work of art.
    I used to own the Godzilla. What's amazing about it is that whilst it is a chunky watch and looks like it'd weigh a lot, because it is Ti it is very light and you don't notice it on the wrist

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    I used to own the Godzilla. What's amazing about it is that whilst it is a chunky watch and looks like it'd weigh a lot, because it is Ti it is very light and you don't notice it on the wrist
    I have a Ti spring drive Tuna which is also massive, but very light and comfortable. I have a feeling I will regret not buying the Godzilla as I doubt I'll ever find it cheaper. Had I not spent a similar amount on a Panerai in July, I would've convinced myself to get it, but it just felt too impulsive this time.

  20. #20
    Master
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    Unfortunately i only discovered this thread now but i’m currently in Tokyo and i know the guys at Chronotheory, there is now a showroom for Kurono Tokyo if that’s your thing. Ueno has a few hidden gems, and the. for vintage there is Shellman as well.

  21. #21
    I'm going back in May most likely, to Osaka and Tokyo again, so any knowledge is good.

    Oh forgot to say that I was a guest of a comic-con and Seiko were a sponsor there, so they gifted all guests watches. Not something I'd wear, but a nice memento, Tokyo Comic Con special edition printed on the dial. It'll join countless other sentimental pieces of tat I have all over my studio.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Are prices really interesting, like for a bracelet for a GS? Asking for a friend whose wife’s travelling to Tokyo in the new year… lol
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  23. #23
    Master
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    I think the prices are quite low VS GBP or USD msrp. Just note however that if you buy a GS in Japan it allows you to join the GS9 club in Japan but doesn’t qualify you for GS9 Club USA for example.

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