Maker’s Watch Knot, hailing from Tokyo’s Kichijoji neighbourhood, achieves the impossible-sounding feat of offering high-quality, made-in-Japan timepieces at affordable prices: watches start at around ¥17,000. The company has direct ties (hence the ‘Knot’ in the brand name) with an assortment of artisan component manufacturers scattered up and down the country. Strap suppliers include the Tochigi Leather tannery while watch casings are sourced from, among others, Fukushima-based metal workshop Hayashi Seiki Seizo.
This ‘gallery store’, located off the boutique- and eatery-lined Nakamichi- dori street, has a chic interior that belies the low price point of its wares. The glass that usually comes between wristwatches and potential buyers is absent; you’re free to pick up and try on anything from the extensive selection. Styles range from elegantly minimal to chunky, dial and gauge-bedecked designs, and personalisation is encouraged at the store. Knot’s ‘custom-made’ option can be performed by customers themselves, with no tools required: simply select a combination of watch and strap, and you’re good to go.