By now we’ve established effectively sufficient that the world of watchmaking is much from restricted to Switzerland, and even Europe. Properly past the Swiss borders, there’s loads of wonderful stuff to be found. And despite the fact that we’ve got a seasoned workforce of editors, we generally get hit by huge surprises. Like Kikuchi Nakagawa, a watchmaking duo from Japan, who we’ve by no means lined earlier than however lately stumbled upon on Instagram. It’s not even the very fact there’s a wholly new watch both, however extra concerning the discovery and the starvation for extra that adopted. What struck us proper off the bat is the insane consideration to element within the ending, utilizing conventional craftsmanship to raise a watch far past an instrument to inform time.
I’ll undergo the fundamentals first earlier than I uncover the splendour of the watches. Kikuchi Nakagawa is an unbiased watchmaking firm from Japan, based in 2018 by Yusuki Kikuchi and Tomonari Nakagawa. Each males are skilled watchmakers however had a special path resulting in it.
Yusuki Kikuchi graduated in structure from Tokyo College and labored as a home software program vendor earlier than fully altering his life to turn out to be a watchmaker. Tomonari Nakagawa was skilled as a swordsmith, one thing vastly essential to Japanese tradition, previous to pursuing a profession in watchmaking as effectively.
Becoming a member of forces to kind Kikuchi Nakagawa in 2018, the 2 males have a transparent deal with what they wish to do. When going by means of the knowledge on their web site, they are saying they’ve two contradictory beliefs;
- Extracting the summary facet from the metallic and pursuing the artwork of metallic past the traits of its performance;
- Making an genuine watch as a software that has the operate to point the time as an extension of the Thirties-Nineteen Fifties, the golden age of mechanical wristwatches;
So in essence, they wish to bond metallurgical artwork with precision timekeeping, and classic aptitude. And what does that equate to? Properly, the Murakumo and Ichimonji collections, that are merely put; gorgeous! These watches need to be seen within the metallic to be totally appreciated, I’m certain. It’s not merely about going by means of all of the specs and seeing each have a 36.8mm extensive metal case, or that it makes use of an off-the-shelf motion. It’s about far more than that, as to me, that is about pure ardour and devotion by a person. Properly, two on this case, however you get the concept.
And don’t let the very fact not all components are made in-house deter you. I’ve seen many occasions earlier than that utilizing the absolute best companions within the business can yield higher outcomes than mindlessly making an attempt to do every thing your self. The dials and actions come from Switzerland, for example. The instances, palms and straps are made in Japan by specialist corporations, however every thing is completed, assembled, and examined in-house. And that’s when the Murakumo and Ichimonji begin to turn out to be greater than the sum of their elements.
The Murakumo radiates that unmistakable Calatrava model, with a slim and modestly sized, simple-looking case and a comparatively massive lug width. It’s clearly referenced to the Patek Philippe ref. 96, which isn’t any disgrace in any respect. All the case, together with the strong caseback, is black polished by hand, a method usually used on motion elements solely. The identical goes for the spade and whip palms, which replicate gentle in really exceptional methods.
Because of the sculpted form of the spade hour hand, you get streaks of brightly mirrored gentle battling with pitch-black surfaces in a dramatic manner. Mixed with a finely grained, matte black or white dial with white or black printed Breguet numerals, the distinction is totally marvellous. The ending touches to me are the massive recessed subdial for the seconds and the sharp minute monitor on the skin, signature components of the Calatrava model of watchmaking.
Kikuchi Nakagawa’s second watch, the Ichimonji, once more attracts upon the basic codes of a time-only watch however in a barely extra fashionable manner. The form of the case is slightly bit completely different because the lugs are positioned nearer collectively and are shortened a contact. The black sharpening of the case is mixed with a hand-applied hairline brushing on the caseband. General this offers the watch a really good-looking, but barely extra modern attraction.
The dial is sharper as effectively, with a extra fashionable font and easier palms. Easy at first look that’s, as as soon as once more Kikuchi Nakagawa put a substantial amount of labour into each. The baton palms have a 3D profile, with a fantastic brushing on prime and mirror-polished bevels. The Ichimonji is once more all about ending, and creating distinction, to an excessive stage. And that’s precisely why I felt compelled to make you a part of Kikuchi Nakagawa’s craft.
Each watches use a Vaucher 5401 micro-rotor motion, hidden beneath a strong caseback. That is maybe the one level of debate for me, as I discover it a little bit of a disgrace to cover such a motion, regardless of Kikuchi Nakagawa’s philosophy. It does its job completely fantastic, nevertheless, and its slim building permits Kikuchi Nakagawa to maintain these watches effectively inside the Calatrava codes of design.
One different factor that took me a second to course of is the value for every of those stellar wanting items. The Murakumo is priced at USD 21,000 excluding taxes, and the Ichimonji prices USD 20,300 excluding taxes. That’s some critical money for a time-only watch, however I really feel it’s justified given the quantity of element and ending put into each. In all honesty, I’m very comfortable there are nonetheless individuals round to take the artwork of watchmaking to this stage. It makes the entire business a greater place for me, and little question numerous you. Now solely to recover from that 60 to 66 month supply time…
For extra data, please go to Kikuchi-Nakagawa.com