GINZA SIX EDITORS
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I will spell out how to enjoy walking.
A Home to Exclusive Watch Stores That Offer Experiences Available Nowhere Else A Home to Exclusive Watch Stores That Offer Experiences Available Nowhere Else
GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.51
Ginza is a rare "watch town" in the world. There are also luxury maisons and watch brand boutiques, regular watch shops that collect only masterpieces, and also antique watch shops. There is nothing to do with the clock, but GINZA SIX is a bit different. Because there is a unique watch shop where you can enjoy the time. It is said that the world is shifting from monoconsumption to things consumption, but GINZA SIX can get both "things" and "things".
Well, the first thing to visit is the 6th floor. Speaking of the 6th floor, it is familiar at "Ginza Tsutaya Shoten", but watch enthusiasts head to that end. "RICHARD MILLE LIFESTYLE LABORATORY" in a bookstore is a promotion store for Richard Mille, an ultra-thin watch brand that only manufactures tens of millions of yen-class watches. It is not a "store" but a watch, but a world's only spot that presents events and activities related to Richard Mille's only spot.
Richard Mille has become a "family" with athletes who play an active part in tennis, athletics, F1, golf, etc., and also supports car events and contemporary art. The role of this "Lifestyle Laboratories" is to inform such a wide range of activities. On the day of the interview, the organizer and the main sponsor, the classic car race "Le Man Classic", was displayed. This event started when Richard Mille, the brand founder, started an event when he was a world-class classic car collector. I have visited my home in France, but dozens of famous cars were in the renovated garage. The most surprising thing was the episode of going to buy bread in the neighborhood with a super famous car, Luncha Stratos. I remembered hearing a super high-end story that the helmet box on the door was just right for the bagget box.
By the way, this exhibition will be changed to golf in a few days. The best way to know the brand's momentum and the forefront of its activities is to check here. And if you want a watch, go to two boutiques nearby! . (Some people really bought it that way.)
Next, return to the first floor and go to "CITIZEN FLAGSHIP STORE TOKYO". The store is located at the intersection of Mihara-dori and Kojunsha-dori, and is a layout that cannot be accessed directly from the museum. However, thanks to that, the spacious store has a calm atmosphere, and it is a great advantage to be able to receive a relaxed clock explanation.
Here, not only the Citizen brand but also overseas watch brands under its umbrella are being developed. In fact, the Citizen Group is promoting globalization and handles a wide range of watches, including leading Switzerland and the United States.
Among them, "Arnold & Sun" is attracting attention. This is actually the only brand boutique in the world. The brand's roots are located in the United Kingdom at the end of the 18th century, inheriting the know-how of clock making established by the watchman John Arnold and his son who successfully mass-produced marine high-precision watches for ships.
A feature other than Arnold ＆'s other feature is that one movement is used for one model. Therefore, the mechanism and the design are perfectly linked. This kind of detail is a watchmania. In addition, since it is a rare product that produces only 700 to 800 bottles a year, it is a very valuable experience to be able to pick it up and appreciate it in this way.
This is this year's new Globe Trotter (\1,780,000 * All + tax. A mechanism in which a hemispherical globe goes around in 24 hours and displays the current time around the world. You can enjoy unique and original mechanisms.
Go up to the second floor on the escalator next to Citizen, and finally go to "FRANCK MULLER GENEVE". Frankmuller is a "glamorous watch brand" for those who are not very familiar with watches, and for watch enthusiasts it is an impression of "a talented person who has created many complex mechanisms". But for me, "the brand that enjoys time." It is a brand with a positive philosophy of enjoying the flowing time, such as jumping the needle, stopping the needle, incorporating the roulette, and singing life.
What you want to see here is the corner of the home collection "Franc Muller Future Form" at the back of the boutique.
In fact, Frankmuller is also focusing on home collections that expand the philosophy of "enjoying time" and enhance relaxing time at home. You can buy it online, but you can see the full collection here. This is the only one in the world.
The motif is based on the Vian number used for the watch index, so everyone can see that it is "Franc Muller". That's why the demand for gifts is very popular. I was just looking for a celebration for a friend I recently married, so I checked my champagne glass (\17,000). The figures are processed with sandblasts.
Of course, the watch is full of men's and lady's models. However, it also displays super expensive complex watches that are not found in ordinary watch shops.
By the way, the Gigatour Cyon I saw this time was 31 million yen! ! Toolbyon is a mechanism that rotates the whole group of parts called degressors to cancel the effects of gravity, and many people are absorbed in the movement. Moreover, this model is designed with a full structure of skeleton, making it extremely difficult to design, manufacture and assemble. Seeing these rare watches is also a special experience. By the way, these level clocks are said to serve customers in the back VIP room, so they enter the VIP room for coverage. We also had special Marron Grasse and champagne.
Finally, shop at the attached Frank Muller Patissley. You will be pleased if you bring this to the interviewer as an accessory.
The mechanical clock, which reproduces the concept of "time" born from the sun and the moon with gears and springs, was the highest machine created by humanity. Therefore, there is a pleasure not only to enjoy fashion but also to know. GINZA SIX is a place that satisfies intellectual clock curiosity, "What is time?" I will tell you the answer.
Text: Tetsuo Shinoda Photos: Yoshinori Eto Edit: Yuka Okada
Ginza is among the world’s rare watch districts. In addition to luxury maisons and brand boutiques, it’s home to official watch retailers who carry the finest timepieces and stores renowned for antique watches. While the district itself offers every kind of watch imaginable, GINZA SIX has a different flavor: It’s home to unique watch stores that choose to emphasize timepieces as experience and enjoyment. The world is said to be shifting from the consumption of things to the consumption of experiences. GINZA SIX offers both.
The first store I visit is located on the sixth floor, where the renowned Ginza Tsutaya Books is located. Watch aficionados will make a beeline to one particular part of this bookstore, the RICHARD MILLE LIFESTYLE LABORATORY. Richard Mille is a high-end watch brand that produces exclusively timepieces priced in the tens of millions of yen. This store is a promotional location for the brand; it’s not an actual store, as such, selling watches. Rather, it’s the only place anywhere dedicated to announcing Richard Mille events and activities around the world.
Richard Mille’s sponsorships in sports like tennis, athletics, F1, and golf are characterized by the concept of family relationship with athletes. The brand also promotes automotive events and modern art. The role of the Lifestyle Laboratory is to spread the word about the brand’s diverse activities in these and other spheres. On the day of my visit, I see a display for the Le Mans Classic, a classic car race hosted by the brand and for which it serves as the principal sponsor. The event goes back to M. Richard Mille, the founder of the brand and a world-renowned collector of classic cars. I’ve actually visited his home in France, where he has several dozen famous cars stored in barn converted into a garage. Perhaps what surprised me most was that he drove a Lancia Stratos, a really well-known car, to go buy bread. The helmet box in the door, he remarked, had the perfect dimensions for storing a baguette. The luxury and exclusiveness of this lifestyle stunned me.
This display, apparently, was scheduled to give way to one on golf in a few days. This is the ideal place to get a feel for the brand’s energy and the frontlines of its activities. If you should actually want to buy a watch, you can head to the two boutiques nearby (I heard some have actually purchased a watch in this way.)
My next stop is the CITIZEN FLAGSHIP STORE TOKYO, back on the first floor. The store is located at the intersection of Mihara Street and Kojunsha Street. Its layout is such that it can’t be accessed directly from inside GINZA SIX. But this actually gives the spacious store a relaxed atmosphere. A big draw of this location is that visitors are welcome to get leisurely accounts of the watches.
The store sells not just Citizen-branded watches, but foreign watch brands owned by the company. Growing increasingly global, the Citizen Group in fact offers a wide range of watches, including well-respected Swiss and American brands.
What catches my eye is Arnold & Son. In fact, this is the marque’s only brand boutique in the world. With roots in England at the end of the 18th century, the brand inherits the watch-making knowhow acquired by John Arnold and his son, who established a lucrative enterprise mass-producing high-precision maritime watches for use on board ships.
A unique characteristic of Arnold & Son is that each model has its own specially-designed movement. The mechanism and design are in perfect harmony. My love for details like this is what makes me a devoted timepiece fan. And because the watches are rare, with only 700-800 produced each year, the opportunity to handle and examine them in this way is priceless.
This is the Globetrotter, a new product for this year (1,780,000 yen; all prices listed before tax). It features a half-globe that rotates once every 24 hours and displays the current time at different locations around the world. It incorporates a unique and creative mechanism. It’s really satisfying.
I take the elevator next to Citizen to the second floor to my final destination: FRANCK MULLER GENEVE. Among those who don’t know that much about watches, Franck Muller is known as a watch brand associated with exquisite designs. For watch enthusiasts, the brand is known for its numerous complications. For me, it’s a brand that lets me enjoy time. On certain watches, the hands jump or stop. Others replicate a roulette wheel. The brand is based on a positive philosophy: to mark and enjoy the passage of time and to celebrate life.
Here I’d like to draw your attention to the home collection corner (Franck Muller Future Form) at the back of the store.
Franck Muller promotes its philosophy of enjoying time while focusing on its home collection (a range of products for use in the home) as a means of enhancing time spent relaxing at home. The products can also be purchased online, but here you can view almost the entire collection. It’s the only place anywhere in the world where you can do so.
The items feature the iconic Byzantine numerals featured on the watches, allowing anyone to tell they’re from Franck Muller. This is apparently also making them popular gifts. Since I’m on the lookout for something to give to a friend who just got married, I checked out this champagne glass (17,000 yen). The numerals are sandblasted into the glass.
There are, of course, many men’s and ladies’ watches here. But also on display are valuable watches of complications you would never encounter at an ordinary watch store.
This Giga Tourbillon I spot sells for a cool 31 million yen! The Tourbillon mechanism involves the revolution of all the escapement parts to cancel out the effects of gravity, something quite a few people find endlessly fascinating. This model is of the skeleton type, in which the entire movement is visible, a design choice that makes production and assembly incredibly challenging. A glimpse of such a rare watch is yet another special experience. Handling watches at this stratospheric level takes place in a VIP room at the back. I take advantage of the perks of being on assignment to take a look inside this VIP room, where I’m served the brand’s famous marrons glacés and champagne.
At the end of my visit, I did some shopping at the Franck Muller patisserie, which is attached to the store. I will give what I buy as a gift for the people I meet for business purposes, much to their delight, as always.
Mechanical watches use gears and springs to track the passage of time, the sense of which emerges for us from the movements of the sun and the moon. They are perhaps the most important devices devised by humankind and provide enjoyment not just as fashion articles, but as a source of knowledge. GINZA SIX is the place to go to satisfy intellectual curiosity about timepieces—a place to find still more answers to the question, “What is time?”
Text: Tetsuo Shinoda Photos: Yoshinori Eto Edit: Yuka Okada
Became independent after working at Kodansha’s Hot Dog PRESS, a magazine once described as the “boy’s bible.” He plans and pens watch-related articles for more than 40 publications, including specialist watch magazines, fashion magazines, and business magazines. Having completed a program at a vocational school for watches, he brings extensive technical knowledge to his stories. He travels to Switzerland several times a year to report on watch developments. He is the author of the book, Why Successful People Love Hublot Watches.GINZASIX_OFFICIAL Instagram