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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tokyo watch shopping
A short recount of my recent trip to Tokyo.
I just got home from Japan yesterday after a fascinating holiday with some watch buying thrown in. Originally, I was intending to buy some vintage Seikos and began hunting for suitable shops in the Tokyo Area. I also posted on here asking for advice and found this to be a great help. I looked at my budget, the amount of time I had and the geographical location of the shops and narrowed down the shops to Lemon and Watch CTI in Ginza (both easily found with any internet search engine). However, after some careful consideration I decided that at this time, I was going to put my vintage watch collecting on hold and purchase a new watch instead. Bic Camera on Ginza seemed to have a wide selection and some of the best prices in town, with a further 5% discount if you paid by Visa (Akihabara is overrated IMHO) so I duly made my way there on the day. I was staggered by the sheer amounts of watches on display. You name it, they had it. There was none of this fancy exclusive watch boutique nonsense that the Swiss brands seem to need to justify charging four times the price for a watch no better than a good Japanese one. The displays were clean, tidy and comprehensive. Anyway, here are some pics to illustrate my point. Please enjoy the pics, with captions underneath each pic:
Retail Supermarket Shopping Building Customer
This is a general view of the floor dedicated to watches, clocks, glasses and luggage. This pic represents about one eighth of the total area devoted to watches. Note the Ricoh brochure on the counter – I thought they stopped making watches a long time ago. I didn’t notice this until I got home, so I didn’t actually look at any Ricoh watches. You would need about 4 hours to properly look at everything – something I didn’t have as I had a family in tow.
Electronics Product Building Outlet store Retail
Casio Pro Trek in the foreground. In the center is the Grand Seiko counter. Off to the left behind it is the Orient Star counter.
Electronics Product Building Customer Retail
Seiko and Citizen counters, with an Orient Star cabinet in the background.
Product Retail Customer Building Supermarket
As you can see, the amount of watches on display was staggering. There were staff everywhere and they were very helpful, as is typical with Japanese shop assistants. Their standard of service make us look like gorillas (in Sydney and Auckland, mainly. I can’t comment about anywhere else). The guy in the glasses sold me my Seiko SARB017. Review to come in another thread.
Selling Market Marketplace Convenience store Supermarket
This speaks for itself. A vast range of clocks, all Seiko and Citizen. Note the amount of watches in the Omega display cabinet.
Supermarket Retail Aisle Convenience store Building
Need a strap? You’ve come to the right place! Yes, they are all straps. Every conceivable colour, material and type is available here, along with deployant clasps. At the back wall is the start of the cheap and disposable watches section.
So there you have it - just one of many shops in Tokyo. IN fact, this one isn't even the biggest, and by most of our standards it's already enormous. I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked there. Next time I will go alone and have no other plans for the day. If you are planning an overseas holiday, then I can strongly recommend visiting Japan. Watches aside, it's a fascinating place.
 

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Thanks for the post !! Looks like you will be visiting again :D !!
 

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Great post! Thanks.

Yep, definitely on the list of "Things to do before I die".......
 

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Thanks for the photo tour of the watch shop. As Jimmy said in his post (above), I could spend days in there just looking at the watches and clocks.
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank guys. One thing to note is that while cheaper, it's not that much cheaper. You would be disappointed if you went there expecting to pick up an expensive diver for a bargain price. Being able to see every watch you loved but had only read about on the internet within the space of ten minutes is certainly an experience!
 

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Thats just amazing, definitely a shopping trip without the family.:clap::clap::67:
 

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Thanks for the photos, I am sure you had a great trip.

I have purchased a couple of watches from the Bic Ginza store and as you say the staff there are excellent as you come to expect in Japan. I personally prefer the range at the Shinjuku Yodobashi store but it is hard to go wrong with any of the major stores there.

Look forward to seeing your review of your purchases.
 

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Was there a

Good size Grand Seiko display area ?
And also the Diver section ?

Were you allowed to take display case pictures ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Longbike,

Good size Grand Seiko display area ?
The GS display was mainly confined to the display cabinet you see in the photo, and also a tall standing cabinet.
And also the Diver section ?
Well this is awkward - I knew this question was coming. I am part of the tiny minority here who neither wear nor collect divers watches, so I didn't really pay much attention to them. AFAIK there wasn't a divers section as such, it was more a case of divers watches being among the individual brands. So some Seiko divers on one of the cabinets, Citizens amongst the other Citizen watches etc.. Sorry I can't give much more information than that.

Were you allowed to take display case pictures ?
Yes, but as I found when trying to take display case photos in the Seiko Museum (review to come) it can be difficult to get satisfactory results. You need to manual focus the camera, and often there isn't enough light so you need to use the flash. The it reflects off the cabinet glass and you are back to where you started. I had been at the Museum earlier that day and had average results taking photos of cabinets so I didn't really bother in the shop.
 

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that is amazing and great pics...
 

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Hey thanks for the reply, sounds great.

Hi Longbike,



The GS display was mainly confined to the display cabinet you see in the photo, and also a tall standing cabinet.


Well this is awkward - I knew this question was coming. I am part of the tiny minority here who neither wear nor collect divers watches, so I didn't really pay much attention to them. AFAIK there wasn't a divers section as such, it was more a case of divers watches being among the individual brands. So some Seiko divers on one of the cabinets, Citizens amongst the other Citizen watches etc.. Sorry I can't give much more information than that.


Yes, but as I found when trying to take display case photos in the Seiko Museum (review to come) it can be difficult to get satisfactory results. You need to manual focus the camera, and often there isn't enough light so you need to use the flash. The it reflects off the cabinet glass and you are back to where you started. I had been at the Museum earlier that day and had average results taking photos of cabinets so I didn't really bother in the shop.
So you were busy tending too and still trying to get focused on the
watchs and everything else. That's what counted and you got that done
too , look at those photos they speak very loud.
Thank you very much :10::goodjob::13:
 

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Yes, but as I found when trying to take display case photos in the Seiko Museum (review to come) it can be difficult to get satisfactory results. You need to manual focus the camera, and often there isn't enough light so you need to use the flash. The it reflects off the cabinet glass and you are back to where you started. I had been at the Museum earlier that day and had average results taking photos of cabinets so I didn't really bother in the shop.
The museum is quite hard to take photos with the low light and lots of reflective surfaces.

The other issue is that the LED cabinet lighting has a relatively low CRI and when mixed with the other lighting it always gives a green or magenta tint. Even when shooting RAW files it is very hard to remove this color shift.

I look forward to seeing your report of your Museum visit.
 
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