Since its inception, Maker’s Watch Knot has accomplished a number of challenging milestones that have revolutionized the watch industry. One of these was the revival of Japanese watchmaking, which had previously been in decline. Japan was once the second largest watchmaking nation after Switzerland, but a shift to overseas production had led to factories becoming abandoned and closed down, vastly diminishing Japan’s ability to make watches within the country. A similar crisis is currently looming over Japan’s traditional lacquer industry. The spread and overuse of industrial lacquer has made cheap lacquer products widely available. This has resulted in a drop in orders, making it impossible for lacquer wholesalers to provide enough work for traditional lacquer artisans. This change represents a collapse in the local production industry. Therefore, before Japan becomes a country where its proud lacquer tradition no longer endures, we hope to demonstrate the value of Japanese lacquer once more. The release of this second lacquer model is born out of this desire. The watch’s ‘deep crimson’ effect is forged by skilled craftsmen through a process of repeated application, drying and polishing. The deep, lustrous and beautifully shiny crimson layer is sprinkled with gold dust shaved from a gold nugget, and its depth brought out with the overlapping of fine particles. All of these traditional processes (lacquering and sprinkling with gold dust) are carried out by the artisans on every individual dial, one by one, by hand. The unique lacquer texture of the dial can be admired through the watch’s sapphire crystal.
The beauty of authentic lacquer created by the outstanding skills of traditional Aizu artisans
Lacquer is a painting technique that has been handed down the generations in Japan since the Jomon period (circa 13,000 BC – 3,000 BC). It has a hard coating which possesses superior qualities and greater durability compared to contemporary chemical paints. Due to the limited number of experienced craftsmen and the complexity of its production, it is highly rare and has been traditionally used in luxury items such as tableware, furniture, armory and Buddhist altarware. The lacquer it is built up layer by layer through a painstaking and time-consuming process of repeated application, drying and polishing, producing a deep color with a beautiful glossy sheen which is unmatched by any other material. The project was undertaken by Nobuichi Otake, a traditional craftsman from Aizuwakamatsu in Northeast Japan with over 38 years of experience. He studied under Takuo Sone from 1980, became independent in 1985, and received the Aizuwakamatsu City Technical Achievement Award in 2011. He is now a skilled master craftsman working to train the next generation.
The sublime beauty of gold dust floating on a sea of crimson
To bring even greater depth to the crimson lacquer experience, the dial has been sprinkled with gold dust scraped from a gold nugget. The gradation is arranged in a pattern that spans from the center to the hour and minute markers to create the overall crimson and gold finish. Every watch enjoys a unique texture, making for a truly distinct timepiece that transcends conventional products. The lacquer’s exquisite effect is created by sprinkling with gold dust, polishing, applying and drying in a series of 30 processes over 20 days. This process results in an extremely smooth surface, with the micron-level precision required for watch dials. The lacquer dial is crafted with a high degree of perfection which can only be achieved by skilled artisans, even down to the final golden touch.
The case is laser engraved with a limited edition serial number between the case lugs at the 6 o’clock position. The limited edition model is further enhanced by the customization uniquely offered by Maker’s Watch Knot, allowing the watch and strap to be reconfigured to your desire.