Watch Specialist Interview Vol.2 – BAYCREW’S Co., Ltd. HIROB Fashion Buyer Mr. Shigezumi
A Majority of women may not be interested in mechanical watches but the designs of antique watches entice many.
After wristwatches had become widespread during World War I, the number of women who wear them surged along their social advancement. Many masterpieces were created during this time for fashion forward ladies. This era also gave birth to Art Deco wristwatches and cocktail watches. For women at the time, a wristwatch was a tool for checking the time and a fashion item to make a statement about their personality, as well as a symbol for their independence.
It's been over a century since women freed themselves from their corset and began enjoying free fashion. With their sophisticated beauty and impressive presence, antique design wristwatches continue to win their hearts until this day, regardless of age or trends.
For this article, we interviewed Mr. Shigezumi, a highly skilled fashion buyer at HIROB, a BAYCREW'S brand. HIROB carries rare antique watches and small accessories as well as Rosemont watches. We asked him about how to choose and have fun with a watch.
Mr. Shigezumi, a fashion buyer at HIROB, a BAYCREW'S brand
Men and women look for different things in watches. What are the important things to keep in mind when selecting a gift for a woman?
− After having worked at Shibuya, Shinjuku and Yokohama locations, you have been involved with HIROB Yurakucho since the opening of the shop. Can we ask you how you offer suggestions to each customer, given the wide selection of watches the shop carries?
"The Yurakucho location is close to Ginza so customers come from different places, not just inside of Tokyo. Most of them are women. But sometimes men come in looking for a watch as a gift for a woman. Men often focus on the functionality and what they see behind the watch, however, women are fashion-first and look at a watch as one piece of an outfit."
− So that never changes over time.
"Right. Women tend to go with their feelings. They are also very fashion and trend conscious. They categorize watches as an accessory, not as a tool. So we make effort to offer suggestions on fashion as a whole, not just on watches."
− I see. That's why the atmosphere is very different here compared to regular watch shops.
"Brand feelings and narratives are important for women so we don't just line up our watches in clear glass cases like typical watch shops. If you just want to see pretty things on display, you could go to a museum."
− That's absolutely right.
"As we serve out customers, we focus on how close we can be with them, how we figure out what they really want, and how we make suggestions that can satisfy them. We want our customers to experience the special feeling of shopping at HIROB."
Ask a watch expert! Which Rosemont watch do you recommend?
Rosemont Nostalgia Collection
− Everyone is looking for the perfect holiday gift right now. Can you tell us your best recommended Rosemont watch?
"I highly recommend Rosemont Nostalgia Collection. The size is out of Rosemont Collection's size range. This is the size of the original men's watches from the time wristwatches came to exist. Men's watches were this small back then."
− Indeed. The case diameter of Rosemont Nostalgia N001 series is 29mm by 29mm, just under 30mm. It's not too small or too big, and just the right size, which is one of the reasons why they are so popular.
“Their easily changeable straps are also attractive. And the tone. The antique gold tone is pretty hard to produce. The tone is very close to that of the vintage watches we carry. It works naturally well with your skin and is a very attractive color. The yellow is not too strong in it so it's suitable for both work and casual. The tone is perfect for who feel yellow gold or pink gold tone is a bit too much.
A unique suggestion from HIROB on how to keep using quality long-lasting items
"A watch is a fashion accessory after all, but it's not something that you buy so often. We strive to offer a full service in a long span. Making a sale alone is not our goal. We offer a wide range of services including strap replacement and semi-customizing, as well as watch repair and support."
− We didn't know that you offered semi custom straps!
"Yes, we do. It takes about a month or two but it's because they are made one by one by leather craftsmen. The service is well-received among those who are not satisfied with ready-made straps or who want to wear antique watches casually. We offer a variety of materials including crocodile, alligator, and calf. We have samples at the store so please don't hesitate to ask our staff if you are interested."
Rosemontの腕時計ラインの誕生当初からの定番 RS#1-01 MT
− People who love fashion or have a good fashion sense tend to be particular about the details, like the strap. The watch you are wearing today is very cool, too.
"It's a vintage watch that I've put a galusha (stingray skin) strap on."
− That's nice. And very handsome! It looks very good on you!
"Oh, you are too kind! Haha."
− Truly fashion conscious people use quality items for a long time, I think. I'd like to be able to say that about myself as well. Thank you so much for your time today!
"It's been my pleasure."
Boutique shops selling rare antique watches and vintage accessories that radiate in timeless elegance. The brand operates at 10 locations across Japan, including the Yurakucho shop.http://hirob.jp