Although there are many people who buy watches, there are probably not many people in the world who have ever assembled one.
A new watch brand has been born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, that will make a difference in this current situation.
The name is JUNZEN.
The word JUNZEN comes from the word pure, and founder Mr. Sakai says he wanted to create a watch that was made in Japan and that could be enjoyed from its structure and assembly and that could be used for a long time.
This time, I had the opportunity to try out JUNZEN's first product to the world, "AKATSUKI," so I'm going to give an honest review.
When you first purchase AKATSUKI, you will receive this tool roll.
This one is from a brand called Mikawa Momen from Aichi Prefecture, and is made using a traditional technique called sashiko-ori, which is lightweight and strong enough to be used in judo uniforms.
It feels smooth and pleasant to the touch, and the quality is conveyed through all five senses with its simple and sturdy construction.
Micro brands that have just started up tend to keep things that are not directly related to watches cheap, in order to keep costs down, but it's great that they don't cut corners here.
JUNZEN's founding philosophy of wanting to support Japanese small and medium-sized businesses and sticking to Japanese-made products is evident.
When I opened this tool roll, I saw that the tools needed to assemble a watch were neatly lined up, which was visually pleasing even for someone like me who is picky about organization.
There are many tools included, but three are particularly important:
- 2 screwdrivers
- sword push
These three tools are from Meikosha Seisakusho, a famous watch tool manufacturer in Japan.
It is said that other tools are imported to keep costs down, but there is no shortage of them.
I actually like how they explain things properly.
Next, let's take a look at the parts of the watch along with the important points.
- Movement: Miyota Cal.9039 (the top model of the movement that Miyota supplies to others)
- Case (Made of SUS316L, machined. Windshield is Japanese sapphire crystal)
- Case back (see-through)
- Dial (blue or silver)
- Leather belt (surface made of Tochigi leather, reverse side made of deodorized and antibacterial artificial leather)
- Other small parts
You can see that the parts are lined up with considerable cost and attention to detail.
In addition, although they tried to make their products as Japanese-made as possible, they were unable to find Japanese-made rubber gaskets, leather belt linings, and buckles that were imported.
In other words, it can be said that about 98% of this watch is made in Japan.
The introduction is long, but let's start assembling the watch while looking at the instructions.
I often buy watches, but this is my first experience assembling a watch, so I'm excited and looking forward to it, even though I'm a little anxious and nervous about whether I'll be able to assemble it properly.
First, use a screwdriver to loosen the two screws on the side of the movement about 3 turns.
It's a simple task when written down, but I was surprised at how difficult it was to actually do it myself.
How do you hold a movement? Should I lay it down or stand it up? How should I hold the driver? Various thoughts come to mind.
I had seen a lot of watches and movements, but when I actually touched them myself, I suddenly realized that there was a lot to think about.
Next, attach the dial fixing ring and place the dial on top of the movement.
I used tweezers to attach the dial fixing ring, and I was surprised by the quality of the tweezers.
The tip is sharp and sharp, making it easy to manipulate as you wish. Moreover, it seems to be non-magnetic, so there is no need to worry about magnetizing the watch parts.
As expected from Japan.
Japanese people may not notice it much, but from a global perspective, it is extremely rare and fortunate that there are so many such excellent manufacturers in their own country.
For me, who usually works overseas, it was a moment when I was reminded once again of the greatness of Japanese manufacturing and felt a sense of pride.
There are two types of dials to choose from: blue and silver, but this time I chose the blue dial.
The center of the dial is a bright blue, and the outer edge has a black gradation, making it very beautiful.
It can be seen that a lot of care was put into this blurring process.
The applied indexes are also three-dimensional and sparkle, making them very beautiful.
Once I attached the dial, it suddenly felt like a watch, which made me very happy (although it's actually only about 30% complete. lol)
Next, attach the hands in the order of hour hand, minute hand, and second hand.
In fact, the most difficult part of this series of work was attaching the needle.
In particular, the second hand required very delicate adjustments, and I had to redo it several times because I couldn't get the hands to line up parallel.
That's why I was so impressed when I attached the second hand and it started moving without any problem, running around the dial with great vigor.
It's nothing special, it's just the most basic movement of a watch, but it felt like the heart of something I had assembled myself started to move.
Next, pull out the crown and place the movement into the case. Then, insert the crown again and attach the case back.
I won't go into the detailed work process here, but I was relieved when I put the movement in the case and the movement started operating safely (I was nervous about pulling out the crown and reinserting it).
Finally, attach the leather belt.
This leather belt is designed to be installed without tools, so I was able to install it without any difficulty.
With this, AKATSUKI is finally completed.
It took about 2 hours in total.
My honest impression is that it's more serious than I imagined.
When you think of an assembly type, you get the impression that it can be completed in about 3 steps, but this is not the case.
I wouldn't say it was too difficult, but I felt that it was difficult enough for adults to enjoy.
The completed watch is so cool and beautiful that you can't imagine it from its disjointed state.
Just as there are no parents who don't love their children, children can become even more attached to the clocks they build themselves.
I'm glad that even with that correction, it still has excellent quality as a pure watch.
The diameter of 38mm and case thickness of 10mm are the sweet spot for my wrist, which has an arm circumference of 15.5cm, and I love the size.
The non-date dial has a comfortable vertical and horizontal symmetry, and you can fully enjoy the beautiful blurred gradation.
The hands and indexes have a three-dimensional feel and sparkle beautifully without any cheap feeling. This product costs around 80,000 yen, but it feels more luxurious than the price.
The carved case also has an orthodox shape and is easy to use. The use of hairline processing and polishing is also good, and the curvature of the lugs when viewed from the side has beautiful proportions.
The case back is see-through, so you can see the movement you assembled yourself.
The Tochigi leather belt is stiff when it's finished, but it will probably fit better on your wrist as it finishes.
The only thing I feel like is the buckle, which is an imported item, is a little lower in quality, but considering the price, it's within a reasonable range.
If you are really concerned about it, you may be able to purchase an external product and replace it.
Overall, I felt that it was a great deal to not only get a watch of this quality for a price in the 80,000 yen range, but also come with high-quality tools, tool rolls, and the experience of assembling the watch. .
I think that not only beginners of watches, but also watch experts can fully enjoy it, and the quality is high enough to satisfy them.
Whether you have experience assembling a watch or not, you will probably get a different perspective on watches.
I would like you to try it out at least once.
JUNZEN AKATSUKI is on pre-sale at Makuake