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My good luck charms

My good luck charms

1. My grandfather's sword

My grandfather was a soldier in the military, and always carried a Japanese sword.

When I sought the expert opinion of a specialist, they told me it was more than 400 years old.
-I have no way of knowing if that is actually true or not.

I have never been in any big misfortunes up to now, and have led a relatively
happy life.
I feel like I have been blessed like this because the sword watches over me.

2. My father's Grand Seiko

Needless to say, this wristwatch is my treasure.
It is the cornerstone of my work.

Thanks to this watch, I have met countless people that I would never have had the chance to otherwise.
I met a lot of people from abroad, which expanded my world.
Also, whenever I face any sort of trials or tribulations... or simple tests, I always wear my wristwatch.
For example, I wore my wristwatch the other day during an English test.
I feel that wearing it helped me bring my A game.

3. A fountain pen that was given to me as a gift by a friend

When I hospitalized for a month, one of my watch enthusiast friends living abroad gathered funds from everyone, and sent it to me as as a "get well soon" gesture.
They all lived in different countries, and have never met me in person.
They are all watch enthusiast friends that talk to me on an internet forum.
Following their lead, others chipped in, and raised the funds for it.
I was rather surprised when I found out about it, and was deeply touched by their gesture of friendship.
I really love this pen, and use it all the time.
I feel like I get all sorts of great ideas when I use this pen.


Digital VS Analog

Digital VS Analog

Digital instruments such as the Iphone, digital cameras, and PCs have several useful functions.
You can't live without them. You'd be in a pinch if you didn't own them.

However, that also means analog items also hold a certain significance things such as fountain pens, film cameras, mechanical watches, and red pencils.

It is not a question of convenience, but rather one of partnership.
If you use them, then they become indispensable to you.

For example, it feels really nice to write fine letters with a fountain pen.
It also leads to good ideas. Underlining things with a red pen in books is rather enjoyable.
-I have no word to express how important the 1964 Grand Seiko I received from my father as a gift is to me.

Recently, the type of analog good I have my eye on just happens to be a car that was found in a used car shop.

It is a beetle that uses an air-cooled flat4 engine. It was made in 1973, and is 1200cc.
It takes forever to speed up. It's top speed is only 120km. The windows fog up when it rains. It is hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
However, it is a pleasure to drive in.
The engine purrs sweetly. The manual mission allows for total control of the vehicle.
I mean have you seen the steel plated front panel?
Analog goods have a certain charm that digital goods are missing.
It is nothing new. But it provides a sense of security. 
What analog goods are your favorites?

The difference between SARX019(Old model) and SARX049(New model)

The difference between SARX019(Old model) and SARX049(New model)

The SARX049’s watch dial is even whiter than that of the old model(SARX019)
The facade doesn’t really look any different. The dial is dual curved with anti- reflective coating crystal to make it easier to see. It feels even classier with its new sapphire crystal see-through back, deep blue color hands. The crown design was changed.

These things are the same as SARW035(New) and SARW011(Old)



My boss when I worked a TV commercial and film company

My boss when I worked a TV commercial and film company

Japanese office workers often go out with their coworkers for a drink at the end of the workday.

It was the same when I worked as a production manager for a TV commercial and film company. I didn’t really care for it, though. I valued my free time more.

One night, at one such drinking party, my boss caught a glimpse of my watch from under my suit, and complimented me by saying “That’s a nice watch you have there.”

I suddenly saw that boss in a whole new light.

Then , he allowed me to work on the Seiko wristwatch TV commercial and film production team as a part of the staff.

The flow of time was compared to the Sumida River that flows through Tokyo. The catchphrase for those commercials was “Analog is the flow of time”.

Time literally flew by for me as well when I was working on those projects.

For me, they are my fondest memories from working for that TV commercial and film production company.

I can’t seem to find that commercial anymore. 

This is a commercial that I was in charge of when I was young.
It brings back a lot of memories.


The reason I started exporting Japanese wristwatches 

The reason I started exporting Japanese wristwatches 

The average Japanese person started using the internet towards the end of the 1990's. I figured I would use the internet to enjoy talking to people from abroad.
On the internet, there are places known as "forums", where people from all over the world with the same interests can exchange information in English.
One of those such forums was a place to talk about Japanese wristwatches, or the "Japanese Watch Forum. (It no longer exists).  
There were few participants on the "Japanese Watch Forum" at the time, but they were all kind to me even with my limited English. 
Since I live in Japan and was able to read Japanese information, I had more information on "Japanese wristwatches# than the other participants. 
When I distributed that information in English, it made the participants from abroad very happy.  
At that particular time, Japanese wristwatch makers didn't distribute much information in English,  so my information had value. 
 Because of that, I started selling Japanese wristwatches on the American auction site, eBay. 

The same model as the SEIKO watch that I sold on first.

Not many Japanese people used the American eBay site at the time, and since I was in the minority that did, I made a lot of friends. Those people introduced their friends to me, which expanded my network.
Since PayPal wasn't around at the time, whenever I sold a wristwatch on the American eBay site, I  took US$ Bank money order as payment. It took more than a month, and cost $50 USD in fees in order to exchange them
For more than 10 years, I was able to export Japanese watches like that,  but the one that stands out the clearest in my memory is Seiko's 4S15 Military product. 
They were already out of production when I started handling them, so they were difficult to get a hold of. 
However, it was an extremely popular wristwatch overseas. 
I was an engineer in an IT related field, but I went to several private shops and pawnshops all over the city on my way home from work and on Sundays, in order to get my hands on new 4S15 Military watches. It made my overseas contacts really happy when I sold them the watches. 

Seiko SUS automatic 4S15 Movement (28800)

One of them asked me, ""Why don't you open an online shop?" So I figured "Why not?", and went for it. 
This net shop job kept me really busy, so I stopped working in the IT field.  
And this is where I am at now.
Seiya Kobayashi