Posted 20 hours ago

KUOE Old Smith 90-002 No-Date, Automatic NH38 Movement, Black, Replacement Belt Included, sliver, ミディアム

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While their minimalistic divers share similar traits to most other divers in the watch world, their chronographs look unbelievably unique, breaking rules and going beyond your expectations. There is the possibility to add a ‘sapphire’ crystal which is a nice (but expensive) option, additionally there is a leather strap and a steel bracelet also available.

The indirect drive seconds hand of the Miyota movement was disconcerting at first, but I've gotten used to it: it "stutters" when the watch is shaken, but that doesn't affect accuracy. The rotor is also noisier than I'm used to, and the sound it makes when the watch is shaken can be a little disconcerting as well. As I expected, the movement is "settling in" and now runs about -3 spd; still quite good so no complaint there. If you do hand-wind the watch, the action is smooth as silk. I've worn it three times now during hard rowing-machine workouts and that, at least, hasn't phased it. Having owned the Old Smith for that last week I continually found myself admiring the finesse of its tiny subtle design details that started bringing to mind the traditional Japanese art of ’Netsuke’. Future Funk is about the quirky aesthetics, about unique timepieces that look like nothing you’ve seen before. They blend the LED displays of the ’70s with retro futuristic designs, and they do it extremely well. Their watches seem designed with the space explorers in mind, rather than your average earth inhabitant.

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With a case size of 35mm it sounds like its probably a bit on the small side but the cream dial on this example visually doesn’t make it seem that the watch is undersized on my 7 1/2” (19cm) wrist. In terms of movements, they do source them from the likes of Seiko and Miyota. When it comes to design, they’ve got solid choices, from automatic chronographs to solar powered pieces, Bauhaus designs, and square shaped dress watches. And the most important price is their accessibility, allowing people to enjoy unique timepieces without breaking the bank. Credor is a name few have heard of. But their creations are some of the best kept secrets of the Japanese watchmaking industry. The brand is actually part of Seiko, and it’s their show-off child, born in 1974 from a desire to display the best of Seiko’s craftsmanship and horology know-how. The company was created by Yusuke Kikuchi, architect, and Tomonari Nakagawa, swordsmith. Both studied the art of watchmaking in France. Mirco is a microbrand based in Tokyo. They take their inspiration from the golden age of the 1970s, creating watches that speak of that retro aesthetic, with bold and sporty designs, but without copying any particular model.

Two things often suffer when we start dealing with more affordable watches. The first is case finishing. The second is lume. And the Kuoe Old Smith is no exception to this rule. When I asked, I was only told the lume is Swiss and “SO-2.” I’ve never heard of that but based on the results, we aren’t dealing with a Super-LumiNova equivalent here. Indulge me, though: the lume is about as bright as one might expect on the vintage watches from which the Kuoe takes its inspiration–so maybe it’s intentional! (It’s probably not.) Kuoe is a Japanese brand out of Kyoto, founded in 2020 but conceived nearly 10 years prior. The brand seeks to recapture the elegance and simplicity embodied by watches from the 1940s to 1970s. The brand now has three models, the Old Smith 90-001 and 90-002 (reviewed herein), and the recently released Holborn. None of the models exceeds 35mm, staying true to their vintage inspiration. Their brand’s purpose is to create the “ideal imaginary watch” by bringing together two contradictory ideas, one being the abstractness of metal that goes beyond its functional and practical aspects, and the other being precisely the practicality of a tool watch. Equipped with a Seiko quartz movement, the KUOE OLD SMITH / 90-001 watch is available with a choice of bar index dial or Arabic index dial. Their prices also reflect the excellent craftsmanship, meaning that you won’t find anything in their collection priced below a few thousand dollars.The case is really nothing to get too hyped about. Polished all over. Branded crown. Big vintage-style dome. The small dimensions and curved lugs mean it’ll be at home on all but the largest wrists (which may make it look a bit too dainty). While my wheelhouse is definitely 38mm-42mm, I find a certain charm in watches smaller than that, which adds a bit to the wearing experience. Although not remarkable, there’s also nothing to complain about here. And it lets the dial do all the talking. These high quality made-in-Japan watches comes in affordable price range. The brand itself handles all business activities including design, production and sales of its watches to reduce the costs. Every KUOE watch comes with one year manufacture warranty. KUOE OLD SMITH / 90-001 This review is of the second watch design that Kuoe had to offer, the ’Old-Smith 90-002’ this piece has a decidedly military flair and is strongly reminiscent of the British Ministry of Defence contract watches that were issued en mass to the British armed forces from the 1940’s to the 1990’s and in some cases still to the current day. Since there isn't a lot of info here about Kuoe watches, I thought there might be interest in a Week On The Wrist update. Japan is not a country that you necessarily think of when it comes to boutique or micro brand watch manufacture, yet about 3 years ago Mr Kenji Uchimura launched his own micro brand watch company, with watches entirely manufactured in Japan.

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