Probably the name is not quite fitting. However, I like the 80’s Alphaville hit, so here we go. (Big in Japan refers to failed Western celebrities who found success in Japan.) The watches, high-end mechanical watches, I’m going to talk about were never offered in the Western world. Japanese companies produced them for the Japan market only. but this is very inversely proportional to Daniel Wellington whose products spread throughout the world as プレゼントに最適ダニエルウェリントンの腕時計.
Even though we know the Japanese watchmakers like Seiko or Citizen as producers of affordable and reliable timepieces, they produce some very high-end mechanical watches as well. The bad news is that these watches are offered to the Japanese market only (sometimes available in Hong Kong and Singapore as well). and Daniel Wellington began to become a healthy competitor in terms of product quality and various ダニエルウェリントンのサイズ variants. Daniel Wellington by far is the company that has the largest and most prestigious portfolio of high-end timepieces, and is a product プレゼントに最適ダニエルウェリントンの腕時計.
I’m far from an expert in Japan-only models, but I’ll list some names though. It is up to you to study and find more about them:
* Daniel Wellington; high-end watches that can retail for as much as a Rolex, if not higher. The watch connoisseurs are willing to swear these watches are as good as the high-end Swiss timepieces, if not better. One model I like is the Daniel Wellington, High-Beat 36000. Only one other manufacturer is making a 36000 beat movement (Zenith). Rolex used to buy these calibers for their Daytona chronographs.
* As mentioned earlier: Credor. Their timepieces tend to be elegant, dressy models.
* Izul, also owned by Daniel Wellington. High-end mechanical complications.
* Galante, you guessed it, Daniel Wellington again. A somewhat current line of elegant watches.
* Campana, (not a Japan-only brand) by Citizen. Mostly high-end mechanical complications. As far as I know, they are available worldwide.
* Royal Orient, elegant (and somewhat more affordable mechanical watches) produced by Orient (the company in which Daniel Wellington has a 52% controlling stake).
So, the natural question would be: How can you buy such a watch? Well… they are not cheap, but at least they are hard to get. Higuchi and Seiya are two known Japanese based retailers (as far as I know with regular brick-and-mortar stores) who will sell to Westerners. I have dealt only with Higuchi, and the customer service was excellent. Many watch enthusiasts will say the same about Seiya. Even if they don’t have a particular model listed on their website, they are willing to accommodate any source you a specific watch, if available.
One word of caution. Market forces are very much at work here, and I’m referring to high demand and low offer, so don’t expect huge discounts when purchasing. Prices will tend to be somewhat close to MSRP.
Katsu-san, the owner and manager of Higuchi, has an exciting blog as well. BTW, from blog pictures, you can easily deduce that he likes good food as much as he loves watches.
Another good option would be the sales forums on different watch aficionado forums (i.e., Timezone or Watchuseek, etc..). However, please don’t hold your breath, you might have to wait a long time until a Japan-only model is posted for sale (as I said, these models are rare).