dedegumo


dedegumoAnd they say having an internet addiction is a bad thing… How else could I discover this magnificent little piece of horological heaven? dedegumo. Behind this peculiar name hides one of the strangest, quirkiest and most delightful watch brands you may ever hope to run into. In fact, I wonder even if it is a watch brand after all. To be completely honest, I had a feeling like I stumbled upon a portal to another time, not necessary located on this plane of existence. And I didn’t even need to use any controlled substance! Having seen these watches I think I have finally witnessed the Horological Art. Ah, the dreaded A word. If you have been our regular reader, you might be aware of my, most of the time, one way discussion, about whether the wristwatches qualify as art or not. Having an opportunity to learn a thing or two about that frivolous human activity, my opinion varied. But not anymore.

dedegumo onpu

dedegumo onpu

dedegumo yozora

dedegumo yozora

Who, or what exactly dedegumo is shall be revealed now. dedegumo is a little Japanese watch shop from Kyoto. I really hesitate to call it a brand, not just because they make very small series of unique handmade watches, but because “a brand” implies some generic soulless product. Interestingly, by some mysterious twist of fate, just the other day I’ve been writing about another Japanese watch shop – Tokyoflash. Now, originating from the same geographical and temporal location those two could not be more different if they were made on two planets, in two separate galaxies, and yet they are both almost archetypical representatives of Japanese design. If you would like to call Japan a different planet itself, I won’t contradict you. If there is another place (in known universe) where you can find such immense contrast between Past and Future, living in perfect balance in Present, let me know. This zen-like harmony is very obvious in dedegumo’s fruits. I say fruit, because I seriously suspect those watches are being grown, not made. C’mon, show me that tree they were picked from! :)

dedegumo

dedegumo collection

Designed and produced in true wabi-sabi spirit, its looks might seem too rough or unfinished to the most Westerners, especially to us watch connoisseurs accustomed to the perfect finishing of a high end Swiss timepiece, but that is exactly the point. Struggling to find an excuse for its raw aesthetics, and a reason where its ethereal beauty might have an actual purpose, some might even try to label it steampunk, just because of the predominant use of brass. Nothing could be further from the truth. Apart from its wonderful traditional feel and warm, welcoming presence on the wrist, I would suspect dedegumo artists started using brass because of its malleable properties. Every dedegumo watch is hand made, and I don’t mean just assembled. Employing the ancient techniques of artists and craftsmen of Kyoto, you can witness this process with your own eyes in New York, where the only shop outside of Japan exists. Lucky Kyoto has three…

dedegumo, inside the shop

dedegumo, inside the shop

dedegumo New York

dedegumo New York

These little pieces of art are each made by one artist, out of 6 which work inside of the shop, where you can marvel their skill firsthand, and even have them customized, to certain extent. From the technical standpoint, everything except the movement is handmade and the movement employed is Seiko quartz. Normally, this would be the point where I start my rant about the cheap quartz movements in expensive watches, but not this time. It’s not really important what movement is inside, and I don’t actually care, neither are those too expensive watches for what you’re getting. Prices range between very reasonable 400 to 1000 dollars, at this time. Brass is used for all cases – 23mm, 31mm, 37mm, and 41mm – and buckles, while stainless steel is used for the caseback.

dedegumo shop

dedegumo

Since one of the predominant human attributes is our need to try to rationalize and compare anything protruding out of the crust of our (ordinary) reality, it seems only fitting that I should present my own comparison. Reminding me of something that Dave McKean might have dreamed of, more specifically a prop from MirrorMask, dedegumo is of course, nothing like that.

Knowing something like their elven watches existing in today’s horological world dominated by western oriented mechanical aesthetics fills me with that warm fuzzy feeling called happiness.

dedegumo kidou

dedegumo kidou

dedegumo paku paku

dedegumo paku paku

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