Recently I caught a rumour (comment left by In Sectus) that Studio Tom's had closed their shop in Yoyogi Uehara; the one I visited in 2007. At the time Studio Tom's website was being revamped and the information online was a bit hazy. So I couldn't be sure.
A few weeks back I decided to e-mail Suekichi-san, to wish him a happy new year and to see how things are going. Our communications are a bit laborious, since I rely heavily on Internet translations and he needs the help of his friend. But it's nice to have a small chat again. I've also asked Haruo about the rumours regarding the Yoyogi Uehara store, but haven't heard back from him yet.
So I decided to do some detective work, now that reader Rumpel has also asked for some information. I've visited the Studio Tom's weblog and saw that Haruo's still making watches. You'll see the model of watch that is currently up for sale in the latest blog post. Usually only a few of these watches get made, so you'd better get there quickly :)
I've found Excite's translation service to give satisfactory results.
So far the Tom's weblog confirms that:
1. Both Tabitha stores sell Suekichi-san's watches.
2. More and more foreigners show up to buy them.
3. Demand usually outlasts supply.
Should you find yourself unable to make the trip to Tokyo, then there's always the Internet :) If you check eBay you'll see some of Haruo's work pop up from time to time. However, prices are way above the ~200 Euros I paid, ranging from $450 to >$1000. That's pretty damn insane I tell you. o_O
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