While the bustling streets of Ginza, Shibuya, and Shinjuku may not immediately reveal their horological secrets, a closer look uncovers a captivating world of vintage and contemporary timepieces. Join us on a journey through the most intriguing watch boutiques and stores Tokyo has to offer, each with its unique charm and a curated selection of timepieces that will leave you in awe.
As you embark on your horological adventure through Tokyo, here’s a comprehensive guide to the hidden gem watch shops featured in this article, complete with addresses, websites, and special highlights to help you plan your visit. Whether you’re a seasoned watch enthusiast or just beginning to explore the world of horology, Tokyo offers a treasure trove of unique timepieces waiting to be discovered.
Our list includes boutique watch shops, camera shops, and vintage timepiece specialists that we as Craft + Tailored have personally visited and experienced firsthand. Some of these establishments are tucked away in historic neighborhoods, while others boast modern, cutting-edge designs in the heart of the city. As Craft + Tailored continues to travel to Tokyo, we will continually update this guide as a reference point for travelers and locals based on our latest discoveries and the evolving watch scene in this vibrant metropolis. So, strap on your favorite timepiece and get ready to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Tokyo’s horological wonders. Your journey begins here.
Shellman stands out as one of my cherished watch shops in Ginza. The moment you step through its doors, you’re enveloped in an aura of pure elegance. The display cases are graced with a unique selection, setting it apart from the typical American or European vintage watch shops. The store’s ambiance is a delightful blend of welcoming warmth, with soft jazz melodies gently serenading your visit.
At Shellman, don’t expect to find the usual abundance of Rolexes or stereotypical steel sports watches. Instead, prepare to encounter a treasure trove of vintage Longines, Patek Philippe, Breguet, and JLC timepieces. Shellman even crafts its own distinctive timepieces, each far from ordinary and in a personally welcomed smaller size such as 32mm and 34mm. I encourage you to embark on your own research to uncover the captivating world they offer. For any visitor to the Ginza area, Shellman is an essential stop, especially amidst the backdrop of numerous other watch shops and vintage camera stores!
Stepping into Corleone is akin to entering a Tudor Submariner paradise nestled in the vibrant heart of Shibuya. The store integrates with the district’s pulsating energy and atmosphere. Located on the building’s second floor, it’s easily visible from the bustling street below. The store’s meticulous organization certainly enhances the allure of Corleone’s captivating collection.
Among the treasures awaiting you are primarily steel Rolex models, including an extensive array of Tudor sports models. Notably, they showcase some of the most exceptional Tudor snowflake submariners in all of Japan. Not to overlook, Corleone thoughtfully caters to the ladies as well. While their selection is compact, it’s impeccably curated, offering an exquisite range of ladies’ timepieces.
Carese operates from two locations. During our visit, we explored the Tokyo-Midtown Galleria branch, which is situated within the mall. There is another facility in Morishita that comprises a retail shop and a servicing center, which we intend to explore on a future visit.
The Tokyo-Midtown Galleria store impressed us with its graceful and well-proportioned layout. The organization was impeccable, offering a diverse and appealing selection of both men’s and women’s vintage watches. Notably, their window and storefront displays were a sight to behold, artfully integrating vintage advertising and watch showcases, themselves works of art. Exploring the mall itself was a unique experience, boasting a variety of intriguing, niche shops. Furthermore, the food court presented a range of enticing dining options for visitors to enjoy.
I’ve been following the Fire Kids Instagram account for quite some time now, and have been thoroughly impressed by their remarkable watch selection. Also, how cool is the name of this shop!? Their incredibly varied collection reminds me a lot of what we strive for at C + T as well – it’s not limited to just Rolex or Patek watches – instead, they have skillfully curated a selection that encompasses both affordable timepieces and high-end, sought-after grail watches.
Their inventory ranges from iconic Doxa Sub 300T models to rare Rolex sports models. Of particular interest to the C + T team was their exquisite assortment of vintage Seiko watches. We had the opportunity to visit their Nakano location, and I must say that everything within the shop was thoughtfully curated and maintained in impeccable condition.
As you ascend to the 3rd floor of Nakano Broadway Center Plaza, a captivating display of watches catches your eye through the elegant, slender window at the top of the stairs. JackRoad’s selection is nothing short of extensive and diverse. They offer a wide range, from rare modern Patek Philippe timepieces with intricate complications to premium vintage classics like Rolex, Heuer, Omega, and Breitling. The way JackRoad presents their collection is truly impeccable, with each piece thoughtfully displayed. Moreover, JackRoad boasts a unique assortment of niche-level watches. For instance, I’d be very hard-pressed to recall seeing as many Ikepods in one place before.
Right next door to the main shop, you’ll find BettyRoad, a boutique dedicated to women’s horology. I spent more time exploring BettyRoad than I did at JackRoad. The collection of women’s watches, both modern and vintage, was outstanding in terms of diversity and scope. Brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and a sizable Cartier selection were all elegantly showcased and meticulously curated.
AskWatch stands out as one of the most exquisitely designed places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. It radiates a sense of cleanliness, minimalism, and chic sophistication. While it primarily showcases contemporary timepieces rather than vintage ones, it’s a definite must-visit, particularly if you’re in search of pre-owned Rolex, Audemars Piguet, or Patek Philippe watches, especially those on the modern end of the spectrum.
Watches and photography seem to naturally complement each other. Interestingly, we stumbled upon this watch shop entirely by chance. Our original intent was to find a specific vintage 35mm Leica M mount lens that I have been hunting for, and it was a delightful surprise to discover a hidden treasure trove of timepieces on the 3rd floor of this expansive camera shop. Kitamura Camera is a versatile establishment, offering a wide range of products and services including the servicing of cameras new and vintage. While they do feature some genuinely fascinating and affordably priced vintage watches such as Seiko, Enicar, and Girard Perregaux, they also cater to enthusiasts of higher-end timepieces, showcasing brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe. Remarkably, we found that the pricing for these high-end items was surprisingly reasonable. For those with an interest in cameras and photography, a visit to the shop is a must. Upstairs, they boast an extraordinary collection of vintage cameras, including three exceptionally well-preserved early black paint Leica M2’s that left a lasting impression.
Quark has a widespread presence across Japan, with a few locations outside the country. Each store may vary in its inventory, but this particular smaller Quark shop was conveniently accessible. Despite its size, the shop was exceptionally well-organized, featuring a meticulously curated collection that encompassed vintage, neo-vintage, and modern Rolex timepieces. Additionally, they displayed a thoughtful selection of choice vintage Rolex watches. In addition to Rolex, Quark also offers a variety of other notable brands such as Tudor, Grand Seiko, Omega, and a mix of contemporary watches. However, the bulk of their inventory is dedicated to Rolex. If you are in Tokyo a quick search on Quark will likely grant you a nearby location to get your watch fix.
Best Vintage is a part of the esteemed Ishida Best company here in Japan. There are two showrooms for vintage watches under the “Best Vintage” banner, with one in Shinjuku and another in Osaka. The other stores in the vicinity appear to serve as primary distribution points for modern brands like Zenith, Hublot, IWC, Breitling, and others. Upon entering the store, an eye-catching floor mat guides you toward a stairway marked “Best Vintage” to the right. Descending the stairs, you’ll encounter a beautifully modern and elegant showroom filled with contemporary timepieces.
While there is a notable presence of pre-owned Rolex watches, most would fall into the Neo-vintage or modern contemporary category. However, don’t be discouraged by this focus on contemporary timepieces. Best Vintage also proudly showcases an impressive assortment of vintage watches, featuring captivating offerings from esteemed brands such as Patek Philippe, Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Zenith, Omega, and, naturally, Rolex. A visit to their Shinjuku location is undeniably a rewarding experience for any enthusiast of vintage timepieces.
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