Friday, July 13, 2007

Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi

"Haruo Suekichi has made thousands of watches, each with an individual name. And to think it all started with a one-armed man at a flea market in Japan."

Caught somewhere between sadistic torture device and a steampunk gadget, Suekichi's artisinal timepieces are prolifically original, fantastically bizarre, and perfectly timed for The Watchismo Times.

"Steampunk, a subgenre of speculative science fiction which came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England." Incorporating
retro-futurism styles of fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells.

More excerpts from the Chief interview;

"I started to work in a toy store, as a salesman. Across from the toy store was a watchmaker, and he would sometimes come over during work hours, and we became friends. I asked him if he could teach me how to make watches, and... [nods]."

So did your watches start out as unique as they are now, or have you built up to this level of weird?"

"In the beginning, they were pretty simple, a strange drawing maybe, but that's about it. But at the flea market, a one-armed man came up to me. And he said to me, well, with only my left arm, I can't put on a watch. Wow, I thought, he's right...I wonder if I could make a watch like that? So I made - and you can see one upstairs in the showcase - I made a watch that you put your wrist in it and it shuts around your wrist."

Suekichi's gallery-->Link
and more-->Link
Chief interview-->Link

Click photos to enlarge

Thanks to Mark & BoingBoing

Click for MP3 Wristwatches

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