I have achieved what most watch collectors can’t do, settle on a few watches. To celebrate that occasion, I started looking for custom / hand-made watch boxes. I came across a few brands from different countries such as UK and Turkey, but most of them costs a lot. They are nice boxes, but they don’t have the minimalist look that I am looking for.
I came across Toyooka Craft as a recommendation from a discord acquaintance. He showed me Toyooka’s instagram and I was instantly hooked. I decided to wait for his one to arrive first and from his pictures, it was an easier decision. If you want to learn more about Toyooka Craft and its history, you read my interview here.
His pricing is more expensive than mass produced ones, but cheaper than other bespoke ones I have seen from other countries. I enquired prices for five slots as well for curiousity.
- Three slots – ¥17,800 (USD$170)
- Five slots – ¥24,800 (USD$240)
Shipping is ¥3,000(USD$30) for the three slots and payment was made through PayPal. As this is a custom made order, it might also take some time for it to be shipped out. Shipping is reasonable from Hamamatsu to Australia in a week and a half.
The packaging is very simple which is expected. The outer box is just a packaging box stamped with their logo.
Inside, the watch box is wrapped properly with bubble wrap and the watch pillows are seperately wrapped.
I was already very impressed from holding it for a few seconds. One can feel the quality and the work that was put into it.
One thing that most will notice is how light the box is. For some, the weight may be an indicator that it lacks quality, but rest assured it’s not the case here. This is an example of paying for quality and appreciating a beautiful art. There may be some fragility because of a metal-less construction, but a watch box is not meant to be thrown around anyway.
The size is perfect for a three watch collection. Bigger watches like Hublot or Panerai will have no problem fitting in here as there’s ample space between the slots. The depth is deep enough that long straps will have no problem fitting in. Yet, I would be cautious with anything bigger than 47mm occupying each slot as it might hit each other. In that case, it’s better to contact Mr. Toru first about your situation so the box can be made wider.
The design of the watch pillows is so that the watch will sit on the wooden pillow rather than wrapping around it. That’s the reason why the pillows aren’t soft and the top has some felt material to prevent scratches on the back.
The bottom of the box is covered by the same material as the watch pillows.
The lid is not tight so you can close and open it very loosely. There’s a bit of a wiggle but it’s to be expected as there’s no metal bracket to securely hold the lid and the body in its place.
According to the Mr. Toru, “Wooden hinges are a characteristic in Shizuoka area where our company is in. About 400 years ago, the first generation Sho-gun of Edo period ‘Ieyasu Tokugawa’ moved to Shizuoka from Edo (current day Tokyo) after retiring. Many good craftsmen came with him and formed the city. This was a reason why wooden craft is popular in Shizuoka where I think wooden hinges are inherited from. Many foreign customers are interested in that.“. A fragment of history for a simple mechanism adds beauty to this box.
The otherside of the box is clean with his contact details stamped near a corner. Each corners also have a thin felt pad material. It’s quite thin that there will be almost no elevation. It’s also not meant to prevent the box from sliding, but enough so it doesn’t unnecessarily move.
Looking at it is a joy. I just go home and stare at how beautiful it makes my watches look. It’s very simplistic that it might be hard to fit in a modern desk, however it can just sit and shine on its own. It also has this very aromatic wooden smell that I didn’t get with cheaper watch boxes. The more you smell, the more addicting it gets!
With regards to customer service, Mr .Toru was very prompt in responding through Instagram and emails. Sometimes it might take him more than a day, but rest assured he will get back to you. Old fashioned customer service, but works like a charm.
I thought I would never spend more than a few hundreds on a watch box, but here I am in that scenario. As I have settled my watch collection, it was only fair I treat them with some elegance.
With Toyooka Craft’s watch box, nobody will be disappointed. This is an example where you pay for the appeal of handcrafted goods and get high quality products. I will be more than happy to recommend Toyooka Craft to anybody.
Now all I need to do is purchase more stationary from his shop to complete a very rustic interior.