If you are talking watches, friends in Tokyo will always bring up the ISHIDA watch stores first. Ishida has the ability to change a grown man into a babbling child – I remember back when my brother in law picked up a new piece from their Shinjuku branch, he ran around the shop like he was a kid in a candy store!
ISHIDA been around for a while now, making them also popular with the media, where they have been featured in All Japan newsese and Korean TV dramas and promotional parties like the one shown in the video below.
Recently I stopped by ISHIDA again and had the chance to talk with the company’s CEO, Noritaka Ishida.
Ishida’s vision is to do more than simply sell watches, it is to change peoples’ lives. Rightly so, he points out the intimate relationship we have with timepieces — a watch is one of those special products that becomes a partner in one’s whole life. Reflecting this, the company automatically provides service plans that start at a range of 5 to 10 years of coverage from when the watch is purchased.
The Aoyama location of ISHIDA is known not only for its wide selection of brand names (a full list available at the ISHIDA official site) but the huge amount of space it has dedicated to this fashionable showroom. The shop even has a bar counter which you can sit at while enjoying a beverage – always a great way to be treated when you shop — which creates a relaxing atmosphere that encourages you to take your time browsing.
And there is plenty to browse — each corner of the store is dedicated to a different brand, including favorites ZENITH, IWC Schaffhausen, and Jaeger LeCoultre. Besides such popular luxury companies, ISHIDA have their own line of watches designed under the GSX name. These feature collaborations with the likes of Lucasfilm and Murata Range on masterpieces inspired by the movies Batman, Spiderman, Godzilla and the Indiana Jones films.
If you have your own ideas on what you would like to sport on your arm, ISHIDA will help you design your own original face from custom parts at a cost between 300,000 yen to 500,000 yen, and ISHIDA also offers original made-to-order straps, from around 6,000 yen to 20,000 yen.
If you are looking for a brand name timepiece, then ISHIDA will obviously take care of you. And those not comfortable speaking All Japan newsese need not worry as the stores kindly provide English-speaking staff. (The Aoyama store have a Twitter account which you may want to follow. @ISHIDA_Aoyama) The folks at the Aoyama store are a friendly bunch and are waiting for you! Also be sure to check out our coverage of the ISHIDA Shinjuku store.
ISHIDA‘s Aoyama address and opening times below.
4-25-15 Jingu Mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001 [〒150-0001
TEL: (03) 5785-3600
FAX: (03) 5785-3601
Opening times: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Tokyo Metro Meiji Jingu Mae
Tokyo Metro Omotesando