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Clock signals changing face of Wako Building

Leading watch brand Seiko unveiled its Rondeau Karakuri Clock in Ginza’s Wako Building on Dec. 18, just in time for the Christmas and New Year season.

The karakuri (mechanism) timepiece draws upon applications of clock technology to karakuri ningyō (mechanical doll). Aspects of the display will change throughout the year to accommodate seasonal and event changes as Seiko aims for Rondeau to engage with the passing public and capture a sense of wonderment.

“The Wako Building is symbolic of Ginza, and is considered to have a high-end reputation,” said Shinji Hattori, CEO of Seiko Watch Corp., during a media event ahead of the display’s opening. “With the Rondeau Karakuri Clock we hope the building becomes a little more accessible and is considered a fun spot for young people and families with children.”

A close-up of the intricate details within the Rondeau Karakuri Clock | JANE KITAGAWA
A close-up of the intricate details within the Rondeau Karakuri Clock | JANE KITAGAWA

Long associated with the Seiko brand, Ginza, where the company was founded, is emerging as a core element of the company’s midterm strategy. Seiko has five retail outlets in the upscale shopping area and is in the process of relocating its museum to Namiki-dori in the district.

“It had long been decided to move the Seiko Museum from Mukojima, Sumida Ward, to Ginza,” Hattori said. “We are preparing to open our new museum in Ginza next July (right before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics).”

During the media event, popular singer Ayaka Hirahara invited attendees to sing along as she performed the company song, “Moving Ahead. Touching Hearts.” She later performed an emotional rendition of her smash hit, “Jupiter.”

The Rondeau Karakuri Clock is at the first-floor lobby in the entrance of the Wako Building (4-5-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku) and is on display daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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