Yusuke Nagatani, 35, began his career as a product planner for Rhythm, a clockmaking company with over 70 years of history. A native of Tottori Prefecture, he currently heads up Rhythm’s sales division. Nagatani’s product-planning team created the original portable fans that are now ubiquitous on the streets of Japan during the summer heat waves.

1. How did you get into the clock business?

When I was in university, I worked part-time for a clockmaker. I got into movement clocks. How did they cram all that stuff in there!? So I researched everything people wanted and didn’t want in a clock. After a stint at another company, I was hired by Rhythm as a product planner.