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I would like to deliver a wristwatch that imaged Japanese sword to the world using mysterious steel material "Damascus steel"
26 backers pledged ¥820,109 to help bring this project to life.

About

¥820,109

26

Hi, my name is Masayuki. 

On this project page I’d like to present my MUSHA Damascus Watch «Nobunaga» that I made with a type of steel that is intended for blade production, sword manufacturing and knife-making. 

 It’s called Damascus steel, and it’s well-known worldwide for its distinctive and original patterns that surface when polished. Damascus steel is used by the blade and knife makers in my hometown Seki-City of , a city famous worldwide for its blade production, sword-smiths and knife-making, in Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

 Since the ancient times and to this day, Japan has cherished its blade mastery. My timepieces, along with each «Made in Japan» quality part used, capture the timelessness of the artistry and beauty of the Japanese blade mastery.

 1. Use of Damascus Steel, Material Intended for Blade and Knife Manufacturing

Damascus steel goes back to its origin in ancient India, and is characterized by unique wood-like patterns that surface as a result of banding different metals and polishing them repeatedly.

Since the ancient times, Damascus steel has been used in sword-making, and today we see its application in high-end kitchen knives as well as luxury knives, due to the steel’s originality.

Each and every pattern that surfaces on the steel is different depending on the parts that get sharpened, thereby making every one of my MUSHA Damascus timepieces truly one of a kind.

 Each piece of Damascus steel used in my watches is polished by me with an utmost care, after it goes through the usual blade and knife manufacturing phases of machining and heat treating which are conducted by specialists in Seki-City.

2. Design Inspired by a Powerful 16th-Century Feudal Lord Who Attempted to Unify Japan, Infused with a Modern, Cool Taste

My hometown Seki-City of Gifu Prefecture is known as the capital of blade masters, and has been producing samurai swords since the Sengoku period of civil strife in 1466-1603 («Sengoku» means «fighting regions» in Japanese). During this period, the sword-making industry in Seki delivered swords to countless feudal lords.

My hometown Seki-City has historical ties to Nobunaga Oda, one of the most respected feudal lords of the Sengoku period, well known for his attempt to unify the warring regions of Japan. With my wristwatches, I decided to pay a tribute to this part of Seki-City history by incorporating my inspirations from Nobunaga’s family crest «Mokkou Mon» in the case design.

However, I wanted to give my timepieces a cool and sharp look, timeless and universal throughout the world, and not an obvious Asian look. To achieve this, I shaped the stick markers of the dial (face) as long and narrow ellipsoids of samurai sword cut marks, and used only 2 simple colors - black and white - for the dial (face).

Product quality is another aspect I pay a lot of attention to, since I wanted my timepieces to be a luxury fashion item of high quality. This is why I chose to use high-quality Grade 316L stainless steel and Damascus steel for the case, the Japanese Quartz movement, and sapphire glass crystal, a material known to be the most resistant to damages.

The design of the second hand in the watches commemorates the heritage of Japanese samurai sword-making by having a warped shape, just like samurai sword blades do. 

I hope you will see that with these details I’m paying an utmost respect to the heritage of my hometown and its culture, while making sure that the timepieces give a cool and luxurious look & feel overall.

3. Straps Made with Japanese Traditional Silk Braids and Luxurious Galuchat Leather

The material of the straps in my wristwatches also pay homage to samurai swords, while repurposing these traditional materials into designs that are perfect for both casual and formal fashion of our day. The materials used are silk braids and galuchat leather, both of which were actually used in samurai sword-making.

Silk braids were used to wrap handles of samurai swords.

With the help of a long-standing braid manufacturer in Kyoto, I succeeded in producing straps using the «chirimen-kumi» technique («chirimen» is a Japanese traditional fabric and braid type).

The silk braid straps are available in 4 colors - black, red, blue and olive - and each one of them gives a vivid feel and touch unique to silk.

In addition, the silk braid straps are hole-less, allowing adjustments for a perfect fit, for each user.

Another material used in samurai sword handles, in order to assure firm grips onto the handles, was galuchat leather.

However, galuchat leather’s characteristics of being a stiff leather, which pose a challenge to process, combined with its high cost, make it a rarity.

Thankfully, though, I succeeded in turning it into beautiful, luxurious straps for my watches.

The galuchat leather straps are available in 4 colors - black, orange, turquoise and burgundy.

These straps give the luxurious look and feel unique to galuchat leather, as well as durability of up to 100 years under a good care.

4. Highly Stylish Packaging Box You Will Not Want to Throw Away

I wanted the packaging box to be an important part of my overall product, something users would want to keep on display.

So, I got help from Marujyu Paper Company in Mino-City of Gifu Prefecture, a paper manufacturing company well-known for Mino washi paper, which goes back over 1,000 years in Japanese history. The inside cover of the packaging box of my timepieces uses their watermarked Mino washi paper called «Usei» (Japanese phrase «voice of the rain» in literal translation, i.e. sound of the rain).

Just like Damascus steel, each cut of «Usei» paper creates a distinctive design, thus making each packaging box one of a kind.

The combination of tradition expressed by the fabric of «Usei» paper and ingenious, new design created with it - The packaging boxes with this combination provide a glimpse of new possibilities and new frontiers for traditional crafts such as Mino Washi paper.

 Perfect for Both Casual and Formal Fashion

The silk-braid type, with the vivid colors of silk, combined with the look and feel of braids, is perfect for casual attire.

Choosing one of the bright color straps also adds an extra nice taste to your wardrobe.

As for the galuchat-leather type, with its glossiness emphasized under lighting, it gives a sense of luxury unmatched by other leather materials, making it the perfect accessory for your formal wardrobe.

 1. To Serve as a Model for Local Industries in Expanding Their Horizons

The city of Seki, well-known for its blade and knife production, in Gifu Prefecture, is a beautiful countryside city of approximately 87,000 people, with the Nagara River, which is one of Japan’s most protected rivers, running through the city.

Since the ancient times, Seki City has been blessed with superb water and soil conditions, both of which are requirements for blade production, making this city the perfect place for samurai sword making.

The city’s ancient craftsmanship of samurai sword making has evolved over the centuries, and today it is alive and well in the production of commercial knife products such as cutlery and scissors.

However, in recent years the blade and knife making industry of Seki City has faced tough issues. The volume of blade and knife products shipped has decreased in the face of competition by overseas manufacturers. At the same time, the industry has been failing to secure successors of the craftsmanship and heritage, due to a negative image people in their twenties and thirties have about craftsmanship being hard work with a low pay. As a result, some manufacturers went out of business.

My desire is to resolve these issues with my MUSHA brand.

I’d like to serve as a catalyst in increasing the potential of this city’s blade and knife manufacturing industry by producing non-knife products, and to attract an interest from small-to-medium businesses and the young generations of this city to freedom they could feel and get from creative manufacturing.

This is how I came to integrate the two worlds of wristwatches and Damascus steel.

 «Hono-o no Mai» (Japanese words meaning «dance of fire») during sword-forging by Mino Seki Blade Great Master Ken Yoshida Kanehisa Naoe

2. Carefully Developed Style, Design and «Made in Japan» Quality

The product development, design, exterior specifications, trial production and polishing of Damascus steel are all done by myself, with an utmost care and attention to details in each phase.

Assembly of the watches is done in Japan by Tokitec Co., Ltd., a Tokyo-based watchmaker and a trusted OEM manufacturer for major Japanese watchmakers.

In addition, both types of the strap - silk braids and galuchat leather - are manufactured by braid manufacturing companies and leather artisans in Japan.

All of these parts have come together to complete the line of MUSHA Damascus Watch «Nobunaga» products with the «Made in Japan» quality.

Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering by Tokitec Co., Ltd.

Established in 1967 as a manufacturer of wristwatch straps, Tokitec has been a supplier of wristwatch straps for major watch manufacturers both in and out of Japan.

Tokitec has since then evolved to manufacture watches themselves, and since then has been an OEM manufacturer of watches for major manufacturers.

Product Development, Style Design, Exterior Engineering, Processing & Sales by Masayuki Otsuka, Make&Hack

In 2011 I got a job at a knife manufacturing company in Seki City, and as the production group leader, I gained experiences in various fields such as product development, production management and logistics. In 2016 I left my job and started my own business.

I studied engineering and design on my own, and currently work in industrial design, exterior design and trial production of new products.

With a mission to develop and increase the potential of local industries in Seki City, I launched the all-Japan MUSHA brand with a concept of «blade and knife products with sophisticated design, and non-knife products made with materials that are originally intended for blade and knife production».

 Photo courtesy of Seki City Tourism Association

5 rewards are available for backers of this project.

3 Rewards (For First 30 Backers Only!)

The first 30 backers of the following rewards can make their pledges at discounted pledge amounts:  

- 1 (one) silk-braid type  

- 1 (one) galuchat-leather type  

- A set of 1 (one) silk-braid type and 1 (one) galuchat-leather type

Please select a dial (face) color and a strap color when making your pledge.

2 Special Kickstarter-Only Rewards

1 (one) silk-braid type and 1 (one) galuchat-leather type at Kickstarter-only special pledge amounts.

Please select a dial (face) color and a strap color when making your pledge.

Schedule of Production & Shipping

Mass production is scheduled to start in June, with shipping to start in late September to early October.

 MUSHA Damascus Watch «Nobunaga»  - Silk-Braid Type -

-Full length 260mm(US ver)

- Case: Grade 316L, steel oriented for laminated knives (Damascus steel) Case Diameter: 40 mm Case Thickness: 9 mm  

- Movement: EPSON Japanese Quartz  

- Glass: Sapphire glass  

- Water Resistance: 5 atmospheres (suitable for everyday use)  

- Strap: Silk  

- Battery Life: Approx. 4 years  

- Made in Japan  

Notes

A monitor battery is incorporated at the time of shipment. Please note that this battery may expire before the other parts of the watch do.  

Each piece of Damascus steel will have its own patterns, none like the other, due to the steel’s characteristics of surfacing individual patterns upon sharpening.  

The braid type straps are hole-less and allow for strapping at places that are most fitting. However, please refrain from exerting too much force to stretch them.  

The braid type straps are made of silk, and may stretch with usage over time.  

Damascus steel is a material intended for blade and knife production.  

To prevent rust, wipe off any moisture or perspiration with a dry cloth.

Warranty: One year

Product exchange is available at no additional cost, only in cases of malfunctions found from daily use.  

Strap exchanges, battery exchanges and maintenance work are available for an additional fee.

MUSHA Damascus Watch «Nobunaga»  - Galuchat-Leather Type -

- Full length 260mm(US ver)  

- Case: Grade 316L, steel oriented for laminated knives (Damascus steel) Case Diameter: 40 mm Case Thickness: 9 mm  

- Movement: EPSON Japanese Quartz  

- Glass: Sapphire glass  

- Water Resistance: 5 atmospheres (suitable for everyday use)  

- Strap: Made from galuchat leather

- Battery Life: Approx. 4 years  

- Made in Japan  

Notes

A monitor battery is incorporated at the time of shipment. Please note that this battery may expire before the other parts of the watch do.  

Each piece of Damascus steel will have its own patterns, none like the other, due to the steel’s characteristics of surfacing individual patterns upon sharpening.  

Damascus steel is a material intended for blade and knife production.  

To prevent rust, wipe off any moisture or perspiration with a dry cloth.

Warranty: One year

Product exchange is available at no additional cost, only in cases of malfunctions found from daily use.  

Strap exchanges, battery exchanges and maintenance work are available for an additional fee.

Risks and challenges

We are ready for the mass production.
However, shipment may be late when there is much support.
I promise to contact backers beforehand then.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥5,700 or more About $51

    1 Silk-Braid Strap

    One(1) Silk-Braid Strap
    Choose the color of Strap at the end of the project
    The width is 18 mm.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥13,800 or more About $125

    1 galuchat leather Strap

    One(1) galuchat leather Strap
    Choose the color of Strap at the end of the project
    The width is 18 mm.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥27,000 or more About $244

    1 Watch Silk-Braid Type Eary bird

    One(1) Damascus watch Silk-Braid Type

    Save 50% off future retail price ($500)

    Choose the color of Dial and Strap at the end of the project

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥31,000 or more About $280

    1 Watch + 2 Silk-Braid straps

    One(1) Damascus watch + Two(2)Silk-Braid Straps

    Save 50% off future retail price ($500)(1watch+1straps price)

    Choose the color of Dial and Strap at the end of the projec

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥35,100 or more About $317

    1 Watch galuchat leather Type Eary bird

    One(1) Damascus watch galuchat leather Type

    Save 50% off future retail price ($650)

    Choose the color of Dial and Strap at the end of the project

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    Pledge ¥37,800 or more About $341

    1 Watch Silk-Braid Type

    One(1) Damascus watch Silk-Braid Type

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥40,800 or more About $368

    1 Watch +each straps

    One(1) Damascus watch + each straps One(1)Silk-Braid Type + One(1)galuchat leather Type

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥44,800 or more About $404

    1 Watch + 2 galuchat leather straps

    One(1) Damascus watch + Two(2)galuchat leather straps

    Save 50% off future retail price ($650)(1watch+1straps price)

    Choose the color of Dial and Strap at the end of the project

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    Pledge ¥49,140 or more About $444

    1 Watch galuchat leather Type

    One(1) Damascus watch galuchat leather Type

    Save 30% off future retail price ($650)

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    Pledge ¥62,100 or more About $561

    2 Damascus Watch Eary bird

    Two(2) Damascus watch Silk-Braid Type + galuchat leather Type

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Funding period

- (30 days)