7 Windows Urushi maki-e
Launched in the early 2000s, Minase is an independent Japanese watch brand which produces some 500 watches per year. Every timepiece is inspired by and pays tribute to Japanese culture. The 7 Windows collection was named after the seven sapphire crystals integrated into the case construction. Those “windows” offer a never-before-seen view into the heart of the watch. Handcrafted and available in steel or gold, this model is the perfect marriage of rectangular and round shapes.
Minase craftsmen spend more than four hours to polish a single watch case using the "sallaz" (or zaratsu) surface finishing technique. Sallaz requires more than 127 operations. The mirrorpolished surfaces literally sparkle and contrast perfectly with the satin-finished areas, forming neatly defined angles between, very much like the facets of a diamond. At the top of the watch, the domed sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective coating. The polyhedral crown bears the brand's logo.
The Urushi maki-e dial
The dials of Minase watches are out of the ordinary. The movement of the watch is covered with a steel cap. The upper part serves as a dial plate on which a steel ring with the indexes is fixed. Completed by the hands and the index circle, this set of elements is fixed to the case with four screws and seems to float within the case. The dial cap is painstakingly brushed with several layers of urushi lacquer of various colors, then carved, decorated with paint, gold flakes and sprinkled with thin layers of metal powder (maki-e). Urushi lacquer is extracted from the urushi tree. This sap is a powerful adhesive that has been used as a varnish in China and Japan for thousands of years. The artist Junichi Hakose is famous for his mastery of the urushi maki-e technique, and creates these Minase dials in his workshop in Japan. Although the watches are not limited editions, each piece is unique. Komon, the name of this edition, is a true masterpiece in the art of Urushi lacquer. The juxtaposition of different patterns is popular in Japan and often found on kimonos or tableware. For this watch, Hakose was inspired by flower shapes, petals and leaves. The challenge was to avoid monotony and to achieve a dynamic look all on a small surface. To this end, Hakose divided the dial into three parts, drastically reducing the proportions of each one. This was a real challenge for the artist who - with the help of his smallest brushes - finally reached the pinnacle of meticulousness.
The Minase KT7002 movement is based on top quality ETA 2892/A2 components and assembled in Switzerland. This high-end execution features hand-finished surfaces with circular graining, blue screws, bridges with polished bevels, a main plate and black gold-plated bridges. The mechanism provides 50 hours of power reserve. The rotor is decorated with the Minase logo.