Watches, Stories & Gear: Animators Flock to TikTok, a New Venture from Hajime Asaoka, and Stand-up Comedy Returns to NYC

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“Watches, Stories, and Gear” is a roundup of our favorite content, watch or otherwise, from around the internet. Here, we support other creators, explore interesting content that inspires us, and put a spotlight on causes we believe in. Oh, and any gear we happen to be digging on this week. We love gear.

Share your story ideas or interesting finds with us by emailing our Managing Editor at [email protected]

This installment of “Watches, Stories, and Gear” is brought to you by the Windup Watch Shop, which now offers home goods.

Kurono x Hiroshige

If you’re a regular reader of Worn & Wound, you know that we’ve covered Hajime Asaoka’s Kurono brand with great interest since it launched last year. Asaoka is a world class independent watchmaker, and Kurono offers his fans and watch enthusiasts an opportunity to get a taste of his design without a five figure price tag. His watches under the Kurono banner have all sold out quickly and command high prices on the second hand market. Unfortunate for collectors who aspire to own one, but an undeniably good sign for the brand itself.

It’s pretty exciting, then, to hear that Kurono is expanding by way of a sub-brand of sorts: Kurono x Hiroshige. The brand will produce “artisan-made collector-grade accessories” at price points that open them up to the masses – similar in philosophy to the Kurono watches. The first product to be launched is the Tamenuri Maki-e box, an Urushi lacquer box suitable for a watch, with a beautiful Maki-e representation of a Japanese bell flower in full bloom. Only 250 boxes will be made, and each will sell for $319. Read all about it here.

TikTok Animation Breaks Through

Just as Vine (remember Vine?) became a hub for comedians, and Instagram has become a home for entrepreneurial influencers (and watch lovers, and everyone else) it seems that TikTok is emerging as a venue for independent animators. The social media platform has exploded in popularity this year, with viral videos originating on TikTok but jumping to other mediums almost immediately, and seen by millions of viewers. It’s not just silly dances and lip synch videos, though. As The Verge explains, TikTok provides a unique opportunity for animators to have their entire body of work seen in a way that Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram don’t, a result of the algorithm TikTok uses to put just the right content in front of people who will be interested in continuing to watch it. Animation also presents as a stark contrast to much of the other content on TikTok – the theory goes that if you’re scrolling endlessly through the latest trend and hype videos searching for view counts and come across an animation, it’s going to slow you down and make you pay attention. If you like what you see, the cream rises to the top. Exciting times if you’re a young animator, and definitely a space to watch.

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Stand-up Comedy in the Age of Covid-19

So many things about the way we live have been altered by the pandemic in 2020 that it’s sometimes hard to keep stock of everything we’re missing. Stand-up comedy might not currently be the center of culture in the same way movies, television, and popular music are, but it’s a vital scene that has been ground to a halt with social distancing restrictions. It turns out, to nobody’s surprise, that small, crowded, comedy clubs aren’t exactly the safest place at a time when a respiratory illness threatens us all. Leave it to NYC comedians, though, to come up with a solution. In this story in the New York Times, read about how some resourceful comics brought their acts outdoors, into safety, to make their communities laugh again, and how they’ve navigated some legal complications with New York’s state government and liquor authority.

From the Archives: the Autodromo Intereuropa

Just shy of a year ago, Ilya Ryvin went hands on with the Autodromo Intereuropa. This watch, introduced in the fall of 2019, was Autodromo’s first watch with a hand wound movement, and is inspired by the elegant Italian sports cars of the 50s and 60s. These watches have an undeniable style, and are the type of automotive inspired watches that you don’t need to be a car lover to enjoy. This review covers the three variants that were introduced upon the watch’s launch, but we should also mention the new “Nassau Blue” version that Zach Weiss discussed right here. Check out the original review here.

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