An attempt at a new watch for a new chapter in the life of our star reporter.

Some of our long-time readers might remember a plucky little mankini-wearing, rubber-band-gun shooting, cornrow-sporting writer called Mr. Sato. Well, now he’s all grown up and has reached the ripe old age of 45, which would mean roughly half his life is behind him now.

▼ Mr. Sato circa 2011

It’s not a terribly pleasant thought, but it’s one which Mr. Sato is meeting with a lot of optimism. He set out three goals to achieve in the back nine of his life: Be able to travel abroad every year; set up a studio inside his home; and buy a really nice watch.

And while the first and second goals are still going to take a little time, our writer is happy to announce that he is all set to get the timepiece. After his recent breakup with Docomo and its iPhones, he felt it was time to ditch the Apple Watch get something that matched his maturity as well as his Guns N’ Roses T-shit.

One morning he walked into the SoraNews24 office and made an announcement to his coworkers: “Listen up schlubs! I’m going to buy an accessory that is going to make you all think differently of me from now on. That’s right. I’m taking 100,000 yen (US$915) in cold hard cash right now to go buy the Rolex that I, Mr. Sato, so rightfully deserve.

Fellow writer Harada asked, “Can you even buy a Rolex for…”

“ONE MORE THING,” interrupted Mr. Sato, “I expect that once I am wearing the mighty Rolex you will all address me directly as ‘sir.’ And when speaking about me in third person, please refer to me as ‘Dr. Feelgood, The One that Makes Ya Feel Alright.’ That is all.”

He then headed to the Isetan department store in Shinjuku, just outside of his own building. However, the confidence which he left the office with began to melt away when faced with the cold, judgmental architecture of the building…

Mr. Sato had walked past this entrance everyday for the past 10 years, and it was right near here that he met the head of SoraNews, Yoshio, for the first time. Back then he was so poor he could hardly eat. He never would have imagined that a decade later he would be here buying a Rolex.

The thought made Mr. Sato a little teary-eyed, but he decided to push on with his mission and headed inside, past all the cosmetics, and up the escalator to the fourth floor jewelry section. The sign showed the Rolex section in the very back, alongside Omega and Frank Muller and not too far from Tag Hauer, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Hublot, and many other brands that Mr. Sato knew well, but until now had absolutely nothing to do with his life.

Mr. Sato headed right over to the Rolex counter and began scanning all the prices. The way he was looking, you’d think he was planning to buy a price tag rather than an actual watch. However, nothing appeared to be in his price range at all. Perhaps these were just the signature models and the more reasonably priced stuff was kept in the back.

To find out he asked the staff.

Photography is strictly prohibited in such high-end stores so the following scene was digitally recreated on our state-of-the-art supercomputers.

▼ CG Re-enactment: Inside Rolex, Clerk (left, pink) and Mr. Sato (right, blue)

▼ Mr. Sato: “This is my first time here. Um… Do you have anything for around 100,000 yen?”

▼ Rolex Clerk: “100,000 yen you say…”

The clerk seemed to process that question for a split second, as if she were slightly stunned by its audacity.

▼ Rolex Clerk: “The lowest priced watch we have is 500,000 yen ($4,570) I’m afraid.”

The price hit Mr. Sato like a soul punch, knocking his consciousness out of his physical body and back a few feet. He could see himself with the clerk, still stammering and fidgeting, but was unable to do anything about it.

▼ “Gah!”

The reality of Rolex had devastated his dreams of a fruitful old age. With his aspirations instantly dashed, his astral projection began to spiral into a dark pit of despair…

Then everything went black.



Later that day, everyone was hard at work in the office when suddenly an ecstatic Mr. Sato burst through the door.

▼ [Two hours later] “I’m back!”

And he was wearing a watch.

▼ “Yessir! Look who just bought himself a watch! Ta-Da!”

▼ “Finally a timepiece that tells the world what kind of a man Mr. Sato really is. “

▼ “Hey, not so close! You’ll get cooties on it… Argh!”

Mr. Sato broke down and told everyone what happened. He was rejected hard by Rolex and in a daze he wandered over to the nearby electronics store Bic Camera. Not wanting to go back empty-handed he decided to buy the Casio for only 1,590 yen ($15) and a 10 percent point rebate.

He figured that if he just acted like he had bought a Rolex, everyone would go along with it and not notice.

▼ “…”

▼ “Okay… Let me have it. I know… I’m pathetic! I can’t even buy a Rolex…”

▼ “But…”

▼ “But! But! But! But! But!♫”

▼ “This isn’t the end of my story… LOOK AT THIS!”

▼ “You might have noticed this little brown box sitting next to me.”

▼ “It says ‘Gucci!’ That’s right, G-U-C-uh… [looks at box] C-I! Taaaah-Daaaah!!!”

▼ “Perhaps you’ve heard of it? You know, the high-end fashion brand? Gucci?”

▼ “It came in this thing that looks like a little lunch box, but rather than a tasty meal, the engagement ring of my dreams lie inside it. Now, like a blushing bride-to-be, I shall open it…”


▼ “Behold, the Gucci G Metro Chronograph which sells for 115,344 yen ($1,050)!”

He also got a receipt but planned to hang onto it, not as a proof of purchase, but as a souvenir of this milestone in his life. He even had the store put on his maiden name “Hidenori Sato” for the full effect.

▼ “The sales tax alone was 8,544 yen. I could buy like five Casios with that.”

And so, for the rest of the day, Mr. Sato wore the Gucci watch and carried it with the dignity and maturity befitting such an accessory.

▼ At work…

▼ “What time is it, Gucci?”

▼ “Time for a smoke!”

▼ “Oh? What time is it now, Gucci?”

▼ “Lunch time!”

▼ “Oh dear. Now what time is it, Gucci?”

▼ “Snack time!”

▼ “Oh my, would you look at the time. Seriously, LOOK AT IT!”

And so, Mr. Sato learned a valuable lesson. At first, he had been so obsessed with buying a Rolex that he didn’t even stop to consider whether the watch was right for him. In getting rejected by the luxury brand he was able to gain the proper perspective and choose a watch that he could truly love and appreciate for what it is.

He hoped that the G Metro Chronograph would last a long time and join him on this journey into the latter half of his life as a reminder of the hope it contained.

Photos: SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]