Jiro Katayama’s Otsuka Lotec Watches Focus on Mechanics

Jiro Katayama’s designs for his Otsuka Lotec brand take inspiration from hand-held movie cameras and speedometers.

Some watch designers are inspired by the grand beauty and rich history of mechanical watches. But for Jiro Katayama, a Tokyo-based watch designer, it is all about the gears and pinions, elements of the industrial world where he began his career.

That influence — from growing up in car-crazy Japan of the 1980s to the instruments he encountered in automotive design school and his jobs with Lexus and other Japanese automakers — helped Mr. Katayama create Otsuka Lotec watches in 2000 as part of a design business, pivoting to just watch production in 2012.

During the

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