For 1,400 yen ($13), the price of a cup of coffee, a novel cafe set up in Tokyo's Haneda Airport offers customers the chance to savor the philosophy of high-end watchmaker Franck Muller.
Muller is a "time philosopher," and the watchmaker hopes customers at the cafe really cherish the "value of time," said Katsuyuki Noda, marketing and public relations director of the company's import agency World Commerce Corp.
The cafe, set up to celebrate the Swiss company’s 25th anniversary, is called "Franck Muller 365 Port of Vanguard," and aims to embody the watchmaker's identity. The 365 equals the days of the year, and also links in with how long the cafe is open, from April this year through March 2018 at Haneda Airport Terminal 2.
The idea of the cafe is to find oneself absorbed in the combination of "time" and "journey." It is also apparently based on the futuristic "Vanguard" watch the company released last year.
High-end Arabica beans from Brazil are used to make the coffee, said sales manager Yasushi Fujita.
The cafe also sells uniquely designed toys such as a Japanese "kendama," which is adorned with iconic Byzantine numerals--the type often seen plastered on the faces of watches. Muller himself ordered the specially designed toy, which is basically a ball on a string that is juggled into cups, from a long-established maker in Hiroshima.
Also available at the cafe is "Daiginjo Chocolat" (5,500 yen), which contains top-quality sake from a brewery in Miyagi Prefecture with a more than 200-year history, and "Black Bean Pound Cake" (4,500 yen). Original tumblers are also on sale.
Muller feels heavily integrated in "time and journey" and once released a collection of watches called "Casablanca" based on the idea of taking a vacation. He also produced the "Master Banker" series that displays the time in three cities in different time zones.
"This is a space where I can spend a slow and luxurious time even though I tend to feel in a rush before departure," said Mami Wada, an advertising company representative, who was sipping on a laudable coffee.