From March 2020, all shipments out directly from us shall undergo a two-stage sanitization/disinfection process.
Packaging & Printed Materials (Ozone)
Separate from the watch itself, all packaging materials - including boxes, wrapping cloths, printed content, cardstock, watchbeds etc - will undergo a 7-10 minute ozone bath in a closed-container environment. This is to ensure that ozone molecules will permeate throughout these materials for effective disinfection. Ozone was chosen as it is 20-30 times stronger than chlorine, it will not have the corrosion and bad smell issues inherent to chlorine, and it allows us to finish the process 5 times faster.
The Watch (Ultraviolet-C)
The watch shall be separated at all times and shall not be subjected to ozone disinfection, to prevent any chance of ozone oxidization no matter how small the probability.
Instead, the watch shall be bathed for 10 minutes in 4 Ultraviolet-C tubes that run the length of the watch - 2 at the top, and 2 at the bottom in a cooled closed-container environment where internal walls are highly polished to allow maximum reflectivity. Temperatures shall be monitored to not allow the watch to exceed 35 degrees Celsius, and this shall be done in a cooled room. The watch shall be UV-bathed in its original manufacturing clear stickers to avoid and prevent any scratches, and shall be laid on a quartz bed to prevent undue heat mishaps. UV-C operates at the 254nm average wavelength which is the tested and known wavelength for effective disinfection with an efficacy rate of 99.9%.
The final package shall be plastic vacuum-sealed and affixed with an inspection sticker. The package will then be bathed in a light UV-C bath before putting it inside delivery boxes.
Why We Are Doing This
This is a significant expense on our part in terms of both additional time as well as machinery costs. However, we felt it was important during this period to do whatever we can to ensure that our watches reach our customers in the best possible state - both in terms of product quality, as well as in terms of sanitization quality. This is in line with Hajime-san's penchant to deliver the best possible experience to customers, even if it does take more steps and time.
What Is Out of Our Hands
We have consulted many medical and manufacturing experts before coming the the above sanitization methodologies against germs, bacteria and human coronavirus. But because COVID-19 is so new, we cannot warrant that the above steps will kill COVID-19. However, we still firmly believe these proactive steps taken - irrespective of the expense - are important and beneficial to our customers.
Scholarly discourses, whitepapers and studies on the high sanitization efficacy Ozone/UV-C has versus human coronavirus is widely available online and can be easily Googled.
However, we cannot control what happens when the package leaves our atelier, and that is why we have vacuum packed it. But what surrounds the vacuum pack plastic - the carton/ envelope/ bubblewrap is out of our control. How the freight forwarding and delivery companies (and even the deliveryman himself) adheres to strict sanitation policies is not within our control or knowledge.
However, we have decided that during this period - to stick with Fedex and DHL - as our global delivery partners due to a better than normal corporate policy they have in place for handling safety and precautions.
We thank you for you patience, and for your time!