Update after almost a couple of weeks of use...
As I mentioned earlier in this post, the knife left a lot to be desired on the OOTB edge... Wich I solved right away "retouching it" with my bester 1200, suehiro rika 5000 and finally the Gesshin 8000. I worked on it thinking on respecting the original edge, and I rised a small burr, I didn't want to change anything on the knife profile.
On my first cut, I felt the magic... Cool knife, sharp and very reactive, I cutted those grilled peppers and the first impression was good.
The next time I had the chance of doing something more substantial... I took some tomatoes that needed to be sliced, and everything went fine...With the first tomato, with the second I started getting the feeling of a dull knife... Sad thing...I honed it a little with the Idahone 1200 rod and it worked fine again...For a couple of tomatoes more...WTF???
Is this the mythical Masamoto HC?... I can't believe it... There must be something wrong, this can't be happening, was my first tought.
Was the 8000 stone too much for the knife?...Was I getting an "slippery" edge?...To me it felt dull, but I wanted to think that there must be something that I was doing wrong.
The next day I paid a visit to my mum's house and asked for her 21 Cm Mac to get a fair comparison. I sharpened both at the same time, same progression starting from 1200, same angles (I gave to my mac and to my mum's mac an asimetrical edge that looks pretty much like the one that the Masamoto has originally) and checked them with my 20x magnification glass to see if I was doing something wrong, but nothing, everything looked fine.
I took both knives to my kitchen in the restaurant, I told my prep guy to help me with some other tasks and I took his position, I divided the scallions, the tomatoes, the onions, the cilantro, the serrano peppers, the bell peppers, and the shallots in two equal parts. I was going to give an equal test to both knives...Long story short...The Mac was the winner by far on the edge retention department...Something had to be wrong, maybe I got a lemon...Who knows? I was puzzled and disappointed.
I finished the prep with the Mac and I called it a day on testing knives. Later in the service, my salad cook ran short on diced tomatoes and I grabbed the knife again, I tought that it was the Mac, but I took the Masamoto in the rush, I diced the tomato with the dull knife and just by the feeling of a knife squeezing and torturing the veggie I got upset...That was the straw that broke the camel's back!!
When the service finished I took the knife and went back home to give it some badass sharpening...No more caressing or "retouching", my patience plumetted down to zero and that crappy piece was going to get some love from my Beston 500.
I prepared the stones, took care of having all of them absolutely flattened and propperly soaked and then the harsh treatment started, I went for a HUGE burr on the 500 stone, I didn't want to leave a single square micron of the old edge, it was going to be an absolute new beginning.
Once I got the edge to my satisfaction with the 500, I went for the bester 1200, after that for the suehiro rika 5000, then the Takenoko 6000 and finally for the gesshin 8000, believe me, this time I was very anal about the whole process and I was looking for the best that I could do with my not so huge experience, but I was going to use all my resources.
When I finished, I tested the edge, and it was scary sharp (just like on other ocasions just coming from the stone)... I sliced a tomato and it went fine, I passed the knife on my arm and it gave me a clean shave, and finally I did the paper test and it went fine. But I wasn't at ease yet, edge was never a problem...Edge RETENTION was.
I went back to the restaurant ready to slice a case of tomatoes, even if we didn't need them. I checked the staff menu for the next day and to my surprise it was "Ceviche" wich means serious dicing...I got the tomatoes, the onions, the serrano chilies, the cilantro and even the limes and I did all the prep in advance.
First tomato...Perfect...Second tomato...Perfect...Third tomato and still perfect!! Way to go! Very cool, there was light at the end of the tunnel! I finished the 5 pounds of tomato and the knife was just perfect, I continued with all the veggies and paying a lot of attention on the feedback of the knife...Everything went perfect!! Damned! I was happy...But still to early to call it a victory.
Next day... A big bunch of cilantro, several scallions bunches, diced shallots, and a couple of tomatoes at the end, just to see if the edge was still there. No problem, second session went with flying colors!
And so on...Until today, the knife retains a great edge , I haven't used the rod at all and has been almost a week. The knife is not getting a very heavy duty but it's getting his share of work and I'm paying a lot of attention to it's performance. At this point, the edge has been there much longer than the mac...This is exactly what I was expecting from a knife with such high credentials.
Too early for celebration, but so far, very very satisfied, the edge retention is there, the very sharp edge too, and the fit of the knife overpassed my expectations...I can't explain very well but I don't get fatigued hands at all, it's just a very comfortable knife to work with.
The patina?... Pics will come soon, but I think that this is what a patina must look like, it doesn't look dirty or ugly... Actually, I think that I'm going to let it age with grace and to get used to like it for his very own nature. Time will tell, but the look of the blade doesn't bother me at all.
It reacted very fast and drastically on the first use, but from that day, the evolution has been slow and smooth, I think that after the initial use, it starts to settle down. I still rinse it and dry it right inmediately after use, and BTW...I'm cutting a lot of limes with it and the reaction is still very reasonable.
In a few words...I'm a happy happy man and after the hard sharpening session it became exactly what I was expecting from such knife ! I'll keep you updated.
Any toughts or input will be more than welcome, I don't understand what was going on at first and if there are ideas to clarify it will be very enriching.
Best regards from México.