I suppose I meant "that is a lot of time from someone with those skills for $400". This appears, to me, to be far beyond what one would expect when resoling and restoring the upper. Perhaps DW does this when he resoles shoes he has made (except for the gemming, of course), but it looked like that person should have been making shoes and farmed out the resole to someone else, at a lower rate of pay.
From what you experts saw, were those beat up old boots worth that much loving care? They looked much nicer once finished, but the repair work appeared to be several steps up from the original level of construction.
Why handwelt to the gemming? Why handsew the outsoles and do all that crafting of the sole edge by hand? I gather the routine cobbler approach would have been a machine to grind it down? I assume this is typical of bespoke handmade, but what was accomplished in this case? My Japanese is a little rusty.