GRAND SEIKO: A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE - SEPTEMBER 2022 NEWS article hero image

GRAND SEIKO: A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE - SEPTEMBER 2022 NEWS

What makes Grand Seiko some of the most sought-after luxury watches?

There are three primary factors that define Grand Seiko as a brand; precision, beauty, and ease of use. Their master watchmakers combine the finest technology, design, and finish in order to consistently excel in these areas. It is the unrivalled excellence of their watchmakers that allows this Japanese brand to have some of the most sought-after luxury watches in the world. But it is not just their technical precision that has collectors returning to the brand time and time again – the hallmark of all Grand Seiko collections is their functional beauty and design purity. 

Grand Seiko's SBGE255 with purple material and flowers

(Model Pictured: SBGE255)

A History of Excellence

It was a determination to excel and a desire to create the ideal timepiece that brought about the birth of Grand Seiko in 1960. The first Seiko shop was opened in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori, a 21 year old entrepreneur dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in horology. The small Tokyo Clock shop quickly blossomed into much more when he opened the “Seikosha” factory just eleven years later. Kintaro’s tireless pursuit of excellence drove him to craft the first ever wristwatch created in Japan which he dubbed The Laurel. In 1913, at the time of its creation, most men and women in Japan were still using pocket watches, and the few wrist watches that existed amongst Japanese society were imported from Europe. Seiko continued to stay ahead of the curve in 1959 with the creation of their proprietary “Magic Lever” system; an innovative self-winding watch mechanism.

1960 first Grand Seiko watch

(First Grand Seiko Watch, 1960)

In 1960, Seiko’s most experienced and skilled watchmakers were entrusted with crafting the very best watch of which they were capable; one that was equally balanced in technology, beauty, legibility, and accuracy. It was nine years later that their skill made itself clear, with the creation of the world’s first quartz watch – accurate to within 5 seconds per month and with the ability to run continuously for one year. From then on it was a series of “world’s first” headlines for Grand Seiko. 

Award-Winning Design

Grand Seiko’s achievements culminated in 2021 at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, where the Hi-Beat 36000 80 Hours was declared to be the best men’s watch of the year. This prestigious award is highly coveted amongst watchmakers, and is one of the highest honours a watch can receive. In his acceptance speech, Akio Naito, president of Seiko Watch Corporation perfectly summarised why the Hi-Beat was the clear choice for first place:

“This watch exemplifies Grand Seiko’s never-ending pursuit of watchmaking excellence in every aspect. We are honoured that the tradition of quality and spirit of Grand Seiko’s watchmaking is recognised at our industry’s most important award ceremony.” 

2021 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie speech by Akio Naito, President of Seiko Watch Corporation who joined the ceremony remotely from Tokyo, Japan

(President of Seiko Watch Corporation, Akio Naito, speaking at the 2021 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève)

Precision

The spirit of Grand Seiko’s watchmaking is exemplified in their unique approach to precision. The Japanese brand’s watches effortlessly combine timeless tradition with unmatched technology, resulting in some of the most accurate movements in the entire luxury watch industry.

Grand Seiko SBGA211G Against Snowy Mountains

(Model Pictured: SBGA211)

The Spring Drive movement of the Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA211 is a prime example of the brand’s incredible precision. The Spring Drive watch technology skillfully combines the power and driving force of a mechanical watch with the precision of quartz to deliver a level of accuracy that is unrivalled by any other luxury watch brand. Pair that with the Snowflake’s elegant design and it is clear why Grand Seiko is beloved amongst watch collectors worldwide.

Design & Beauty

A hallmark of all Grand Seiko pieces is the uniquely Japanese sense of beauty with which they are created; it is a tranquil kind of beauty, a perfect harmony of sharp angles and smooth curves. These luxury timepieces typify the spirit of Takumi, a Japanese word which refers to a craftsman who is unrivalled in their field, one who pours their heart and soul into every creation. 

Grand Seiko Watch Being Designed

(Image Source: Grand Seiko)

Their master watchmakers’ pursuit of the ideal watch is neverending, and their ability to craft pieces of refined beauty is unmatched. This ability is in part due to the brand’s captivation with nature; it is a well-known fact that the understated elegance and charm that is innate in Grand Seiko watches is inspired by the watchmakers’ natural surrounds. 

SLGA009 Grand Seiko Watch in front of White Birch Background

(Model Pictured: SLGA009)

The Grand Seiko White Birch SLGH005 and SLGA009 represent this captivation with stunning clarity. Their dials are inspired by the slender and strikingly beautiful white birch tree forests that  thrive in gorgeous abundance near the Grand Seiko Shizukuishi and Shinshu watch Studios. To gaze upon the dial of any White Birch timepiece is to be a visitor to these forests. 

Materials

The materials of Grand Seiko watches are selected for each new design with singular focus and masterful discernment. Each metal, alloy, and crystal is chosen with the aim of furthering their commitment to precision, beauty, and ease of use. The selection of materials is especially important for the technologies used in the movements of the watch, which is why Grand Seiko has been developing their own alloys (known as “Spron”) for use in their watches’ springs. Each new generation of the Spron alloy has brought them to another level of precision and another step closer to their goal of creating the perfect timepiece. 

Not only have they created their own alloys, but Grand Seiko also grows its own crystals in-house to ensure that they can create quartz movements with unrivalled performance. Each crystal is selected with utmost care, ensuring that its individual characteristics will perfectly fit the Caliber 9F mechanism.

Grand Seiko watch movement being put together

 (Image Source: Grand Seiko)

So are Grand Seiko watches a good investment? In our opinion, they most certainly are. The brand’s history of excellence in functionality and precision, award-winning design, elegant finishing and high calibre materials set them apart and make their timepieces increasingly popular additions to the discerning watch enthusiast’s collection. 

Discover the master craftsmanship and elegance of Grand Seiko watches in Sydney at J Farren-Price today, proudly an official Grand Seiko Australia dealer since 2019.

SBGW231 - GRAND SEIKO 'ELEGANCE' STEEL CREAM DIAL MANUAL

details

  • Materials: Stainless steel case. Glass is box shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface. See-through case back with 6 screws and lion emblem. Pull out crown. Black crocodile leather strap.
  • Dial: Cream dial with silver baton dial markers. Silver hours, minutes and seconds hands.
  • Functions: Splash resistant. Hours, minutes and seconds. Stop seconds hand function.
  • Power Source: Manual winding, calibre 9S64. 24 jewels. Approximately 72 hours of power reserve. Accuracy of +5 to -3 seconds per day (when static) / +10 to -1 seconds per day (normal usage accuracy).
  • Diameter: 37.30mm.
REF: SBGW231 $6,300 MAKE AN ENQUIRY

SBGE253 - GRAND SEIKO 'SPORT' SPRING DRIVE GMT

details

  • Materials: Stainless steel case with black ceramic bezel. Glass is dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface. Screw case back with lion emblem. Screw-down crown. Lumibrite on hands and index(es). Stainless steel bracelet, three-fold clasp with push button release.
  • Dial: Black dial with silver Lumibrite hours, minutes and seconds hands. Silver Lumibrite baton dial markers. Red 24-hour hand. Date window at 4 o'clock position.
  • Functions: Water resistant up to 20 bar. Hours, minutes, seconds and date. 24-hour GMT hand (dual time display function). Calendar-linked time difference adjustment function. Screw-down crown at 4 o'clock position. Stop seconds hand function. One way rotating bezel.
  • Power Source: 9R66 Spring Drive movement. Approximately 72 hours of power reserve. 30 jewels. Accuracy of ±15 seconds per month (±1 second per day).
  • Diameter: 40.50mm.
$9,300 MAKE AN ENQUIRY

SBGN013 - GRAND SEIKO 'HERITAGE' BLACK DIAL 9F QUARTZ GMT

details

  • Materials: Stainless steel case. Glass is dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface. Screw case back with lion emblem. Stainless steel bracelet, three-fold clasp with push button release.
  • Dial: Black dial with silver hours, minutes and seconds hands. Silver baton dial markers. Red 24-hour hand. Date window at 3 o'clock position.
  • Functions: Water resistant up to 10 bar. Hours, minutes, seconds and date. 24-hour hand (dual time display function). Calendar-linked time difference adjustment function.
  • Power Source: Quartz 9F86 movement. SR920SW battery. Power reserve/battery life of 3 years. Accuracy of +/-10 seconds a year (at normal temperature range (5° and 35°).
  • Diameter: 40.00mm.
$4,400 MAKE AN ENQUIRY

SBGE227 - GRAND SEIKO 'ELEGANCE' SPRING DRIVE GMT

details

  • Materials: Stainless steel case. Glass is box shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface. See-through case back with 6 screws and lion emblem. Pull out crown. Crocodile leather band with three-fold clasp with push button release.
  • Dial: Black dial with with GMT indicator and date window at 3 o'clock position. Silver 24-hour hand. Silver hours, minutes and seconds hands and silver baton dial markers.
  • Functions: Water-resistant up to 10 bar. Hours, minutes, seconds and date. 24-hour hand (dual time display function). GMT indicator. Calendar-linked time difference adjustment function. Stop seconds hand function.
  • Power Source: 9R66 Spring Drive movement. Approximately 72 hours of power reserve. 30 jewels. Accuracy of ±15 seconds per month (±1 second per day).
  • Diameter: 40.20mm.
$8,700 MAKE AN ENQUIRY

SBGR309 - GRAND SEIKO 'HERITAGE' BLACK DIAL STEEL AUTOMATIC

details

  • Materials: Stainless steel case. Glass is dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface. See-through screw case back with lion emblem. Screw down crown. Stainless steel bracelet, three-fold clasp with push button release.
  • Dial: Black dial with hours, minutes and seconds hands. 'Baton' dial markers. Date window at 3 o'clock position.
  • Functions: Water resistant up to 10 bar. Hours, minutes, seconds and date. Stop seconds hand function.
  • Power Source: Automatic movement with manual winding, calibre 9S68. 35 jewels. Approximately 72 hours of power reserve. Accuracy of +5 to -3 seconds per day (when static) / +10 to -1 seconds per day (normal usage accuracy).
  • Diameter: 42.00mm.
$7,000 MAKE AN ENQUIRY

SBGP013 - GRAND SEIKO 'HERITAGE' BLUE DIAL QUARTZ

details

  • Materials: Stainless steel case. Glass is sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface. Screw case back with lion emblem. Pull out crown. Stainless steel bracelet, three-fold clasp with push button release.
  • Dial: Blue dial with silver hours, minutes and seconds hands. Silver baton dial markers. Date window at 3 o'clock position.
  • Functions: Water resistant to 10 bar. Hours, minutes, seconds and date. Calendar-linked time difference adjustment function.
  • Power Source: Quartz 9F85 calibre movement. SR920SW battery. Power reserve/battery life of 3 years. Accuracy of +/-10 seconds a year (at normal temperature range (10°C and 60°C).
  • Diameter: 40.00mm.
$3,895 MAKE AN ENQUIRY

SBGN011 - GRAND SEIKO 'HERITAGE' CHAMPAGNE DIAL 9F QUARTZ GMT

details

  • Materials: Stainless steel case. Glass is dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface. Screw case back with lion emblem. Pull out crown. Stainless still bracelet, three-fold clasp with push button release.
  • Dial: Champagne dial with silver hours, minutes and seconds hands. Silver baton dial markers. Blue 24 hour GMT hand. Date display at 3 o'clock position.
  • Functions: Water resistant up to 10 bar. Hours, minutes, seconds and date. 24-hour hand (dual time display function). Calendar-linked time difference adjustment function.
  • Power Source: Quartz 9F86 movement. SR920SW battery. Power reserve/battery life of 3 years. Accuaracy of +/-10 seconds a year (at normal temperature range (5° and 35°).
  • Diameter: 40.00mm.
$4,400 MAKE AN ENQUIRY

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