"FUNCTIONAL BEAUTY, UNDERTSTATED ELEGANCE..."
Grand Seiko watches are today, one of the most sought-after luxury watches for good reason. Their accuracy, craftsmanship, and sophisticated Japanese designs ensure their online reviews are consistently excellent. This is why J Farren-Price partnered with the esteemed brand in late 2019 to become an authorised dealer in Sydney.
(Picture above, is a photo from a Grand Seiko watch making demonstration we held back in February 2020 at our boutique)
The Grand Seiko brand is at first glance impressive, boasting over one hundred different models of watch across their Masterpiece, Elegance, Heritage and Sports collections.
So, given the vast choice available to you, how do you know which Grand Seiko watch is the one
We’ll guide you through their collection, and help you to decide what you’re looking for in a watch and how to find the perfect Grand Seiko timepiece for you.
Why Buy a Grand Seiko Watch?
When you are in possession of a Grand Seiko watch, you can rest assured that, as a brand, they have a long history of excellence behind them and are instantly recognisable by their simplicity and elegance.
Ever since they first came on the scene in 1960, and right up to their most recent 2021 collection, Grand Seiko continues to stand out as the gold standard in watchmaking.
Although Grand Seiko was developed as the separate luxury arm of the umbrella brand, Seiko, in 2016, it still benefits from the brand’s most significant craftspeople and techniques. Such techniques include Zaratsu steel finishing that creates a razor-sharp hand and marker; in-house movement building; and state-of-the-art engraving methods.
Grand Seiko prides itself on its in-house movement setting which ranges from the 9F family of quartz calibres through to automatic mechanical engines and quartz-regulated Spring Drive Technology.
So, when you’re buying a Grand Seiko watch – whether it be a Grand Seiko Snowflake, a Grand Seiko Diver or a Grand Seiko Elegance watch, you should be safe in the knowledge you’ll be receiving value, quality and kudos.
Value: Whatever your budget, whatever you spend, you know you’ll be getting excellent value for your money when you buy Grand Seiko – whether you’re looking to purchase online or in person at J Farren-Price.
Quality: Grand Seiko watches, at every price point are made to last, using the latest technology, manufacturing techniques and enduring materials. With a Grand Seiko, you invest in a top-quality timepiece that will last for many years to come.
Kudos: The experience of wearing a Grand Seiko watch is something you can’t put a price on. You’ll get the recognition that you’re wearing something special; something valuable and something coveted by everyone you meet.
1. Be Clear on Your Budget
Before selecting a Grand Seiko watch, it’s important you know the budget range you’re prepared to work with. Typically, Grand Seiko watches range from around AUD $2,500 up to $240,000. Given such a broad range, there should be a price point to suit most people.
Regardless of budget, whether looking at entry level, including Grand Seiko GMT models, or the higher end such as one of the more exclusive Grand Seiko limited edition watches, high quality is a given. You can be assured that you’ll receive a beautiful, high-quality luxury product that’s built to last and while feeling comfortable wearing it as an everyday watch.
2. Drive System: Mechanical, Quartz or Spring Drive?
Grand Seiko used to arrange their collections according to their category of movement or “Drive Systems” (Mechanical, Quartz or Spring Drive), but have now organised them into the Elegance, Heritage, or Sport collections.
That said, it is useful to educate yourself on the different categories of drive systems, so you can be sure of what you’re buying. The internal mechanisms are what set many Grand Seiko timepieces apart, depending on what functionality you want. On our website, you have the option to refine your search by Drive System, if this is the attribute you’re most focused on.
Grand Seiko Mechanical
It’s important to note that, according to Grand Seiko, “mechanical”, means both manual and automatic. So, of the 57 mechanical watches in the Grand Seiko collection, you have to also select “Specifications” and then “Movement” to determine whether you want to choose a manual or automatic.
Manual Grand Seiko mechanical watches are quite traditional; perhaps more for the purists. When you wind your watch, you can hear the parts moving, and the movement is fully on display like a historical timepiece. These watches tend to be slimmer, but they are also more delicate, requiring the task of winding and setting the time and date by hand.
The automatic Grand Seiko mechanical watch - which at J Farren-Price, we include as a separate category - is self-winding, powered by a spinning rotor. Automatic self-winding models are a perfect choice if you want a traditional metal “driving system” but don’t want to perform the regular winding and time-setting yourself.
Grand Seiko Quartz
Quartz watches operate by literally using a piece of quartz to regulate the time whilst using a battery to keep it ticking along. Their value and strength lies in their precision.
Quartz watches are generally more affordable, offering a ‘no hassle’ convenient user experience - no winding, no time-setting, and they’re extremely accurate. That being said, they don’t have quite the same wow-factor or craftsmanship as Spring Drive watches, which we’ll come to next...
Grand Seiko Spring Drive
These watches are a hybrid driving system, coupling battery power with mechanical movement, although the battery doesn't, in reality, need replacing.
A Spring Drive is as durable and accurate as a quartz watch, but it includes some exquisite extra details, like the second hand that rotates around the dial in one smooth motion. They are higher in price, as they offer watch enthusiasts a richer experience in owning and wearing one.
3. Collection: Masterpiece, Elegance, Heritage or Sport?
Grand Seiko Masterpiece
The Masterpiece range is Grand Seiko’s most exclusive collection available. These timepieces are set with gems and precious metals, and movements finished by hand.
Whilst we don’t currently retail watches from the Masterpiece range, they are a collection of extreme beauty that we’re happy to tell you about.
For example, the SGBD207 is a stunning timepiece. It boasts 24 green garnets, 56 jewels, 97 diamonds and a diamond-embedded crown. It’s powered by the Spring Drive 8-day calibre 9R01 which is accurate to +/-10 seconds per month, and has a power reserve of 192 hours when fully wound.
Grand Seiko Elegance
The Elegance collection is designed to reflect traditional Japanese dress watches, harking back to a 1960s-style timepiece. It is in this collection that you are most likely to find a hand-wound watch as well as some pieces more suited to ladies.
So, if you tend to like the look sophisticate styling of a traditional dress watch, the
Elegance collection is a great option, like the SBGJ251 (above) acquired by J Farren-Price.
Grand Seiko Heritage
The Heritage range could be described as the ‘all-rounder’ collection, which includes both contemporary dress watches and everyday more sporty looking watches alike. Grand Seiko Heritage dials tend to be more colourful and bold, something the brand has become well known for.
The SBGJ201 is a popular model for customers new to Grand Seiko. It boasts a classy and attractive design with beautiful smooth polishing. It is also hassle-free with its automatic calibre, dual time display, and calendar-linked time difference adjustment function.
Grand Seiko Sport
The Sport collection is becoming an increasingly popular option among new and existing Grand Seiko customers. They are a great option for customers who enjoy larger watches, dive watches or sports watches in general and, while Grand Seiko is relatively new to sports watches, their expertise in this area is second to none.
The SBGE201 is an exquisite example of the Sports collection.
It has a Spring Drive calibre and combines the high precision of a quartz watch with the motive force of a mainspring.
The crisp sapphire glass surface provides the watch with a sense of transparency, breadth and depth, which highlights the smooth, continuous motion of the second-hand movement over the black dial.
Find a Specialist: Grand Seiko at J Farren-Price
J Farren-Price, Sydney, offers a range of Grand Seiko pieces amongst our watch collection. Our expert team is trained on the nuances of their exclusive movements, high-grade materials, and top-end craftsmanship, and we are proud of our offering.
You can browse through our Grand Seiko collection in a similar way to their own website, using our Watch Finder to narrow your search by collection, driving system, movement, colour and so on.
In our Sydney boutique, we offer watches from the Elegance, Heritage, and Sports collections ranging from under $5,000 up to about $12,000. We also occasionally get special limited models not listed on our website so it is recommended to always call our boutique on 02 9231 3299 to check for any new expected arrivals. Alternatively you can sign up to our monthly newsletter at the bottom of our homepage for all the news on latest arrivals - sign up here.
At J Farren-Price, we can help you discover your dream watch. Not only can we help you narrow down your search with our online Watch Finder, but we’re also ready to help answer any questions you have as you search for a Grand Seiko watch in Australia.
When you are looking to invest in a Grand Seiko watch, you can rest assured that whatever your budget, you will receive a high-quality, valuable, accurate and recognisable watch that will last for decades to come.
That said, with the expansive choice available to you, it is useful to be clear on your budget, as well as your style goals and the level of functionality you require.
With the broad range of price points available to you, you can be confident you will find something suitable. Plus, given the variety of styles, from the classic Elegance to the Sports collection, you’re sure to find something for you at J Farren-Price.