Grand Seiko Celebrates 60 Years of Honoring the Nature of Time
In honor of this milestone, Grand Seiko launches new studios and timepieces
The past year was truly a special one for Grand Seiko as it had celebrated 60 years of its creation and expert craftsmanship. Launched on December 18, 1960, Grand Seiko’s first creation captivated the public with its high level of accuracy equivalent to the superior grade of the recognized chronometer standard at the time.
The team responsible for the brand’s inception come from Seiko’s finest watchmakers, who banded together in the late 1950’s with a very simple yet ambitious aim: to create the very best watch of which they were capable—one that had the highest possible levels of precision, legibility, durability, and ease of use. The name, “Grand Seiko,” comes from the team’s desire to create the “king” of watches. Their launch in 1960 marked the first step on a sixty-year journey towards the summit of watchmaking art.
On this wonderful milestone, Director and Senior Vice President Yoshikatsu Kawada of Seiko Watch Corporation shared, “60 is a significant number in horology. It takes 60 seconds to fill a minute, and 60 minutes to complete an hour. Moreso, 60 is important in Japanese culture as it signifies a moment of new energy and re-birth. Beginning this year, we promoted a new concept for the brand—the Nature of Time. And with this, we celebrate the Japanese spirituality of time brought to life with the pride and spirit of Takumi—the great Japanese watch masters and artisans who pour their hearts and souls and their entire selves in every detail of the process all in the pursuit of the ideal watch. We opened the year with a grand celebration to feature our anniversary collection, and it is just right to close the year with yet another set of offerings.”
In Japanese culture, a 60th birthday is a moment of new energy and re-birth. For Grand Seiko, therefore, 2020 was the perfect moment to open a new global showcase and to present both the wide range of the Grand Seiko collection and several watches made especially for this anniversary year.
Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary is the birth of many new possibilities. One of the most notable milestones was the launch of Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi in July 2020—a new facility in Japan designated as the sole venue for creating Grand Seiko mechanical watches. Designed by Japanese Architect, Kengo Kuma, the building embodies the brand philosophy, “the nature of time,” by incorporating wooden elements and constructing a roof pointing towards Mt. Iwate, which allows visitors to feel the beauty of the facility’s natural surroundings even from indoors.
Other milestones for the 60th year of Grand Seiko were its international flagship boutique in Paris Vendome, its online shop, and its 9SA5 Hi-Beat caliber, as well as the launch of other limited edition timepieces. Truly, Grand Seiko is swiftly moving towards new heights that define world-class, luxury watches.
2020 has been quite an interesting year globally for Grand Seiko. One of their key highlights for this year is the opening of a new Seiko Premium Boutique in Ayala Malls Manila Bay in the coming weeks. This new boutique will feature Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary collection alongside their heritage and classic pieces. Below, we highlight a few of our favorite masterpieces.
9SA5 Hi-Beat caliber
Taking the spotlight is the new 9SA5 Hi-Beat caliber—the finest mechanical caliber Grand Seiko has ever created—which is the foundation upon which a whole new generation of Grand Seiko mechanical watches are created. Grand Seiko’s artisans have been developing and working on this movement for the last nine years, carrying all the grand seiko experience and wisdom over 60 years of making watches. Developed by movement designer, Hisashi Fujieda, in 2009, his creation process involved two key objectives to ultimately achieve experimental models of a 10-beat mechanical movement with an accuracy of +5 to -3 seconds per day. First, he and his team developed new materials for the two springs that govern the wristwatch’s power and accuracy; second, they found a way to enhance the oil retention properties of the escapement using new machining technology that delivers higher levels of precision.
SLGH003 (9SA5 Hi-Beat caliber)
From the Grand Seiko Sport Collection, this limited edition professional diver’s watch features a slim Spring Drive movement. Its movement incorporates two barrels which deliver a power reserve of up to 120 hours. It has helium and water resistance that meet the challenge of saturation diving at depths of up to 600 meters. Though slimmer, it has enhanced rigidity and shock resistance that meets the iso standard for diver’s watch.
STGK015 (Caliber 9S27)
From the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection, this elegant diamond timepiece was created for the brand’s diamond anniversary. It is a slim and precise women’s automatic watch that delivers a perfect balance of precision of +8 to -3 seconds a day. It has a power reserve of 50 hours and elegant slimness, and includes a mother of pearl dial in Grand Seiko blue. It also beautifully uses diamonds as hour markers and 45 diamonds framed on the bezel. The latest Spron 610 alloy is used for the balance spring. The pallet fork and escapement wheel are made by Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) engineering.
SBGJ241 (Caliber 9S86)
A creation that is part of the Grand Seiko Heritage Collection, this piece meticulously recreated from the first 44GS. Its subtle changes include a new curved ridgeline on the case side was added so that it could accommodate the depth of the automatic movement. It has a green dial that reflects the deep greenery of the beautiful forests in Japan. It is encased in fabricated stainless steel that ticks softly with every one of its 36,000 beats per hour. It features distortion-free finish using the Zaratsu technique, as well as multifaceted indexes and hands that glisten thanks to its diamond-cut edges.
Beyond a new store and an exciting new collection rendered and manufactured in keeping with Grand Seiko’s highest standards, they also recognize the evolving needs of the growing online market. With this, they compliment their physical stores with a digital component to make the shopping experience more accessible to their clientele who may prefer to shop from the comforts of their homes with the launch of their online shop, https://gs.seikoboutique.com.ph/, a dynamic and easy-to-navigate digital space where people can learn more about their various watch collections and be updated with the latest news from the brand.
“Our 60th year means new opportunities to grow and expand Grand Seiko. It is also a reminder of the legacy that we built since 1960, and how the brand brought satisfaction, joy, and serenity to watch lovers around the world. Watch aficionados adore Grand Seiko’s luxury craftsmanship. Though they’ve only been in the Philippine market for a few years, its models are highly sought after by local collectors and enthusiasts. We are very excited to celebrate Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary and we look forward to more sophisticated, authentic, and nature-inspired timepieces,” shares Karl Dy, President and CEO of Timeplus Corporation.
Discover Grand Seiko's handcrafted masterpieces through their website, Instagram, and Facebook. Seiko boutiques are located at the Ground Floor of Glorietta 1, Second Floor of SM Aura Premier, and Third Floor of SM Seaside Cebu. Soon to open early 2021 in Ayala Malls Manila Bay.