In quality and status, Grand Seiko has long been a name to conjure with in Japan and given the new range launched this year looks a good bet to be around for the long-term. Carefully thought out as a collection, Grand Seiko stands as concrete history of one of the world’s great watch companies.
Although developed from existing high-grade watches, the first Grand Seiko watches were an ambitious step up, both in terms of price and quality, using more expensive materials and the latest technologies available.
Although Seiko effectively abandoned watches in the early 1970s, the revival of interest in watchmaking was spotted and Grand Seiko was relaunched in the early 1990s and ever since has strengthened its fine capabilities. One of the few total manufactures in the industry, Seiko makes everything from hair-springs to cases.
The new Grand Seiko collection goes right back to the 1960s in terms of design and ambition with mechanical perfection taking centre-stage. Movements are subjected to 17 days of tests and are regulated in six positions – and design firmly stripped down to basics. The collection includes mechanical, quartz, and spring drive watches, most of which are specific to Grand Seiko.
The stated goal of the Grand Seiko was to prove that a Japanese company could match the best that the Swiss could offer in terms of precision and technology. It seems that its goal has been achieved.
James Gurney edits QP, qpmagazine.com