Sixty is a significant number in horology. In Japanese culture, it signifies a new energy and re-birth. As for the beloved watch brand Grand Seiko, its 60th year signaled new opportunities for growth and expansion. It may have commemorated a landmark year during a pandemic, but the brand decided to power through.
The year 2020 saw the launch of Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, in July specifically. This is 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. This allows visitors to see the beauty of the facility’s natural surroundings even from indoors.
Then there is the launch of the first Grand Seiko Boutique in Paris Vendome last March, the brand’s largest boutique in the world. This particular international presence gives watch lovers the opportunity to behold the widest range outside Japan, while exploring the world of Grand Seiko.
Meanwhile, on local shores, a new Seiko Premium Boutique in Ayala Malls Manila Bay will be launched in the coming weeks. This new boutique will feature Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary collection aside from their heritage and classic pieces.
The designs of the 60th anniversary timepieces were inspired by the deep blues and reds of the famously breathtaking morning view of Mount Iwate in Honshū, Japan. The back case has a limited edition label with the serial number, along with the signature lion emblem which has been the signature for all Grand Seiko watches.
Taking the spotlight is the new 9SA5 Hi-Beat caliber which the brand claims as the finest mechanical caliber it has ever created. Developed by movement designer, Hisashi Fujieda, in 2009, his creation process involved two key objectives to 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.
Recognizing the evolving needs of the growing online market, Grand Seiko also launched last December 7 its online shop, featuring various watch collections and latest updates.
[Seiko boutiques are located in the Philippines at the Ground Floor of Glorietta 1, Second Floor of SM Aura Premier, and Third Floor of SM Seaside Cebu. Learn more about the brand through its website, and Instagram, Facebook accounts.]