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Grand Seiko - Godzilla is back – at Seiko!

Grand Seiko Godzilla is back – at Seiko!

We’ve seen lizard straps. Get ready for the lizard watch.

It’s sure to be quite a wedding. Let’s hope the guests behave themselves. For the first time, the giant lizard Godzilla is to be united, by the sacred bonds of Japanese watchmaking, to Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive movement.  

The pair have known each other for decades. The giant lizard Godzilla was born in Japan in 1954, where he proceeded to sow mayhem in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Today, this is the Japanese capital’s poshest area, where most of the major Haute Horlogerie houses, including Grand Seiko, are to be found. Godzilla would hardly recognise it. 

The happy couple share another interesting anecdote: on his first appearance, Godzilla made short work of Ginza’s famous clock tower, which rises above Wako and other celebrated department stores, and where Seiko also opened its very first shop in 1952. 

King of the Monsters

These are all good reasons for Grand Seiko to celebrate the King of the Monsters, who continues to thrill audiences of big-budget horror films. The latest opus, directed by Michael Dougherty, a master of the medium (he also worked on X-Men, Superman, etc.) is set to be released on 29 May next year. 

But the new Grand Seiko Godzilla will appeal to a far larger audience than just lizard film enthusiasts. The piece will be added to the manufacture’s Sport collection. Its case is decisively angular, like Godzilla’s teeth. The sunburst dial is in the same powerful blood red colour we have already seen in Seiko’s Presage collections. And, as a side note, history buffs will no doubt spot the resemblance between the sunray motif and the war flag of the Japanese Imperial army, which is also red.

Godzilla revient chez Seiko !

Grand Seiko Godzilla © WorldTempus / Olivier Müller

Pure Grand Seiko

The dial composition complies with the Grand Seiko canons, down to the date at 3 o’clock and off-centre power reserve at 8 o’clock. Thanks to the calibre 9R15, autonomy has been pushed to three days (72 hours). Connoisseurs will recognise Grand Seiko’s nomenclature, according to which movements are all indexed with the figure 9 followed by the letter R to indicate a Spring Drive (9S is mechanical and 9F is quartz).

This Spring Drive movement is driven by a traditional mechanical spring (there are no batteries) and regulated by a quartz mechanism, which guarantees precision of +/- 0.5 seconds per day. The manufacture 9R15 calibre can be viewed almost in its entirety through the sapphire caseback – “almost” because the sapphire glass is decorated with an image of Godzilla. It comes in a 100% titanium case with a diameter of 44.5 mm. It’s light and robust, as one would expect in a sports watch. A red sharkskin strap attaches the watch firmly to the wrist with the aid of a three-fold clasp in steel. €12,700 could get you your very own horological lizard.

Godzilla revient chez Seiko !

TM © TOHO CO., LTD

Our opinion

This watch certainly has teeth. We love the originality of the idea, the perfectly executed dial, and the prominent, convincingly 70s-style angles of the case. The choice of titanium is coherent, given the sporty appeal of the watch.

At first glance, the decision to add a sharkskin strap seems odd – why not lizard, for a Godzilla watch? But in fact, Godzilla is a very big lizard (he towers over the skyscrapers of Tokyo), and the tiny natural scales of lizard skin would look undersized. So they needed a strap with scales that were the correct... scale for Godzilla, and shark performs that role perfectly. Then there’s the price. Despite the watch’s originality and rarity (650-piece limited edition), pushing 13,000 euros seems ambitious.

Godzilla revient chez Seiko !

The brand

From the very beginning, Grand Seiko has been pursuing the essential characteristics of a watch: precision, beauty, legibility. Its design reflects the unique Japanese sense of beauty. The brand will continue to reach new heights as a global brand.

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