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Grand Seiko

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.

About

Grand Seiko traces its origins back to two specific Seiko watches, the Lord Marvel (1958) and the Crown (1959). 

The Calibre 3180 movement that signalled the birth of Grand Seiko in 1960 combined the two innovations in both watches (a movable balance spring stud for the former and the larger balance wheel and mainspring barrel for the latter) and achieved high accuracy in the luxury watch market. The idea behind Grand Seiko watches was to push the limits of precision, durability and legibility with constant innovation at all levels.

The launch of Grand Seiko coincided with the liberalisation of watch imports in Japan in 1961 and the development of high-quality watches under the Grand Seiko brand name equipped the company for international competition. 

Grand Seiko is a true, fully-integrated "manufacture" with its own R&D, design and construction capacity. Every component in a Grand Seiko watch is produced in-house, including the mainspring and balance spring and even the crystals for the quartz calibres.

Grand Seiko uses three families of watch movement: mechanical, spring drive and quartz.

The mechanical calibre 9S automatic movement is produced in-house at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in Iwate Prefecture in the northern part of Japan. Grand Seiko also features high-frequency Hi-Beat movements in its collection, based on the 9S automatic calibre that was first presented in 1998.

The Spring Drive calibre 9R automatic watch movement uses a technology that is unique to Seiko. Although it its powered by a conventional winding rotor that winds a mainspring, a rotor connected to the end of the gear train activates an electronic circuit, a crystal oscillator and an electronic brake that regulates the speed at which the mainspring unwinds. Spring Drive technology delivers a daily variation in rate of just one second per day - a level that no other mechanical watch movement can match. 

The Grand Seiko quartz calibre 9F uses aged and individually selected quartz crystals to ensure unparalleled precision. The 9F quartz calibre was first introduced in Grand Seiko watches in 1993 and incorporated a number of advances that were designed to improve the precision of the quartz movement, which is in the order of -5 to +5 seconds per year. 

For many years, Grand Seiko watches were limited to the Japanese market. But in 2010 the Grand Seiko collection made its debut on the world watch stage, immediately garnering praise from the global watch community. At Baselworld in 2017 Grand Seiko was spun off from Seiko as an independent brand.

1960
The first Grand Seiko model is produced in Suwa Seikosha.
1998
Launch of the 9S5 calibre series, the first new Grand Seiko mechanical calibre in 20 years.
2004
Launch of the 9R6 calibre series using the unique Spring Drive technology for an accuracy of +/- 1 second per day.
2010
Global launch.
2017
Grand Seiko becomes a completely independent brand.
Philosophy

The philosophy of Grand Seiko is deeply rooted in its Japanese heritage. Many of the most enduring aspects of Japanese culture, including the tradition of quality, the spirt of craftsmanshiop and the philosophy of beauty form central parts of the Grand Seiko DNA. Many Grand Seiko designs reflect the cutlure of the regions in which they are made, with the most celebrated example being the Snowflake dial that is inspired by the driven snow on the mountains that surround the Shinshu Watch Studio in Nagano Prefecture, where every Grand Seiko Spring Drive watch is made. 

Collections

Elegance

The Grand Seiko Elegance collection combines the best of the Grand Seiko historical attributes with some modern touches in designs that are both contemporary and classical.

Heritage

With a simple, traditional design, the Grand Seiko Heritage Collection is true to Grand Seiko`s values of a high level of craftsmanship, precision and beauty.

Sport

The Grand Seiko Sport collection offers a range of models with unmistakably sporty designs and functionality to match. A combination of chronographs, GMT models and robust diver’s watches ensure that there is a model to satisfy all sports requirements.

Watches

Legibility

The hands on a Grand Seiko watch have a special design. They are broad, high, three-dimensional and have razor-sharp facets that make them instantly readable. In fact, Grand Seiko even developed a twin-pulse system to deliver extra torque so that the hands could be made even longer to optimise legibility. 

Beauty

The Grand Seiko watch style involves simplicity, purity and practicality. The renowned 44GS watch set this standard in 1967 (and the 44GS watch was recreated in 2014). One unique aspect of this beauty is the Zaratsu polishing technique used on every Grand Seiko watch case, which gives all Grand Seiko watches a beautiful mirror polished surface.

In keeping with the philosophy of simplicity, the Grand Seiko collection is divided into Elegance, Heritage and Sport. Handy watch reference numbers known to Grand Seiko fans give an instant indication of the movement used inside. SBGA references, for example, use the Spring Drive automatic movement. The 2019 SBGA 403 watch for men in the sport collection is a limited edition of 500 in stainless steel that alludes to the lion, the animal that has always served as the Grand Seiko emblem. 

Although the majority of Grand Seiko watches are designed for men, the brand launched a new automatic calibre 9S dedicated to ladies' watches in 2018. The first watch to use this new automatic movement was a limited edition of just 50 pieces in a rose gold case studded with diamonds and signature details such as the snowflake dial. 

Significant models 

SBGA001 - This watch is better known by its nickname, the "Snowflake", from the unique texture of its white dial, which is reminiscent of fresh snowdrifts. It is powered by the Grand Seiko Spring Drive calibre 9R65.

SBGR261 - A classic three hand watch for men in the Grand Seiko Elegance collection equipped with the 9S65 automatic mechanical movement with MEMS hairspring technology. Variations are available as SBGR251, SBGR253, SGBR255 and SBGR257.

SBGX - This watch in the Heritage collection uses the 9F quartz movement which offers an accuracy to within 10 seconds per year. It has a satin-finished case unlike the Zaratsu polished metal found on other Grand Seiko watches. This watch is available as SBGX261 (black dial), SBGX263 (silver dial) and SBGX259 (white dial).

SBGJ229 - This watch was a limited edition of 350 in the Grand Seiko ceramic models. It was noticeable due to the use of blue ceramic and incorporated the calibre 9S86 Hi-Beat movement with a GMT hand. It also featured a "special" logo and a blue oscillating weight for the automatic movement in tungsten and titanium.