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20th Anniversary
Grand Seiko X Seiko - Shinji Hattori

Grand Seiko X Seiko Shinji Hattori

Chairman & CEO**

The behemos watch business of Seiko Holdings Corporation has been recording revenues in excess of $1 billion since 2010 and has been maintained, closing at more than $1.2 billion for the financial year ending 31 March 2020. This speaks volumes for Shinji Hattori, who in April 2010 was appointed President of Seiko Holdings Corporation. Currently the Chairman and Group CEO of both Seiko Holdings Corporation and Seiko Watch Corporation, Shinji is the great-grandson of Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori.

Born in 1953, Shinji first joined Seikosha Co., Ltd in 1984. In 2003, he became President and CEO of Seiko Watch Corporation. In 2004, he established the “Shizukuishi Watch Studio” located outside Morioka City. This is where high-end mechanical watchmaking by an elite core of skilled craftsmen takes place. The “Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi” was also established here in mid-2020, and is the home of Grand Seiko mechanical watches.

In terms of innovation, Shinji led the development of the automatic Spring Drive that was unveiled in 2004, launched highly complicated watches equipped with Spring Drives, namely the Credor Sonnerie (2006) and the Credor Minute Repeater (2011), as well as introduced Seiko’s very first tourbillon movement – the Credor Fugaku Tourbillon – in 2016.

Shinji Hattori

Shinji Hattori © Seiko

Shinji was a key driving force behind the world’s first GPS solar watch – the Astron GPS Solar that made its debut in 2012. Around 2006, development began after Shinji asked the R&D department to build such a watch, that was not completed until six years later. The Astron GPS Solar perpetuates the strong legacy of the world’s first quartz watch – the Seiko Astron 35SQ of 1969.

In 2014, Seiko’s Prospex collection was finally offered worldwide. More significantly, Shinji firmly entrenched Grand Seiko on the world’s stage. Once offered in only a few countries outside of Japan, Grand Seiko was launched globally in 2010 and became an independent brand in 2017.

In June 2020, the largest Grand Seiko Boutique opened on Place Vendôme in Paris, a move that showcases what this Japanese brand can truly offer to an international watch collecting audience.

*Written by Timmy Tan

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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