Grand Seiko Grand Seiko: the Top 3 women’s watches
Collectors of Grand Seiko are a rare breed. Away from the bright lights of the men’s models, the Japanese manufacturer’s timepieces purely for women are equally scarce. They form a jealously guarded niche for those in the know
It’s already unusual enough to come across a Grand Seiko collector: the Japanese watchmaker is hardly a household name, even though its fame is spreading. That the said collector should be a woman is even less likely. Those who are familiar with the brand’s production tend to view its women’s watches from afar, probably because there are so few of them. They are, however, remarkably well-made and their scarcity adds to their appeal for anyone looking to move off the well-beaten Swiss (or European) track.
Very few Grand Seiko watches are specifically and only for women (as opposed to ungendered styles). The Elegance collection has one, the STGK015, released as a 300-piece limited edition (which makes it rarer still) to mark the 60th anniversary of the first Grand Seiko watch. A 27.8mm diameter, seldom seen at Grand Seiko, leaves no doubt about its intended wearer. Nor does its in-house movement, Calibre 9S27 which the brand developed specifically for its women’s models. Automatically wound, it provides 50 hours of power reserve. As always at Grand Seiko, the dial is particularly noteworthy. For this anniversary edition, the Japanese firm has chosen blue mother-of-pearl and included a date window at 3 o’clock. The diamond hour markers are echoed by the diamonds around the bezel. Zaratsu polishing brings a flawless sheen to the steel case, in true Grand Seiko style.
STGK015G © Grand Seiko
The one every woman is waiting for has to be the STGF359, soon to join an aesthetic that is already abundantly familiar to men: the Snowflake, in reference to the snowflake pattern on the dial. This “Snowflake for women” is typical of the Nature of Time creative sensitivity that has inspired the Grand Seiko studio since it became independent of Seiko. Measuring 28.9mm across, the STGF359 will be fitted with a quartz movement and will retail at €2,300.
STGF359 © Grand Seiko
The very best
Diminutive dials aside, the majority of watch wearers prefer a comfortable 39mm to 41mm dial size, and Grand Seiko serves them well, particularly in its Masterpiece collection. One model that bends this rule very slightly is the SBGZ003, with a diameter of 38.5mm. It, too, marks a special occasion as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive and, accordingly, is driven by Calibre 9R02 which is precise to one second a day, inside a platinum case.
SBGZ003 © Grand Seiko
It takes a connoisseur’s eye to fully appreciate the subtle beauty of this watch, whose softly rounded contours bounce the light, and are repeated on the movement itself. This Grand Seiko SBGZ003 is unreservedly a match for the highest standards of Swiss watchmaking, be it Patek Philippe or F.P. Journe. At US$ 57,000, the hardest part will be finding one!
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.Find out more >
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