Beautifully Japanese timepieces, in your handsBy Darren Ho
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit Tokyo, you would have probably come across the Wako building, one of the most iconic retail spaces in Tokyo. On the main floor of Wako, you’ll discover one of the few flagship retail spaces that Seiko has developed that is an all-inclusive space, featuring everything from Seiko Monsters to Grand Seiko models.
Outside Asia, however, Seiko’s presence remains relatively compact, with storefronts in key cities where watch aficionados concentrate. In the past few years, the brand has strengthened its image by developing brick-and-mortar retail, and since the boutiques have been closed for obvious reasons, it’s also been developing online. Translating the Japanese brand story, expertise and experience across the globe – the latest market with a dedicated transactional Grand Seiko website is the United Kingdom, which also incorporates a carefully curated offering from Seiko Presage, Seiko Prospex, Seiko 5 Sports and more.
Why Grand Seiko?
Grand Seiko is possibly the best and worst-kept secret in fine watchmaking circles. Most collectors must have heard about it, and at Revolution, we’ve made no secret of our admiration for the brand’s products and manufacturing prowess. Its Spring Drive technology is absolutely brilliant, a modern take on precision timekeeping that is entirely unique to the brand, and its design philosophy is a contemporary classic take on fine watchmaking, but with the added precision of quartz engineering. Its watchmakers are highly trained masters and, as epitomised within the famed Micro Artist Studio and Shizukuishi Watch Studio, it has a fully verticalised production behind it.
Suffice to say that we think Grand Seiko remains a highly valued brand to invest in. With its new online ordering and direct delivery in the United Kingdom, it provides new opportunities for collectors living in the UK to acquire these great timepieces. There’s everything from classic GS must-haves to the latest models from this year.
Our top pick and what’s probably a GS icon is the SBGM221 Grand Seiko Elegance Mechanical GMT, powered by a 9S66 self-winding caliber with a 3-day power reserve. The second time zone function, told on an additional blue arrow hand on the dial, and the ease of control through the crown makes this a great daily work watch, whether you’re in lockdown and organising global conversations in your company, or making the change from weekend to work style. The ivory-coloured dial is easy to dress up or down with, the highly reflective Zaratsu polished facets and angles on the case is a hallmark of Grand Seiko’s design style.
That is possible due to how Grand Seiko tests and regulates their quartz oscillators in these movements. Their quartz crystals are grown in-house too and ever so carefully selected for their strong performance, tested over three months. The two Heritage GMT models come in steel cases and bracelets, with a champagne-coloured dial on the SBGN011 and black dial on the SBGN013.
There’s plenty more to discover on the new UK Boutique website, where you can connect with their experts to find out more about any model you’re interested in, and now even place an order from the comfort of your home.