On October 1, 2022, Seiko Watch Corporation announced the commencement of Grand Seiko Asia-Pacific Private Limited’s operations, a new company in Singapore that serves as Grand Seiko’s headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region. Grand Seiko Asia-Pacific Private Limited is dedicated exclusively to the marketing and sales of Grand Seiko in this region, and is a joint venture between Seiko Watch Corporation and Thong Sia Watch (Far East) Company Limited.
Following this important milestone, Grand Seiko opened its first standalone boutique in Singapore on February 22, 2023. Grand Seiko’s brand philosophy is “The Nature of Time”, which also inspired the sophisticated and welcoming aesthetics of this new boutique.
Technology Like No Other
In order to explain the global success of Grand Seiko, we have to expound on Seiko’s many technical developments. Among these, we would be remiss not to elaborate on the Spring Drive.
Spring Drive is powered by a mainspring, like all mechanical watches. Still, it combines the high torque from the mainspring with electronic watchmaking technology that utilizes a speed-controlling mechanism incorporating an IC and a quartz oscillator. This was arguably the most important innovation in quartz technology since 1969, which was when Seiko became the first brand to manufacture quartz watches.
As you might be aware, a quartz oscillator vibrates very precisely at a frequency of 32,768 times per second. A quartz watch’s circuit counts the vibrations and generates one electric pulse every second, resulting in the ‘jumping’ action of the seconds hand. The game-changing Spring Drive, however, enables the seconds hand of a Grand Seiko Spring Drive watch to ‘sweep’ just like that of a traditional mechanical watch, instead of jump, thanks to an electromagnetic brake that regulates the speed of a glide wheel connected to the end of the gear train.
Boasting one-second-a-day accuracy, it is durable, fast-winding, packs a long power reserve, and is the only watch movement in the world that is powered by a mainspring and has a regulator without an escapement. Seiko also develops its own customized semiconductors in-house, as the brand’s quartz watches require specialized semiconductors.
Other highlights of Seiko Watch Corporation’s technical innovations include the Spring Drive Chronograph, which features a vertical clutch that prevents the chronograph seconds hand from jumping when it starts, and an eight-pillar column wheel that ensures stability and precision.
Introducing the Grand Seiko Boutique at Marina Bay Sands
Designed to reflect Grand Seiko’s core values of Takumi (expert craftsmanship), Tradition, Nature and Modernity, Grand Seiko’s new abode in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is themed on understated elegance, just like the brand’s many acclaimed timepieces.
“The creation of this new company is another milestone in the history of Grand Seiko. I am certain that Grand Seiko Asia-Pacific will allow us to further increase the brand’s profile in this important region. I believe that we can look forward to a golden era for Grand Seiko,” remarked Chairman of Grand Seiko Asia-Pacific Mr Akio Naito, who is also President of Seiko Watch Corporation. “Singapore is home to some of the most knowledgeable and passionate luxury watch enthusiasts in the world, and we are excited to provide them with a more direct interaction with the brand.”
Guests who attended the grand opening on February 22, 2023 included esteemed clients, members of the media and watch industry, Mr Naito, and Executive Vice President of Seiko Watch Corporation Mr Yoshikatsu Kawada, who is also Managing Director of Grand Seiko Asia-Pacific.
The Grand Seiko boutique at Marina Bay Sands is swathed in warm colors, creating an inviting ambience that welcomes watch lovers to discover the Grand Seiko brand and its offerings in a private and intimate space. Among these offerings is the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) award-winning Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon SLGT003, which is exclusive to this boutique.
The Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon SLGT003 was a frontrunner among the nominees for the Chronometry prize at GPHG 2022, because it combines its namesake constant-force mechanism and tourbillon as a single unit on a single axis. Up till the creation of the SLGT003, this had never been accomplished before. ‘Kodo’ is Japanese for ‘heartbeat’, because the unique animation and sound of this timepiece are an experience to behold.
The brand’s first mechanical complication watch, the SLGT003 has a 43.8mm platinum 950 and Brilliant Hard Titanium case that houses the caliber 9ST1, a patented movement that was tested for accuracy in multiple positions and temperatures. Grand Seiko explains that the SLGT003 is the culmination of “10 years of skill, dedication and hard work”.
For the full lowdown on this feat of engineering, please watch our close-up video of the Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon SLGT003.
A Joyous Celebration
In celebration of this momentous opening, a Japanese taiko drum troupe named Kodō put on an invigorating performance that reflected the heritage and tradition of Grand Seiko. These taiko drummers who had flown all the way from Sado Island, Japan, named their troupe Kodō because they desire to play drums with the simple heart of a child.
“We are very excited and fortunate to have found a prime location for the store, and we look forward to welcoming our clients at the Grand Seiko boutique in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore,” shared Mr Naito.
Every year Grand Seiko charms its fans with many new models that are affordable, highly precise, technically innovative, and complemented by intricate and alluring dials — you might recall the SBGH287 “Snow on the Blue Lake”, Shunbun SBGJ251, Shōsho SBGJ249, Masterpiece Spring Drive 8-Day Jewelry Watch SBGD207, Heritage Collection Series 9 SLGH005, SBGJ261 “Peacock” U.S. Limited Edition, SBGJ259 U.S. Special Edition, SBGK015 “Ryūsendō” U.S. Limited Edition, SBGK017 U.S. Special Edition and the Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary SBGW295, just to name a few recent head-turners.
Revolution looks forward to attending exciting launches at the Grand Seiko Marina Bay Sands boutique in the near future, as the immense regional and global following of Grand Seiko continues to expand.