About Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko: embracing the future by honouring tradition.

It was during the 1960’s that Grand Seiko sought to engineer a watch that would lead the world.

Through constant improvements, and by engineering increasingly popular Seiko watches, the team at Grand Seiko sought to perfect watches of superior quality, durability, precision and aesthetic. In 1960, the first Grand Seiko was produced in Suwa Seikosha. The Self Dater launched 4 years later in 1964, highlighting practical features, such as the calendar function.

The Grand Seiko Design Philosophy.

What truly defined the style of Grand Seiko was the release of the 44GS in 1967 – a piece that established and defined the Grand Seiko Design Philosophy.

Defined herein, lay rules and principles that have since defined the way Grand Seiko watches are polished, finished, angled and proportioned. The 44GS influenced every subsequent Grand Seiko watch – the principles governing the design of all watches going forward.

These principles are as follows:

Principle 1:

The design should have flat surfaces and 2 dimensional curves – no 3 dimensional curves.

Principle 2:

The flat surfaces of the case, dial and hands should be as wide as possible.

Principle 3:

Every surface should be distortion-free and have a mirror surface.

Design elements further expressed included semi-recessed crowns to increase comfort on any wrist, inward-slanted case sides and bezels to give the illusion of a slimmer shape on the wrist, and an absolute tendency to flat surfaces, which highlighted contrasting shapes and elements.

This 44GS subsequently became known for it’s excellent artisanship, having defined the way the world would come to know Grand Seiko.

The development of Grand Seiko’s Mechanical technology.

During this time, the world was obsessed with watch accuracy – this was met with watch companies intensifying competition when it came to trialling chronometers and new calibers.

Grand Seiko entered the Swiss observatory chronometry trials in 1964. In the years that followed, the rankings steadily improved, at both the Neuchâtel and Geneva ‘concours’. In 1968, Grand Seiko’s movements were awarded the overall prize as the best mechanical watches in the Geneva observatory competition.

The Grand Seiko team named it’s ultra-high-precision models the “Grand Seiko Very Fine Adjusted” name, with the 61GS V.F.A and 45GS V.F.A models reaching legendary status.

The development of Grand Seiko Quartz

The in-house development of lab-grown quartz was introduced in 1988, enabling Grand Seiko to exhibit watches with superior humidity resistance, shock resistance, temperature regulation and with oscillators that produced movements with the highest possible accuracy. The 95GS quartz watch became the first of its kind from Grand Seiko.

In 1993, five years after the 95GS quartz model, the Caliber 9F83 was introduced. It incorporated four key innovations – created to embody the “ideal quartz watch”. The Backlash Auto-Adjust Mechanism, the Twin Pulse Control System, the Instant Date Change Mechanism and the Protective Shield Construction sought to epitomise excellence in terms of accuracy, beauty, legibility, durability and ease of use.

The Quiet Revolution

During the years 1977 to 1999, watch maker Yoshikazu Akahane set his mind to improving on the one-second-a-day accuracy that electronic watches of the era already boasted. Spanning 600 prototypes and 22 years of dedication, his relentless persistence paid off when, in 1999, Spring Drive technology was introduced. In 2004, the first Spring Drive model was released – the Caliber 9R65. It combined a traditional mainspring with an electronic regulator – offering both motion-charged power and an incredibly high level of accuracy.

With the aim of the being the Ultimate in practical watches, the team went further, with a research process that lasted 28 years.  In 2006 the Caliber 9S67 was released, with a 10cm longer mainspring, which could achieve a power reserve of 72 hours. Owing to their unique ability to manufacture and produce, assemble and adjust parts for mechanical and quartz movements in house, Grand Seiko has become known for their deep integration of technology and craftmanship.

Increased functionality in Spring Drive models

The Spring Drive GMT model which was created in 2005. With accuracy that is maintained even when time zones are crossed, the GMT remains a draw card to those who favour international travel.

The 9S development continues

Hi-Beat is an example of a technology that Grand Seiko has masterfully woven into the fabric of their evolution. Measuring at 10 beats a second, the 10 beat caliber creates an incredibly quick vibration. Although this renders the watch more resilient to shock, and more accurate, this sort of vibration draws energy from the mainspring at a greater rate. The 9S mainspring has since been created with a newly formulated alloy - the likes of which deliver increased durability and a power reserve of 55 hours.

Why invest in Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko has proven to the world that their superior watch-making techniques set course for constant evolution and advancements in timepiece technology. The history behind the pieces, the dedication that spans decades, the sheer quality and exquisite aesthetics of the pieces set the bar for what luxury timepieces should aspire to represent.