The 1960s have been a stupendous time for watches. Horology was in its prime and the nice names we all know and love at the moment – Rolex, Omega, Cartier – have been simply considered one of many watchmakers churning out commodity merchandise to a world that wanted to inform the time. Their watches – easy, elegant, and mechanically complicated – have been the final word in mechanical effectivity and design and nobody did it fairly in addition to Seiko. This mechanical golden age ended within the late 1970s with the rise of the quartz watch however Seiko is resurrecting it with their Grand Seiko line of luxurious items.
Grand Seiko is particular for a number of causes. First, it’s Seiko’s haute horlogerie skunkworks, permitting the corporate to experiment with all the flamboyant supplies and methods that Swiss watchmakers have labored with for years. The watches are manufactured from treasured metals and have Seiko Hello-Beat actions. These watches “vibrate” 36,000 instances an hour or ten instances a second. Which means that the steadiness wheel contained in the watch is shifting forwards and backwards far sooner than, say, an Omega Co-Axial 8500/1 sequence which is clocked at 25,200 vibrations per hour. What this implies in apply is that the seconds hand strikes with an virtually uncanny smoothness.
The remainder of the watch I examined, the euphoniously-named SBGH263G, relies on a bit from 1968 that got here from Seiko’s mechanical hey-day. The $6,200 watch has a 39mm case and, in accordance with Seiko, is model for max class. They write:
The dial has elegant and easy-to-see Arabic numeral for the hour mark. The idea colour “Shironeri” is a mirrored image of Japanese custom. The colour and texture of the dial come from the shiny white silk of the outfit worn by the bride in a Japanese wedding ceremony. It symbolizes purity and innocence.
This watch is a proper piece for carrying, presumably, to your individual wedding ceremony. That mentioned, it’s additionally very paying homage to 1960s model watches. The dimensions, case form, and polished palms and numerals all hearken again to a less complicated time in watchmaking when every little thing didn’t need to appear to be a robotic’s goiter or a pie plate.
It’s fairly small and in case you’re used to Panerais or Nixons you’ll positively discover a grandpa vibe about this piece. As a result of it’s not very complicated – that’s it doesn’t have any actual issues like a stopwatch – it is extremely expensive. Nonetheless, understanding Grand Seiko’s dedication to a really misplaced artwork of non-Swiss horology, it’s properly price a glance.
I’ve been following Grand Seiko for years now and the standard and care the corporate has been placing into these watches is palpable. This watch is not any commodity product. The case is polished to a excessive sheen and every little thing – from the screws to the attractive domed sapphire crystal – is put along with nice care. Seiko additionally makes decrease finish items – my favourite is the Orange Monster – however that is far above that when it comes to construct high quality and value.
Items like this Grand Seiko remind us that, earlier than Apple Watches and Fitbits, there was a whole universe of really putting timepieces made for the completely sole function of telling the time. I really like items like this one as a result of they’re no frills and but they’re filled with frills. The watch is so simple as might be – three palms and a date window with none lume or extraneous buttons – and but it reveals wonderful technical ability. It’s costly however it is a handmade watch by a storied producer and it’s properly definitely worth the value of admission in case you’re a lover of the elegantly antiquated.