Grand Seiko is an homage to watchmaking’s previous – TechCrunch

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The 1960s had been a lovely time for watches. Horlogy was in its prime and the nice names we all know and love right this moment – Rolex, Omega, Cartier – had been simply one in all many watchmakers churning out commodity merchandise to a world that wanted to inform the time. Their watches – easy, elegant, and mechanically advanced – had been the last 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 couple of causes. First, it’s Seiko’s haute horlogerie skunkworks, permitting the corporate to experiment with all the flamboyant supplies and strategies that Swiss watchmakers have labored with for years. The watches are fabricated 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 stability wheel contained in the watch is transferring backwards and forwards far sooner than, say, an Omega Co-Axial 8500/1 collection which is clocked at 25,200 vibrations per hour. What this implies in follow is that the seconds hand strikes with an virtually uncanny smoothness.

The remainder of the watch I examined, the euphoniously-named SBGH263G, is predicated on a chunk 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 type for max magnificence. They write:

The dial has elegant and easy-to-see Arabic numeral for the hour mark. The idea shade “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 marriage ceremony. It symbolizes purity and innocence.

This watch is a proper piece for sporting, presumably, to your personal marriage ceremony. That stated, it’s additionally very paying homage to 1960s type watches. The dimensions, case form, and polished fingers and numerals all hearken again to a less complicated time in watchmaking when the whole lot didn’t must seem like a robotic’s goiter or a pie plate.

It’s fairly small and for those who’re used to Panerais or Nixons you’ll undoubtedly discover a grandpa vibe about this piece. As a result of it isn’t very advanced – that’s it doesn’t have any actual issues like a stopwatch – it is vitally expensive. Nevertheless, understanding Grand Seiko’s dedication to a really misplaced artwork of non-Swiss horology, it’s properly value 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 the whole lot – from the screws to the gorgeous 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 by way of construct high quality and value.

Items like this Grand Seiko remind us that, earlier than Apple Watches and Fitbits, there was a complete universe of really putting timepieces made for the completely sole function of telling the time. I like items like this one as a result of they’re no frills and but they’re stuffed with frills. The watch is so simple as might be – three fingers and a date window with none lume or extraneous buttons – and but it exhibits superb technical ability. It’s costly however this can be a handmade watch by a storied producer and it’s properly well worth the value of admission of you’re a lover of the elegantly antiquated.

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