When you think of watchmakers at the pinnacle of the industry, you are likely to think of Swiss watchmakers. But, donâ€™t be so quick to overlook the Japanese watchmaking industry as the timepieces from Grand Seiko exude the level of luxury that is on par with its Swiss counterparts.
Grand Seiko was born from Seikoâ€™s desire to show the world what the finest Japanese watchmaking could do. The idea was to build a watch that is as precise, durable, easy to wear and beautiful as humanly possible while incorporating elements of the Japanese aesthetic.
â€œWhile we do realise that Swiss watchmakers dominate the high-end market, Grand Seiko has always prioritised technology in our watchmaking process. This is proven with our Spring Drive movement that is made possible due to our mastery of both the mechanical and electronic watchmaking that powers Grand Seikoâ€™s timepieces,â€ says Seiko Watch Corporationâ€™s senior vice president Toru Tsuchiya at the opening of Seikoâ€™s newest boutique in Kuala Lumpur.
â€œGrand Seikoâ€™s spirit comprises three main pillars: precision, high legibility and practicality, all of which are essential in defining the Grand Seikoâ€™s brand. Combining the Grand Seikoâ€™s spirit and the aforementioned high craftsmanship of its watchmakers, it is no surprise that Grand Seikoâ€™s reputation is strong among collections,â€ Tsuchiya added.
To promote luxury Japanese craftsmanship to the world, Grand Seiko has always emphasised on delivering high-quality timepieces while maintaining the strictest quality control.
What sets Grand Seiko apart from many of its contemporaries is that every single component in its watches is made entirely in-house by their skilled craftsmen and womenâ€¢including their movement, balance wheels and hairsprings.
During the opening of the boutique, one of Seikoâ€™s modern master craftsmen Ikukiyo Komatsu demonstrated his skills by assembling a 9R Spring Drive movement and completed it within minutes.
Grand Seiko boasts unique mastery of craftsmanship and high technology micro-engineering, while at the same time, highlighting the prestige of Japanese timepieces.
Seiko Watch Corporationâ€™s senior vice-president Toru Tsuchiya
Since its debut, Grand Seiko has been constantly innovating over time, resulting in its most famous accomplishment, unveiling the Spring Drive movement in 1999 at Baselworld. This was a cutting edge technology that took 20 years to develop before it was shown to the world.
With ever-improving watchmaking skills and the invention of new alloys and components, the level of accuracy of Grand Seiko continues to amaze watch enthusiasts around the world with a variation of fewer than Â± 2 seconds per day or Â± 1 minute per month.
One of Grand Seiko and Seikoâ€™s strategies to penetrate the international market is to build strong partnerships with major sporting events such as the Olympics and the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 in Doha.
Incidentally, Seiko is the official timekeeper of the Tokyo Olympics and Grand Seiko hopes that the event will provide greater exposure of the brand and their watchmaking capabilities.
With its latest boutique, opened by Thong Sia Sdn Bhd the brandâ€™s sole distributor in Malaysia, Grand Seiko is looking forward to introducing more exclusive models and collections.
Grand Seiko wishes to create opportunities for watch collectors and enthusiasts to immerse in the beauty of Japanese fine watchmaking, innovative technology and impeccable craftsmanship through a series of exclusive private events, roadshows and various advertising medium.
It will also look into the possibilities of opening other boutiques in strategic locations like the one in Mid Valley in their continuous effort to raise the awareness of the brand in Malaysia.