Some brands do not seem to receive the due public respect. Maybe this is not a big problem. In a sense, it may be a good thing for those of us who are “spirits of insight” to have a secret industry enclave to bargain. Maybe it’s right, those of us who work hard to discover these hidden gems should share wealth in our own private circles rather than among others. However, I always recall that all this is unfair.
I personally think that a luxury watch brand that should not be loved is Seiko. The latest version of the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection is unlikely to change this macroscopically, but for existing fans, the eccentric manufacturer is raving about it.
It’s a weird way to describe a brand that is famous for its sometimes helpless obsession and perfection in weird terms, but I believe this is true. Grand Seiko is the best brand in Japan’s history. As a result, the brand almost played the role of ambassador. However, promoting the cultural values of diligence and mastery sometimes makes the audience feel indifferent. However, wrapped in this seemingly soulless pursuit of perfection, it is a craft and handicraft that other manufacturers cannot match.
At this price, the watch may have the best surface treatment effect. Their movement may well be a reliable timekeeper, but the decoration is not as good as that of their Swiss counterparts. And their dial may exude a brand atmosphere, the brand does not care about fashion or trend, but interested in the idea of the watch decades ago and persisted. But every once in a while, they flip the script. The result is always certain.
The Grand Seiko Elegance series takes the dial decoration in a whole new direction, which is the direction I have never seen before. However, what may surprise me is that Seiko has combined classic decorative craftsmanship for hundreds of years and merged one of modern masterpieces. After all, they have a good record…
Let any Seiko fans know the first model to appear in their minds. I guess most people will mention the “Snowflake” spring drive. It doesn’t even matter whether they are their favorites. Everyone who knows nothing about Seiko watches knows how popular snowflakes are. But why is it so successful? For a dial that looks like it is made of heavy-duty cartridge paper, it must have some special functions to produce this buzz.
This process requires several steps and requires patience and precision. The bottom pattern is embossed on the dial blank and then plated with silver. Then, apply a thin layer of transparent varnish on the dial, and then add a thick layer of transparent varnish as the primer of the top layer of paint. The coating should be applied before the indexing and date window rolling is completed. This multi-layered approach is the foundation for building the depth and “warmth” of the “ordinary” white dial.
Grand Seiko Elegance Collection uses a very unusual decoration technique. Urushi is an ancient Japanese art form that requires (severe) accumulation of several layers of sap to produce the desired surface effect. The black dial in the rose gold case is produced in this way, as are the red and blue dials in the rose gold case and the stainless steel case. The white dial in the gold case has a simpler lacquered dial.
Since the opacity of red and blue is low, the effect is more obvious. Stylish patterns appear through the colored layers of the sap. This low relief pattern was inspired by Mount Fuji. Iwate Prefecture-a picturesque mountain range in the northeast of Iwate Prefecture-has been painted before the first layer of sap hits the dial, and is still visible when the last layer of sap hardens. Most importantly, GS lettering and hour marking use another very laborious process, and its amazing application process is commendable.
This technique was called “taka-maki-e” (literally meaning a raised sprinkler picture) and was invented during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). The dial is interspersed with many layers of material, in this case gold or platinum layers, gradually forming marks on the relief one at a time. Needless to say, you need a steady hand and a strong mind to try something similar. The level of training it must require really surprised me.
These mechanical formal watches have a width of 39 mm and a thickness of 11.6 mm. They are reasonably sized and can be an elegant companion for many years to come. The dial with professionally polished hands is simple and classic, with only a small seconds dial at 9 o’clock, and a convenient power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock to distract the decoration.
This week, we will launch the Atom Moore macro of Grand Seiko Elegance Platinum Limited Edition. At Baselworld 2019, Grand Seiko launched its 20th anniversary Spring Drive thin dress collection. After more than two decades of development, the original Spring Drive was launched at Baseworld in 1999 and is recognized as an important milestone in the elegant watchmaking industry. As part of the Elegance series, the 20th anniversary thin series presents a slimmer, more refined silhouette. The spring-driven movement uses a “pulley” adjustment system, which generates electrical current and provides power to the electromagnetic brake to control the speed. The quartz timing kit is used in conjunction with the brake to ensure that the pulley rotates accurately 8 times per second.
SBGZ001 and SBGZ003 have a sporty platinum case (the former with a hand-decorated platinum case), while SBGY002 has a gold case and SBY003 has a stainless steel case. Dial color can be silver or “silver snowflake” (platinum), “white snowflake” (18k gold) or sunshine steel plate. SBGZ001 executes hour markers and hands in a typical Grand Seiko style, offering diamond cutting, sharp edges of the razor and mirror polished surface.
The caliber of Spring Drive is 9R02 and 9R31. 9R02 is particularly interesting. It is derived from the 7R14 movement in the Credor Eichi II, but it has a significantly upgraded power reserve of 84 hours (rather than 60 hours). This is due to two main functions. First of all, this watch does not use a standard mainspring, but has a pair of stacked springs acting in parallel in a single barrel (extending the power reserve by about 50%). Second, based on the original version designed for Credor Eichi I, there is an improved torque return system. This function is essentially an energy recovery mechanism that powers the watch. This system means that the mainspring will automatically wind itself using its excess energy. , Providing an additional 14 hours of power reserve.
This is indeed an impressive top luxury copy watches that only needs 70% power to run perfectly. Coupled with the exquisite case and dial function, the 20th anniversary Spring Drive thin series should definitely be included in your watch list.