This year Timeless Luxury Watches was honored to visit Grand Seiko in Japan, as well as Japan itself. If you haven’t already, please also check out our Grand Seiko Questions and Answers here, where we asked dozens of fan questions! In this article, however, we’re going to look at a lot of the photos we took along our journey and discuss our experiences. Also please check out our short videos of the trip, like this one where we see Grand Seiko’s manufacturing facilities, or this one where we see zaratsu polishing in action.
Here we’re looking at the iconic Ginza Wako, a Japanese department store at the heart of Tokyo’s shopping area. Wako, of course, is owned and operated by the Seiko corporate family, as is not-so-subtly indicated by the famous SEIKO clock above. The building would be worth an article all on its own.
Here we are, next to the famous landmark, with Seiko CEO Shinji Hattori, great grandson of Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori.
Here we are, oddly enough, dancing with Mr. Hattori.
Here’s an amazing 45GS that Dan picked up for his personal collection.
Here’s Anna at a beautiful temple in downtown Tokyo.
This photo was taken about 2 and a half hours from Tokyo in a place called Matsumoto, Nagano. What we’re looking at is the astonishing Matsumoto Castle, which is sometimes called the “Crow Castle.”
Here’s a look at a beautiful lake in Morioka, not far from the famous Shizuku-ishi Watch Studio. I believe this is called Gosho Lake, and it was a short walk from our amazing traditional hotel.
Here’s a shot from within the hotel, called Shikitei.
Here’s Anna at one of the most memorable experiences of the trip, the Meiji Jinju Shrine in Tokyo. A Shinto priest allowed us to observe a special ceremony with prayer, song and dance.
Outside of the temple we witnessed this newlywed couple.
Here we are partaking in a traditional tea ceremony.
Here’s a fish market we visited in Tokyo.
Here’s a very old Seikosha pocket watch in the museum dated from 1909.
Here’s the famous Laurel, Seiko’s very first wristwatch. I’d say both the pocket watch and the Laurel have aged remarkably well, in terms of styling. I’d gladly wear a Laurel today, and it seems like the Presage line is really reviving this vintage Seiko style.
Here we’re looking at the watch that really started it all, at least for GS fans, the 1960 Grand Seiko, ancestor to all of our amazing modern GSes.
Here we’re looking at some of Credor’s absolute finest pieces, like their Minute Repeater, probably the most complex watches that Seiko has ever produced.
This was an example of hand-engraving at the SII Makuhari Engraving Studio, created by Kiyoshi Terui I believe, done entirely by hand. It’s amazing what Seiko is able to produce in-house, from the most pedestrian quartz watch to hand-engraved gold pieces, there is seemingly nothing this company can’t do by itself.
Here’s Dan taking a shot at installing what I believe was a balance wheel/hairspring assembly. If you’re lucky you might happen to buy the Grand Seiko he assembled! Just kidding.
Here’s an answer to a common question we see on the forums: how are Snowflake dials made.
Here we see a master watchmaker preparing a Grand Seiko 9F62 quartz movement for what looks to be a beautiful blue-dialed SBGX265.
Now we’re looking at the beautiful, and sophisticated, Shizuku-ishi studio in Morioka. Even the most minute details of the studio have been finely crafted, from the Herman Miller chairs to the Iwayado Tansu furniture. The view isn’t bad either.
Here we see a watchmaker prepare balance cocks destined for Grand Seiko 9S movements.
This 12 beat per second movement was quite a treat to see.
What tour would be complete without a good PowerPoint presentation? For those of you who are sufficiently nerdy, I do have most of the slides (in photos) if you want to see them, just let me know.
Thus ends our tour of Japan and Grand Seiko! Thanks to GS for being such welcoming hosts. We can’t wait to go back. If you haven’t already, please check out our Grand Seiko Q&A here!