Grand Seiko's Premier Authorized Dealer in the US is Arizona Fine Time. We have the largest selection of Grand Seiko Watches in stock. Buy a Grand Seiko from an Authorized Dealer for a valid manufacturers warranty, the best service, most knowledgable staff and the best price on a Grand Seiko watch.
Born in 1960, Grand Seiko was developed to bring the highest level of watchmaking not only to Seiko, but also to set a new standard in the watchmaking industry. The vision of Grand Seiko was intended to be more accurate, more durable, more legible and easier to wear then any other watch in the world. Grand Seiko's inspiration was a very simple and beautifully pure idea, and is focused on the pure essentials of watchmaking.
Grand Seiko... The Genesis
Prior to Grand Seiko, the SEIKO dream was to create the perfect timepiece, which took flight in the early 1950's. In 1956, the first Seiko Marvel was submitted to the Central Institute of Weights and Measures and was by far Japan's best watch ever. By 1958, the Marvel took places 1 to 9 in Japan's own chronometer trials. The Marvel was an excellent watch, but Seiko's engineers knew they could do better. Seiko was determined to create nothing less than the best luxury timepiece in the world.
On December 18th, 1960, Grand Seiko's first watch was introduced at Suwa Seikosha in the Nagano prefecture in central Japan. The caliber 3180 found in the first Grand Seiko was where the legend of high accuracy originated. A hand-wound caliber with 25 jewels, 18,000 bph and carrying the inscription of "chronometer" on the dial, this timepiece signified that it complied with all the international standards of precision. The case was gold filled with the lion emblem engraved on the case back, symbolizing Grand Seiko as "King of Watches". Since 1960, the Grand Seiko Lion has grace the case back of each and every Grand Seiko timepiece.
Only one other Grand Seiko timepiece was inscribed with the word "chronometer" on the dial, which was their second model from 1964, the 57GS "Self-Dater", which was the first Grand Seiko with a calendar function. Shortly after this piece was introduced, the "chronometer" portion was removed from the dial and the Grand Seiko Standard was implemented. By 1966, the Grand Seiko Standard was implemented on all Grand Seiko watches, which set a level of precision and reliability higher than any yet achieved by Seiko and higher than the International Chronometer standards. Today's Grand Seiko standard involves more tests in more positions and at more temperatures than today's chronometer standard. Throughout the mid to late 1960's, Seiko submitted their timepieces to Swiss Observatory Competitions in Neuchatel and Geneva, ranking high for most and achieving best mechanical wrist chronometer in 1968 in Geneva.
Grand Seiko not only strives to make the best in purely mechanical timepieces, but also in quartz, and in their unique and proprietary technology, Spring Drive. Two factories manufacture Grand Seiko. Formerly Suwa Seikosha, now known as Shinshu Watch Studio a division of Seiko Epson, manufactures both Quartz and Spring Drive Grand Seiko's in Shiojiri, in the Nagano prefecture of Japan. Shizukuishi Watch Studio manufactures the purely mechanical Grand Seiko calibers, including their highly acclaimed Hi-Beat in Morioka, in the Iwate prefecture in Japan. Shizukuishi is a division of SII (Seiko Instruments Inc.) and was formerly known as Daini Seikosha. Daini made their first Grand Seiko in 1967, the 44GS, which was the first model to embody the exterior design concept known as "Seiko Style", which is still found in Grand Seiko today.
Grand Seiko, The Ideal Watch
All Grand Seiko timepieces are manufactured completely in-house by Seiko and contain attributes to make them more accurate, more durable more legible, and easier to wear compared to other timepieces. It is over a 1,000 hour process to certify Grand Seiko quality.
9F Quartz: Accurate +/- 10 Seconds per Year
9R Spring Drive: Accurate +/- 15 Seconds per Month
9S85 Hi-Beat: Accurate -1/+8 Seconds per Day (-3/+5 Sec. Mean Rate)
9S65 Mechanical: Accurate -1/+10 Seconds per Day (-3/+5 Sec. Mean Rate)
(when watch is worn)
The Grand Seiko Standard is not static. It has been revised several times as Seiko's advances have made higher accuracy and reliability levels possible. The current standard was set in 1998.
Components and construction techniques are designed for easy disassembly and provide longer intervals between recommended service. A proprietary to Seiko in-house manufactured alloy, Spron, provides extraordinary durability over time. Grand Seiko mainsprings and hairsprings are made from Spron alloys which deliver more torque and resistance to shock. They are also incredibly resilient and hardly lose their strength. MEMS (Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems) technology allows for parts that are more durable, abrasion free, have intense hardness, and can be created in shapes and designs that are not possible compared to traditional machined parts. Also, lubricants are reserved and kept supplied to the frictional contact interface over a longer course of time.
Grand Seiko uses dual curved sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating to insure legibility even at low angles. The indexes are diamond cut on multiple surfaces to reflect light, even in low light conditions. The hands are also meticulously 5 angle diamond cut to razor sharp edges to brilliantly reflect even the smallest amount of light. The quality is so high, you could see your own reflection.
Ease of use:
Each individual link is hand polished and has a shape and thickness that allows the piece to sit comfortably on the wrist. All components and construction techniques are designed for easy disassembly, repair and long service intervals. Also, the power reserves of of the mainspring powered timepieces is longer then most with only one barrel, ranging from 55 hours on the Hi-Beat, to 72 hours for 28,800 mechanical and Spring Drive pieces.
Grand Seiko Design
Grand Seiko is everything a luxury watch should be, with no unnecessary elaboration or undue decoration. Just pure, simple and basic watchmaking raised to the level of an art form. Grand Seiko design expresses all that is Japanese. It is understated and sophisticated yet it's quality is immediately evident. The simple design philosophy has never changed. The appeal of Grand Seiko is eternal. It is designed to connect and harmonize the bezel, case and case back in one smooth stroke. Simple design. High performance of essential functions. The fusion of high technology and hand craftsmanship.
Each Grand Seiko case has a beautiful mirror surface, polished by hand by very few talented craftsman to ensure that there are no distortions. The process is known in Japan as Zaratsu polishing, or blade polishing, as it was done by hand in Japan on Katana blades. This technique was first applied to the 57GS of 1964, and the theory of "Seiko Style" was first implemented on the 44GS of 1967. "Seiko Style" is a beautiful shape and design created from traditional Japanese aesthetics. Utilizing flat surfaces and straight lines to play off of light and shadow. These foundations radiate Japanese original aesthetic sense.
Though times change and Seiko's watchmaking technology has evolved rapidly, the spirit and essence of Grand Seiko has remained the same. For over fifty years, Grand Seiko has stood for the same simple yet exacting ideals. And so it will be for the next fifty years. And beyond.