60th birthday is especially important in Japan. It is called “kanreki”, and on that day the birthday man or woman traditionally wears a red sleeveless jacket, the chan-chanko. Why red? Because it is a symbol of youth and rebirth. And why at the age of 60? Because at 60 you have completed an entire cycle of the traditional Japanese calendar, which is sexagesimal.
“At 60 you have completed an entire cycle of the traditional Japanese calendar, which is sexagesimal.”
Like newborns, who are also dressed in red, you have come back to the start of life. Ready to begin a new life cycle, like the hand of a watch that has covered its 60 minutes and is setting off again.
To mark the beginning of this new cycle, Grand Seiko has planned things on a grand scale and is showcasing a whole series of commemorative timepieces, special editions and new models. This is also revealing of some of the ambitions of the brand, which was created in 1960, exactly 100 years after the birth of Seiko’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, the great-grandfather of the current CEO, Shinji Hattori.
“Grand Seiko was created in 1960, exactly 100 years after the birth of Seiko’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, the great-grandfather of the current CEO, Shinji Hattori.”
Distinct from Seiko and a brand in its own right, Grand Seiko was for a long time reserved for Japan only. But since 2017, the watch that represents the very best of Japanese mechanical watchmaking tradition has made no secret of its international ambitions. Proof of this is its recent opening of a Grand Seiko boutique on Place Vendôme in Paris, where it intends to rival with the biggest names in watchmaking.
Technically and aesthetically, the Grand Seiko collections bear witness to meticulous, and very Japanese, attention to the tiniest detail. Scientifically engineered and superbly finished, they are absolutely classical in design: pure, pared-down and focused on the essential functions. Japanese watchmaking at its best.
“Scientifically engineered and superbly finished, the Grand Seiko collections are absolutely classical in design: pure, pared-down and focused on the essential functions.”
RECREATIONS OF THE 1960 GRAND SEIKO
Three anniversary models of outstanding finesse (in 950 platinum, 18K yellow gold and an exclusive Brilliant Hard Titanium), are all recreations of the 1960 Grand Seiko. They are slightly larger in size than the originals (38mm instead of 35mm) and come equipped with a sapphire crystal case back. Hand-wound mechanical movement, calibre 9S64, 72-hour power reserve, accurate to +5/-3 seconds a day.
GRAND SEIKO 60TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION
Grand Seiko is launching a new automatic mechanical movement, the calibre 9SA5, presented as “the foundation for a new generation of Grand Seiko watches”. This high-frequency 36,000 vph movement with a power reserve of 80 hours displays three new technological advances: a dual-impulse escapement, a freesprung balance and a horizontal gear train, not to mention a double mainspring barrel and an instantaneous date change.
This beautiful, magnificently finished movement with inspired architecture makes its debut inside a classic 40mm model in 18K yellow gold, in a limited edition of 100 watches.
GRAND SEIKO 60TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION PROFESSIONAL DIVER’S 600M
In 1999, with its Spring Drive movement, Seiko opened up a new chapter in watchmaking by combining mechanical strength with electronic regulation. In its latest version, the calibre 9RA5 offers accuracy to ±10 seconds a month, while its two barrels supply a power reserve of five days.
This superlative Spring Drive makes its debut inside a professional diver’s watch that can descend to a depth of 600m. Limited anniversary edition of 700 watches worldwide.