Nature Peg: Grand Seiko Celebrates Seiko's 140 Years With A Watch Inspired By Lake Suwa - Lifestyle Asia

Inspired by nature surrounding their watchmaking studio in Shinshu, Japan, Grand Seiko launches their newest timepiece.

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In 2017, watchmaker Grand Seiko became an independent high-end brand when it separated from Seiko, its more affordable counterpart. However, Grand Seiko has been around since 1960, while Seiko was founded in 1881 by the late Kintaro Hattori.

To commemorate the 140th anniversary of Seiko, the Japanese luxury brand releases its newest limited edition model, the SLGA007. Initially, the timepiece was to be launched in 2020 for Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary. However, due to the limitations the pandemic presented, the watch’s launch happened last August 24.

Grand’s Seiko’s newest movement, the Spring Drive 5 Days Caliber 9RA2. / Photo courtesy of Grand Seiko.

With only 2,021 pieces on the market, the piece is powered by Grand Seiko’s latest spring drive, the “5 Days Caliber 9RA2.” The birthplace of the mechanism is in the brand’s Shinshu Watch Studio, where craftsmen and women assemble each timepiece by hand. 

Inspired by nature

“The nature of time” is Grand Seiko’s philosophy, and the company uses its natural surroundings as inspiration for the SLGA007. Influenced by Japan’s Lake Suwa, located right outside their factory in Shinshu, the watch’s specifications include patterned dials, and the second hand and brand’s logo is made with genuine gold.

According to the company, these features relay the gentle sway of the lake’s waters and reflect the sparkles of the lake when it catches the sunlight. 

In line with using Japan’s seasons as inspiration, Grand Seiko also released watch model SBGY007 in early 2021. In contrast to the lake in the summertime, SBGY007 was designed after Lake Suwa during wintertime when the water freezes over. 

Slimmer than ever

On the technical side, the SLGA007 is the slimmest timepiece in Grand Seiko’s collection containing the Spring Drive. That’s thanks to their re-designing of the mechanism. The movement is now positioned away from the center of the watch and thus reducing its thickness.

Additionally, its power reserve can last for 120 hours, contains 28 jewels, and has a thickness and diameter of 5 mm and 34 mm.

Hattori’s vision for the watch company was to be “always one step ahead of the rest” when he began 140 years ago. In relation to the entrepreneur’s goal, Grand Seiko says in a press release that their new timepiece encapsulates the “power of his vision” with its design, manufacturing, and finishing.

Banner photo courtesy of Grand Seiko.

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