Grand Seiko X Monocle

Grand Seiko: In time with Japan

Grand Seiko has a storied and uniquely Japanese heritage that is ingrained in the face of every watch crafted by the company. The first Grand Seiko was made in 1960 with a simple ambition: make a watch as precise, durable, comfortable and beautiful as possible. It became the first Japanese watch to comply with the Bureaux Officiels de Contrôle de la Marche des Montres standard of excellence. Since then Grand Seiko has only improved. 

Grand Seiko’s foremost mechanical watches are handmade by master craftspeople in studios and workshops across Japan.

Spring Drive
Dedicated to perfection

Grand Seiko’s exclusive Spring Drive mechanism was in development for 28 years before it saw the light of day in 1999. Its smoothly gliding second hand, which moves across the dial without a tick, tells the time just as nature does: continuously, precisely and silently.

Trade traditions
Area-specific skills are practiced by the craftspeople who work in Grand Seiko's studios in Nagano and Iwate prefectures.

Precise movements 
Craftspeople make minute adjustments by hand to tolerances of up to one hundredth of a millimetre range.


Design: Practical Beauty

In a Grand Seiko watch, form and function exist in perfect balance. Design is guided by a language of simplicity, purity and practicality, and a grammar of precision, legibility and beauty. All components work together in an exacting harmony. 

1. Half-recessed crown
When setting the time, it takes just three rotations of the crown to move the minute hand 360 degrees.

2. Double-width index at 12 o’clock
The raised hour marker at 12 o’clock emphasises the vertical line to 6 o’clock, aiding easy reading of the time.

3. Reverse-slanted bezel wall  and case side
The reverse-slanted bezel wall and case side make the watch slimmer and lighter and add a sense of dramatic character.  The Zaratsu polishing technique is used  to produce the signature sharply defined  edges and distortion-free mirror finishing.

4. Date function 
The fonts used for the numbers on the date dial are optimised for visibility to ensure that they can be seen clearly.

5. Snow-white dial
The pure, cold beauty of freshly driven snow is reflected in the dial's slightly granular texture.

6. Long, diamond-cut hands
To emphasise Grand Seiko’s dedication to precision, the minute hand was designed to extend to the minute track so the exact time can be read. Raised hour markers stand out for legibility, even in low-light conditions.


Grand Seiko is made with people in mind. The original design had a 72-hour  power reserve, so a working person could take their watch off after work on a Friday evening and have it keep perfect time until they returned to work on Monday morning. Fifty-nine years later, select models now have an impressive power reserve of up to eight days.

Master craft
Craftspeople work in the Shinshu Watch Studio in Nagano prefecture and the Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio in Iwate prefecture.

World of its own
Grand Seiko stands at the pinnacle of Seiko Watch Corporation’s watchmaking.



Manufacturing: In harmony with nature

The Snowflake's dial design is inspired by Mount Iwate, which can be seen clearly from the watch studio, while the Spring Drive was develped in Shinsu Suwa. The movement's bridge and gear train are configured to visually recall the region's Hotaka and Jonen mountains.

A matter of local pride 
Grand Seiko respects and values its birthplaces, and it is not rare for families to work at Grand Seiko over generations.

Sparkling quality
Seiko Watch Corporation invented the quartz watch. Crystals for watches are grown in-house – only the purest are used.



Consistent functionality 
Each of the minimum 200 individual parts in a Grand Seiko mechanical watch must function together perfectly.



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