Since 1960, a lion has been the symbol of Grand Seiko and has graced the caseback of each Grand Seiko watch.
Why a lion? The Seiko team was determined to create the most advanced practical watch in the world, a timepiece that would be the 'King of watches'.
44GS was created in 1967, seven years after the introduction of the first Grand Seiko. It was designed to express a uniquely Japanese idea of beauty that was true to the ideals of Grand Seiko.
By setting a high standard of accuracy for a mechanical, hand-winding caliber, 44GS was an important landmark in the development of Grand Seiko. It was, however, the design of 44GS that made an even greater contribution to the future of Grand Seiko. As the model that defined the look of all subsequent designs, 44GS was a milestone in the history of Grand Seiko and the inspiration of every creation that followed it.
Nearly half a century after its introduction, 44GS is still a vivid and refined design that has endured through constantly changing trends.
The secret lies in its adherence to the Japanese sense of beauty.
For Japanese, black and white are seldom expressed in their extremes; there are numerous gradations between light and shadow. Shadow is as important as light because only with shadow can light be expressed.
On a perfectly polished surface, the play of light and shadow creates beautiful harmony. This interaction can be seen in traditional Japanese Shoji sliding doors. Even though these screen doors are constructed with simple straight lines and flat surfaces of paper and wood, the ever-changing interplay of light and shadow creates endless expressions of character.
The Grand Seiko Style is based on this Japanese sense of aesthetic. It is crystallized in an unique design language with highly polished smooth surface areas as the principle element.
Today, even after half a century, the appeal of this aesthetic endures, attracting the admiration of watch enthusiasts around the world.
The Grand Seiko Style is a design language of simplicity, purity and practicality. It reflects exactly the essential characteristics of Grand Seiko: legibility, accuracy and durability. Form and function in perfect harmony.
Each and every Grand Seiko has the special ‘sparkle of quality’ on which its creators insisted. This use of light and its reflection is to be found in the true perfection of every detail. Every facet of the hands and the markers are designed to reflect even the smallest ray of light, creating a crisp, clear, unique aesthetic that says: this is Grand Seiko, the ultimate practical watch.
This core aesthetic is passed on faithfully from generation to generation while being adapted subtly to the changing times. In this way the Grand Seiko design is both enhanced and preserved.
The Grand Seiko Style is a design language that can only be realized through exceptional craftsmanship, from concept through to the demanding Zaratsu ultra flat distortion-free polishing technique. The Grand Seiko Style is the foundation of Grand Seiko and the source of its everlasting beauty.
To ensure perfect legibility in poor light conditions the hands and markers have a specially sculpted shape and their surface is very carefully polished to a razor edge, so that even the slightest ray of light reflects off the surfaces.
The durable sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective coating to enhance legibility and to reduce glare.
Every surface of each case and bracelet is polished by experienced craftsmen. The mirror finish on the case side surface has no distortion. The process is known as zaratsu, or blade polishing, and is made by carefully applying a rotating tin plate against the case at a very precise angle. This process is entrusted to only the most skillful and experienced craftsmen.
Each bracelet is made of the highest quality solid materials with moderate weight so that each component fits perfectly and smoothly with the others. Its clasp employs a three-fold construction with double push button on both sides that provides a secure lock.
The look and feel of the bracelets has always been a crucial element of Grand Seiko. Each link has a special curved shape that is appropriate for the thickness of the case and each component contributes to a perfect fit on every type of wrist.