The Grand Seiko Vision of the Beauty of Time

Vol.3Exquisite craftsmanship
that is also
found in
the metalwork of
Mami Hasegawa

Products made from hand
also go beyond time

Detailed work by
an expert craftsperson

The motif for the design of the champagne gold dial is hemp cloth, which has long been used in Japan. The blue steel seconds hand, which is finished by hand, also leaves a lasting impression.

The mechanical watch, which is said to have been born around the fourteenth century, was made up of minute metal parts made by hand, which were assembled meticulously by craftsmen and women. Currently, advancements in machining equipment has mechanized much of the process, but there are still more than a few steps in the process that rely on the handwork of skilled artisans.

With its system for making everything in-house, including the case and movement, and even the small wheels and screws, Grand Seiko is a true manufacture. However, assembling these small parts and making adjustments to achieve unerring high accuracy require the experience of skilled craftsmen and women who can do work on the micron level. A Grand Seiko watch that is born in this way also contains the allure of a work of art.

Materials take on
a new charm after time

The Iron Rusted Plate below is used to hold sweets. On top of it is the Brass Server, which can also be used as a serving spoon. Their texture changes as they are used, which is also part of their charm.

The works of Mami Hasegawa are also distinct in the materials used. She’s very particular about what she uses since her products are daily-use items. Because people touch them with their hands and lips, the characteristics of the material are readily apparent.

One product is the Iron Rusted Plate: an iron plate is left outside for about 10 years to rust, and the rust on the surface is scraped off. This process is done several times and it eventually loses its metallic luster to become the ideal texture and color. This is a traditional method of metalworking in which the material is aged and then revived to give new depth to the familiar material, iron. When brass, which is the material for the Brass Server, is used, it also changes from its original metallic color to a deeper texture and color. In both cases, the material itself is not left untouched, with the depth and texture born from traditional techniques and the passage of time making the finished work even more attractive.

A beautiful ridge
made possible by handwork

The mirrored polished case side flows down to the lugs, creating a three-dimensional aesthetic beauty. This flawless finish is done on a small case with an outer diameter of just 27.8mm.

If you really want to enjoy looking at the beautiful and fine handwork of Grand Seiko, you should note the shape of the case. This brand has a unique design code called the Grand Seiko Style, which stipulates that the case be made up of mirror-polished flat surfaces and two-dimensional curves.

In other words, the distortion-free mirrored surfaces and sharp ridges created by those mirrored surfaces are also what define a Grand Seiko. Even the most precise machining equipment cannot create cases with such fine mirrored surfaces. Expert craftsmen and women use a special technique called Zaratsu polishing to carefully polish hard and highly durable stainless-steel material. The ultimate in handwork is achieved by the accumulation of such efforts.