The Grand Seiko Vision of the Beauty of Time
of Yoshindo Yoshihara
The unique evolution and
the Japanese craftsmanship
The exceptional Japanese culture
Influenced by his grandfather and father who were swordsmiths, Yoshindo Yoshihara began making swords at a young age. As one of the foremost swordsmiths in Japan, he is entrusted with making the sword offered as a sacred treasure at the sengu ceremony at Ise Jingu Shrine, which takes place once every 20 years when the structure is rebuilt. The swords created by Yoshihara have a value that go beyond that of a weapon.
It seems that this adulation of swords is exclusive to Japanese swords. In Europe, where metallurgy was a well-developed technique, swords were simply weapons. Since it wasn’t until the Nara period (710-794 AD) that this technology came into Japan, it was considered a special treasure of the developed nations. Swords were thus regarded in Japan as having high cultural value. They were weapons, of course, but they were also items with a divine appeal; they empowered those who carried them and were also items to be appreciated as a work of art.
The keeping of accurate time gives
birth to irrefutable value
From days of old, the proof of quality in the world of timepieces has been accuracy—the barometer of the watch’s precision in telling time. Seiko took that level to astonishing new heights. Ever since Seiko’s 1969 release of the world’s first quartz watch, the Quartz Astron, it has become commonly accepted that watches are highly accurate.
The watch industry today, which is increasingly focusing on luxury, may be inclined to favoring mechanical movements just because they are mechanical. At Grand Seiko, however, the unwavering value of high precision is also pursued. The high-performance quartz movement Caliber 9F embodies Grand Seiko’s culture and tradition of treasuring quality. The precise seconds hand marking time on the simple dial, visualizes the passage of time and makes you want to value the moment.
Japanese swords are works born
from the materials
Japanese swords are produced from iron, but not your regular iron. A highly pure form of steel called tamahagane is always used in Japanese sword production. This is a material that is not fully melted, made by heating sand iron at a relatively low temperature. The essential point is that the iron never becomes molten.
Just as ice frozen from water and glaciers made from compressed snow differ in their appearance of density, by using tamahagane in the production of the sword, the blade has a sharp edge while also retaining the flexibility to absorb impact. The tamahagane is heated, hammered and then heated again, with this forging process done repetitively to increase the toughness of the blade, while gradually finishing it into a Japanese sword. This is a peerless method to make Japanese swords that has not changed a single bit since swords were first introduced to Japan.