The Grand Seiko Vision of the Beauty of Time

Vol.6Elegant beauty of form
that has similarities
the lacquer work of
Jihei Murase

An inspirational, elegant form
by the Japanese sense
of beauty

Pursuit of precision generates
beautiful details

The angle that highlights the beautiful form of SBGK007. While carrying on the Grand Seiko design code, which makes the most of flat surfaces, the soft curves draw out an elegance.

In the world of watches, a French unit of measurement called the “ligne” was used prior to the adoption of the metric system. One ligne is 2.244 millimeters, and the minimum unit was equal to 0.564 millimeters. In other words, achieving precision in smaller figures than this was not up for consideration. Seiko, however, disagreed. The company switched the unit for watch design to the millimeter at an early stage, with the aim to achieve more precise design and a processing accuracy up to 0.01 millimeter.

This innovation is what led to the beautiful form of Grand Seiko, symbolized by its sharp planes and ridges. While highlighting its flat surfaces, SBGK007’s case runs gently down to the lugs. And as if following this soft line is the combination of the dome-shaped dual curved glass and curved dial, which looks somewhat like a hoju, the sacred gem that decorates temple tops or bridge railings, marking special time on the wrist.

A vessel full of rustic appeal
that keeps its natural expression

The “Hatchet Shaved Silver Lacquer Water Jar” captures the rough texture of raw timber. A water jar is a tool used in the tea ceremony to contain hot water at the perfect temperature for tea. It is made from various kinds of wood.

Gaining expertise by restoring and copying Negoro style lacquerware, the current Jihei Murase gradually began seeking out new forms. Traditional tableware such as bowls and trays had already been made by his predecessors. That is why he decided to pursue his own ideal expression for lacquerware and devoted himself to creative activities guided by his own sensibilities. Some 10 years ago, his works began to be appreciated in Japan and abroad as works of modern art.

The “Hatchet Shaved Silver Lacquer Water Jar,” which exhibits the rough quality of raw timber, was made from rustic keyaki, a Japanese zelkova tree hundreds of years old that grew deep in the mountains. His creativity in elevating a work of nature to a work of lacquerware was highly praised, with his creations included in the collection of the Crafts Gallery of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the United States. He was also invited to exhibit at Art Basel in Switzerland. Such new stimuli further motivate him to explore new realms of creativity.

An elegant watch
that embraces function
and practicality

SBGM221 of the Elegance Collection. A practical and elegant model with a GMT hand included in a compact round case.

Born in 1960, Grand Seiko has been receiving high appraisals as the greatest of practical watches. The position it takes of embracing the wearer of the watch by pursuing precision that meets strict criteria exceeding Swiss chronometer standards and by placing importance on legibility and fitting comfortably on the wrist, is in line with the very nature of watches, which is to mark and convey time accurately. And that is why it has successfully captured the hearts of those who want only the best of watches.

What is Grand Seiko’s vision for a dress watch? This Elegance Collection SBGM221 is a model showing a classic and refined expression with a striking ivory dial and gently flowing lug line. But it also takes into consideration the situations in which the watch will be worn by offering high legibility with multifaceted hands and indexes, and a GMT function as well. This was achieved by pursuing the role and practical functions demanded of a watch in formal situations.