GS Grand Seiko

The power of experience.

Murayama insists on stressing the value of experience in fine watchmaking. “You become able to envision the motion of each part within the movement in front of you. My first boss was a genius in this field, so when I became able to do that, I began to feel that, little by little, I was getting closer to his level.” Murayama’s first superior was Katsumi Nakata, who is now a member of the elite team at the Micro Artist Studio and is one of Japan’s leading horologists; he has been awarded the title of Contemporary Master Craftsman and the Medal with Yellow Ribbon by the Japanese government.

The work of Murayama, Soma and Washimi is not limited to the studio; they often have opportunities to hold live demonstrations in movement assembly at Grand Seiko events at watch stores, both in Japan and internationally. “I, of course, believe that I know all the facts about the watches I make but when I am given the chance to speak with our customers, I am able to realize again how much Grand Seiko is valued and loved,” says Murayama. He adds that this is a double edged experience. “I love to see the pleasure that our watches bring to their owners and to watch fans but it also makes me understand my responsibility to do the very best I can with every single movement.”

Watchmakers strain their eyes by looking fixedly at one point through their microscopes. Since they must not damage the parts even in the slightest degree when they are assembling them, at that precise moment, they hold their breath and devote their full attention to the tip of their tweezers.

Through the words of Soma, Washimi and Murayama, it is clear that, while Spring Drive may be a highly innovative movement that is still at the cutting edge of modern horology, it cannot be made without the skill, passion and dedication of the watchmakers of the Shinshu Watch Studio. It’s people that bring Spring Drive to life. Furthermore, it’s the interaction, year after year, of the watchmakers that is the ultimate guarantee of the precision and durability of each watch. Spring Drive is, in the words of Nakata, a “movement made by artisans,” but it is equally a “movement that nurtures artisans.”

Wheels with a diameter of just a few millimeters are assembled by hand. As the watchmaker’s tweezers are key to this work, the craftsmen and women polish them themselves.