The long awaited biggest watch industry fair - Watches and Wonders Geneva 2022 - exceeded the highest expectations and recently ended in April by bringing together almost 40 of the industry’s greatest brands in showcasing their major launches this year.
With nearly 22,000 attendances combined with a global digital reach of more than 300 million, the impressive watchmaking trade show sparked a huge force of creative and innovative interactions with numerous international launches, keynotes and panel discussions both inside the show and on social media.
As the first major watch summit to take place physically in three years, the Watches and Wonders Geneva 2022 kept the watch world excited with a wonderful mix of refined simple classics and complicated haute horlogerie - all returning with a post-pandemic hunger for new colour, advanced designs, and ground-breaking ideas.
Grand Seiko’s first debut at Watches and Wonders - Geneva 2022
Delighted to be a part of the Watches and Wonders Geneva 2022, Grand Seiko attended the prestigious watch event for the very first time and showcased the global launch of their impressive 2022 collection to the watch world.
As the President of Seiko Watch Corporation, Akio Naito said, “Watches and Wonders Geneva is the ideal showcase for Grand Seiko and we are very grateful to be a part of such a distinguished fair. I am sure the many visitors to the event will appreciate our new creations for 2022, which opens a new chapter in the evolution of the brand, and, through them, will see that Grand Seiko brings a unique sensibility and creativity to the world of fine watchmaking.” And all that was said was successfully accomplished.
Grand Seiko represents the most long-established aspects of Japanese culture and craftsmanship. Its brand philosophy, “The Nature of Time,” celebrates the Japanese respect for the natural environment which lies at the heart of every Grand Seiko as expressed in the precision of its movements and in the artistic design of each timepiece. Since its international launch in 2010, Grand Seiko’s reputation as a leading luxury watch brand has grown rapidly as watch lovers have come to appreciate the high quality of its craft, innovative movement designs and uniquely Japanese aesthetic.
Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon: SLGT003
As one of the highlights on the second day of the Watches and Wonders Geneva 2022, the Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon SLGT003 is the first mechanical complication timepiece that Grand Seiko has proudly created and introduced to the watch world. It is also, the first time in the history of horology, that a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism is combined as one unit on a single axis which resulted in a uniquely innovative movement that delivers a level of stable accuracy unprecedented for Grand Seiko, let alone the rest of the watch industry.
The movement of the SLGT003, the Japanese word for “heartbeat”, with its unique appearance when in motion and carefully designed sound, shows off its energy both audibly and visually, thanks to the open-work design and the sapphire case back.
Boasting the Caliber 9ST1 which is complex in both engineering and design, the Grand Seiko Kodo SLGT003 not only manages to integrate the constant-force mechanism and the tourbillon in perfect harmony to create an absolute stable accuracy of the movement, the resulting timepiece also generates a mesmerizing visual effect on the eyes. As light penetrates through the front and back of the SLGT003 case which is constructed from both Platinum 950 and Grand Seiko’s brilliant hard titanium, the long lasting beauty of the Zaratsu and hairline finishings that are craftily completed by hand to ensure a visually pleasing harmony is revealed. This exquisite interplay of light and shadow that is so important to the Grand Seiko aesthetic can be clearly seen in different angles, textures and shade gradations.
With the inner tourbillon smoothly rotating as the balance steadily vibrates at 8-beats per second and the outer constant-force carriage follows its rotation at exact one-second intervals, the sounds of escapement and once-per-second impulse of the constant-force mechanism sync with such regular visual rhythm to create, for both eye and ear, a deeply satisfying and reassuring heartbeat.
Available in October 2022, the Grand Seiko Kodo SLGT003 comes with a calf strap specially treated in the same traditional way used to create the high-durability material once used in the armor of Samurai. The strap’s surface is painted by hand with Urushi lacquer in a multi-coating process, giving the strap a delicate sheen. An alternative crocodile strap is also provided.
At an approximate recommended retail price of €370,000 and limited to only 20 pieces, not only is the Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon SLGT003 the most expensive watch Grand Seiko has ever produced, it has put the industry in awe with the brand's outstanding capabilities to compete amongst the most respected high-end watchmakers.
The White Lion SBGD209 - Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection: Spring Drive 8 Day Jewelry Watch
The Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion is another novelty release that took everyone by storm at the Watches and Wonders Geneva 2022. Ever since the creation of its first high end jewelry watch SBGD205 in the Masterpiece Collection in 2020, with inspirations drawing from the winter mornings of the Shinshu region where Grand Seiko produces their Spring Drive timepieces, we have seen the brand’s impressive capabilities in combining the best of horological innovation and hand craftsmanship. And today we see the revelation of another Spring Drive jewelry timepiece where craftsmanship boasts the same high standard yet the artistry expressed is not one bit alike.
Elegant yet powerful, the Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion shows off a grand total of 267 diamonds with 112 on the case, 94 on the dial, 60 on the bezel and 1 in the crown. And together with the 26 black spinels, the strong contrast combines to create a stunning timepiece of exquisite artistry.
Made of Platinum 950, the case has the sharply defined edges and prominent ridges that are classic Grand Seiko. The SBGD209 White Lion is powered by the Spring Drive 8-day Caliber 9R01 which delivers an accuracy rate of ±10 seconds per month and offers a power reserve of eight days, or 192 hours, when fully wound. Incorporating three barrels arranged in sequence to deliver the extended power reserve which is shown by an indicator visible through the sapphire crystal case back along with the exquisite finishing of the one-piece bridge, designed in the image of Mt. Fuji, this new Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection has a graceful yet powerful beauty all on its own.
Offered in a limited edition of just five, the SBGD209 White Lion will be presented at selected Grand Seiko Boutiques in May 2022.