Grand Seiko watches precision begins with each watchmaker's expertise and careful hand assembly.
The Grand Seiko Standard
Seiko is the Japanese word for “precision.” In its quest to develop an ideal watch, Seiko knew it would first have to best the Swiss in terms of accuracy, which would mean surpassing Swiss chronometer standards set by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC).
Seiko created the Grand Seiko Standard and began putting its watches through more rigorous testing than the COSC. To this day, Grand Seikos undergo more tests in more positions and at more temperatures than those tested by the COSC. And the watches must pass using tougher criteria, most notably a superior mean daily rate of -3 to +5 seconds per day versus the COSC’s -4 to +6.
As a true manufactures d’horlogerie, Grand Seiko already designed and produced all of its components and assembled every movement in-house. But to achieve its own high standards, and to solve the complex issues of its mechanical complications, the company needed to innovate.
One of the Seiko’s earliest breakthroughs was the invention of the Magic Lever in 1959, a device that improves winding speed and power transfer to the mainspring that is still used in most Seiko automatics. Then came Spron in 1964, a cobalt-nickel alloy used to make mainsprings and later, hairsprings. Spron is highly elastic, strong, anti-magnetic and heat and corrosion resistant; it increases torque and improves shock resistance and accuracy. In the 2000s, Seiko introduced another major advancement to watchmaking in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, a cutting-edge manufacturing technology that allows Seiko to design and fabricate parts with a previously unattainable level of precision.
Grand Seiko Style
a design language Grand Seiko describes the Grand Seiko Style as a “design language of simplicity, purity and practicality.” It has its own aesthetic, which is about the harmony of light and shadow on perfectly polished surfaces – a graceful philosophy passed down through generations and adapted carefully forward. Nothing in the Grand Seiko design is by chance: every plane, facet and curve is meant to function harmoniously. Each hand is sculpted and polished to a razor edge. Every case is blade-polished by hand to an undistorted mirror finish using a process known as zaratsu. Even the bracelet links are curved specially to be in balance with the case and to achieve a perfect fit.
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