Kintarō Hattori’s Seiko company is one of the mainstays of Japanese watch manufacturing, a pioneering firm that dates back to 1881 and has become a byword for time-keeping quality and elegance.
The company made its first wristwatch in 1913 and the ‘Seiko’ brand itself debuted in 1924. Although Seiko was one of the pioneers in quartz technology, its mechanical watches were also renowned for their accuracy.
In 1960, the new “Grand Seiko” model set out to be the most accurate watch in the world, and in 1967, the 44GS model established a look and feel of the GS range that has remained constant to this day.
To celebrate 55 years of manufacturing, Seiko has released three new editions of the 44GS design, each themed to acknowledge the changing of the Japanese seasons, with unique dial finishes paired with a subtly revised approach to the 44GS case design.
The first theme is ‘Sakura-kakushi’, a reference to northern Japan’s fleeting moment during the Spring when the famous cherry blossoms are briefly paired with fresh snow. A soft pink dial is shot through with a subtle silver hue to reflect this rare and delicate window of time.
Seiko still makes the Grand Seiko model in this region, in the meticulously finished Shizukuishi Watch Studio located in Iwate Prefecture that was designed by the great Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
The second theme is Spring, ‘Flow of Seasons’. Here, the dial’s reference to clear blue skies is obvious, as is the rich dark green that references dense foliage in the ‘Summer’ edition.
All the watches use Grand Seiko’s manual-winding Caliber 9S64 movement, allowing for a slightly thinner case design than the original, although the crisp angles of the bezel, hands, and figures all remain to evoke the classic Grand Seiko look.
- Grand Seiko ‘Sakura Kakushi’ Limited Edition Mechanical 44GS, £4,630
- Grand Seiko ‘Spring’ Flow of Seasons Mechanical, £4,150
- Grand Seiko ‘Summer’ Flow of Seasons Mechanical, £4,150
This new addition to the Heritage Collection will be available in June as a limited edition of 1,200 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide.
This article is part of The T3 Edit, a collaboration between T3 and Wallpaper* which explores the very best blends of design, craft, and technology. Wallpaper* magazine is the world’s leading authority on contemporary design and The T3 Edit is your essential guide to what’s new and what’s next.