Brands: Grand Seiko

These are mere random thoughts on watch brands which I am writing purely from my experience and perspective, which is no doubt different from yours. Feel free to add your thoughts if you think I am talking nonsense.

I wrote about Seiko yesterday and included my positive and negative thoughts on the brand. There is likely an element of moving up in the world of watches in terms of price and luxury, and subsequently looking down in a more negative way at brands at the lower end. That sounds awful doesn’t it, but I suspect it is a natural thought process that happens to many people when they really dig in to a hobby and look up with desire rather than back down.

The Grand Seiko brand is now (technically) a separate entity to Seiko, but of course the ‘Seiko’ name is prominent. In my mind it is still hard to split the two, but overall I think the split has been managed well and that there is a world of difference between the two brands. I have been tempted many times by Grand Seiko watches and when I tried one on I was blown away by the sheer quality on my wrist. It felt different to any other watch I had worn and kudo to the company for making something that feels like pure luxury available for a relatively low price.

Within watch circles there is concern about resale value and I get that. I don’t worry about it in terms of if I want to flip it, I worry because my automatic inclination when resale values are low is to either buy it grey market or pre-owned. It is hard to buy something for £5,000 that can be had for less than £3,500 in mint condition pre-owned.

I also find that Grand Seiko watches (not all of them, but the majority) are almost too ambitious in their approach. They can look clinical in the way they are styled and in particular with the hands. It’s a tricky one because the hands and the way they are polished are a huge highlight, but to me they are almost too well done and reach an emotional level of robotically made. This is ironic indeed when you consider the skill involved in creating them, but it is a thought I cannot shake from my mind.

Grand Seiko to me is on the one hand possibly the best value of any under £10,000. It is just that I haven’t found a model yet that makes me want to jump on board. It will likely happen at some point though.

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