Yearly, the Baselworld watch present is Christmas in March for horology heads. This yr, in fact, Basel—and each different main watch honest—was canceled. In reality, the pandemic compelled virtually each main model to delay introducing new designs deliberate years earlier than. (Even top-tier luxurious homes know easy methods to learn the room.) Every model needed to adapt to the present state of affairs, foregoing the same old new-watch bonanza to as a substitute roll out smaller-than-usual collections. Some superb items got here to market from all around the world, for certain, but it surely was undoubtedly an off yr. That’s, for each model however Grand Seiko.
Although 2020 will go down as one of many least auspicious years of our lives, it marks the sixtieth anniversary of Grand Seiko. And fortunately, the Tokyo-based producer determined to maneuver ahead with their plans to have fun. There was no gala or celebrity-studded marketing campaign—only a wave of latest releases that flexed Grand Seiko’s mastery of principally each class of watchmaking.
Within the lineup, there are journey watches, diving watches, and chronographs. There are quartz, spring drive, and mechanical choices. There are sporty ones, dressy ones, and sporty-and-dressy ones. There’s one thing that can fulfill any funds, with costs operating from $2,600 all the best way as much as $185,000, for a diamond- and sapphire-encrusted novelty). However to me, the vast majority of the firepower within the lineup is within the sub-$10,000 vary.
In reality, I’d name the Grand Seiko SLGH003 one of the best watch of 2020 in that bracket. It’s acquired an extremely modern motion with a brand new twin impulse escapement, which GS spent 9 years growing. And its “Superman” coloration scheme is nothing in need of incredible. Grand Seiko employs the colour blue higher than some other watchmaker, and this piece captures why: the GS blue is deeper and richer than some other, like they’ve captured the pure essence of the ocean.
On the upper finish of the spectrum, the SLGH002 is restricted to 100 items worldwide. It’s the very same design as its metal brother, however is housed in 18k yellow gold and fitted on a crocodile strap with a three-fold clasp. Be warned—it had a Midas-like mesmerizing impact on me, and after I tried it on it I might barely carry myself to take it off.
Most watchmakers tease out totally different variations of watch designs over a few years. They’ll introduce a mannequin in yellow gold, then comply with it with a white or rose gold model over the subsequent few years. 4 years later, you may get a platinum model. What’s distinctive about Grand Seiko’s 2020 lineup is that they’re not solely providing the identical design in a number of metals, however they’re doing virtually all of them in metal, too. The SBGW57, 8, and 9 are all the identical completely elegant costume watch achieved in platinum, gold, and metal. Take into consideration how enjoyable it might be if extra watchmakers allow you to select designs from a spread of pricepoints. Perhaps then not everybody would put on the identical three metal sports activities watches.