There is no collection of timepieces as encompassing as that from Seiko. At a recent roadshow exhibition at Mid Valley Megamall, watch fans and passers-by alike were reminded at the extent of the Japanese brand’s offerings. Displays for much-loved consumer-oriented lines such as Presage and Prospex stood opposite some of the finest horology in the world in Grand Seiko. Highlights from Grand Seiko included recent releases such as the slim and elegant hand-wound SBGK005 (RM28,000 and limited to 1,500 pieces) and the boldly faceted SBGC231 GMT chronograph (RM52,000 and limited to 500 pieces) with striking brown dial. A particularly special piece was found in the platinum-cased SBGD201J (RM250,000), which is exquisitely finished in a way that reflects the incredible skill of Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio, and sports a triple-barrelled calibre with 8-day power reserve.
The event, which commemorated the opening of the Seiko boutique in the mall, was heralded by the presence of one of the personalities responsible for Grand Seiko’s success. Ikukiyo Komatsu, a Seiko watchmaker who has been with the company for almost 40 years, gave a public demonstration of the assembly of a Grand Seiko signature: the Spring Drive movement. This movement, which has long fascinated watch aficionados with its ingenious combination of mechanical and electrical, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Komatsu, who is now responsible for training up-and-coming watchmakers, hopes that these skills will be passed on from generation to generation, and that demonstrations such as these will help maintain interest in mechanical watchmaking. He exudes a quiet confidence that seems to accompany the watches he assembles. “One who can really judge quality, they will choose a Grand Seiko," he says.
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The event also marked the first time that Credor watches were officially introduced to Malaysia. The ultra-high-end collection from Seiko is a rare sight anywhere in the world and represents some of the most exacting and meticulous watchmaking and finishing ever seen. As well, it is an expression of the type of Japanese craftsmanship that is renowned all over the world and would be sure to delight local enthusiasts.
On display for a limited time were two exemplars of Credor. The flashier of them was the Spring Drive Sonnerie GBLQ998J (RM715,000). Proudly openworked to showcase each immaculately hand-finished part, it functions as a traditional hourstriker but also has an ‘Original’ mode that chimes three times every three hours.
In a completely different vein, the Spring Drive Eichi II GBLT999J (RM220,000 for platinum case) is as pure an expression of watchmaking as can be: a 39mm time-only three-hander with painstakingly hand-painted porcelain dial. The Spring Drive’s smoothly gliding seconds hand is a particularly fitting touch on such an understated and meditative timepiece.