Grand Seiko is barking up the right tree with its latest timepiece
Japanese watch brand Grand Seiko epitomises clean design, a concept it formalised in 1967 with the launch of its understated ‘44GS’ wristwatch. Balancing form and function, the watch knitted together the elegant technical accomplishments that underpin a Grand Seiko watch, defining for the first time its nine cornerstones of design. These include multi-faceted markers, a flat dial, a curved profile and a highly polished bezel, foundations upon which all subsequent watches have since been built.
Dials may be flat, but textured patterns create an illusion of depth, containing a subtle spectrum of hues that nod to the Japanese custom of expressing the gradations between light and shadow, rather than the stark monochrome of black and white.
The ‘Hi-beat Birch Forest’ watch, part of the ‘Series 9’ collection, plays on these tones in shadow, translating this feeling of light and movement into a subtle tribute to the brand’s heritage.
‘This watch captures the dynamism of the white birch tree forests near the studio in Shizukuishi where all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are crafted,’ explains a Grand Seiko spokesperson. The birch bark pattern on the dial has been created with a varying depth of surface, which allows for an elegant interplay of light refracted from the dial. We particularly like feeling the call of the wild whenever we look at the time.