The first Grand Seiko debuted in Tokyo in 1960. The reference 3180 was made by Suwa Seikosha. Rather than sending its 25 Jewels Chronometer movement to the Swiss to be tested, Seiko decided to do the testing themselves. The European Chronometer Official Association believed that a chronometer rated watch had to be independently tested to be awarded that designation. Seiko watches were not independently tested so therefore they could not be chronometers. The ECOA did what irritated watchmakers do, they wrote a stern letter to Seiko requesting that the designation of Chronometer on Grand and King Seiko watches stop. Seiko obliged and ceased using "Chronometer" on their watches. In response, the Japanese Chronometer Authorization Association was started in 1968 as an independent group to test timepieces to chronometer standards. The Association was short-lived: due to the rise of quartz watches, it closed in 1983. Today Grand Seiko movements are tested over 17 days in 6 positions compared to COSC testing over 15 days in 5 positions. In 1985 Suwa Seikosha became Seiko Epson Corporation In 2017 Seiko announced that Grand Seiko would become an independent brand.
This Grand Seiko has a 40mm stainless steel case, its angles and edges are exquisitely Zaratsu polished by masters of the art. The curved faceted lugs gently taper. On the right side a large signed screw-down crown. A flat bevel-edged Sapphire crystal protects the sky blue Japanese paper textured dial. It's inspired by the windswept snow-capped mountains of Shinshu. Hence the name “SkyFlake”. The baton indexes have razor-sharp edges that are expertly polished to an incredible standard. At 3 o’clock a framed date window. Between the 7 and 8 positions sits an elegant power reserve. The dauphine hands are again highly polished with razor-sharp edges that catch the light perfectly. A blued sweeping seconds hand tapers to a point, perfectly hitting each second marking. On the reverse a screwed-down exhibition case. Showcasing the CÔTES DE GENÈVE finished Spring Drive Grand Seiko Cal. 9R65, the innovative Spring Drive movement which is mechanical, but with an electromagnetic escapement regulated by a quartz oscillator. It has 30 jewels and a power reserve of an impressive 72 hours. Its sole power source is a mainspring that drives a series of gears. A rotor connected to the end of these gears generates a small electrical charge that activates an electronic circuit and quartz oscillator. Therefore there is no need for a battery. Fitted on a dark blue crocodile leather strap with a signed double folding buckle.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold with its original Grand Seiko box and Grand Seiko paperwork, including a brown Grand Seiko signed strap and buckle. The watch comes paired with its original dark blue Crocodile leather strap with signed Grand Seiko buckle. The watch is from December 2019 and is in fantastic condition as you can see, very few signs of wear on the watch. The watch comes with its manufacture warranty which is passed onto the new owner when they have the guarantee card.
Second "Skyflake" I've been lucky enough to attain for stock, the last one flew away quicker than it could land on the website... Let's see how long this one lasts? Not long I suspect! These are incredibly hot at the moment, rightfully so, with Grand Seiko finally seeing the respect they deserve and active buyers increasing of the brand.