Brand Directory: Grand Seiko

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The first Grand Seiko debuted in Tokyo in 1960. The ref: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 a 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. 


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