I was lucky enough to be invited to a special event hosted by Goveberg Watches of Philadelphia this week. It was to showcase Grand Seiko watches, in addition to having one of their watchmakers all the way from Japan.
I’m always interested in learning more about watches, and especially ones that I’ve not had too much exposure to, such as Grand Seiko.
During this article you’ll see:
- The Grand Seiko watches
- Watchmaker at work
- A fun April Fools joke
- The whisky and event at large
As stated I’ve never really taken a hard look at Grand Seiko watches, being more consumed by Rolex, Omega, Vacheron, Patek, etc… (the list could go on!). So I was excited to see pretty much every model on display and being able to handle them all.
The below travel case of 18 watches was in addition to the watches featured above!
Some On The Wrist Shots Of My Favorite Models
I was very impressed with the watches both technically and aesthetically. Especially the Spring Drive movements (seen below being dismantled by the watchmaker).
Mechanical Automatic SBGM021
This was by far my favorite watch of the night, pictures can’t do the throwback vibe of this new watch justice. The off white patina of the face makes the watch feel like you’ve had it for years, but is still super modern styling.
The watch felt extremely solid on the wrist. At mid $4k range, it’s a definite contender in the mid range GMT market.
Spring Drive SBGA085
The watch, again, felt really solid on the wrist and I always like a display case back. Though the movement was not the most intricate I’ve ever seen, it’s still attractive. The full tech spec can be found here.
Spring Drive SBGC003 – GMT Chronograph
As I travel so much I’m a bit of a sucker for multiple complication watches. And the GMT Chronograph with a date window certainly fits the bill.
The reason why I may pick this over a similar price and function, Montblanc for example, is its 10bar water residence rating, compared to the 3bar for the Montblanc. This makes a real difference to the everyday wearability.
The 1,000 Meter Depth Rated – Marinemaster Professional
Not that I can even go more then a few meters below water, it is still amazing to see such a feat of engineering in the flesh.
A true beast of a watch!
The Seiko press release goes over some the major highlights and importance to the brand at large.
Grand Seiko Watchmaker In Action
It was a real treat to meet master watchmaker Mr. Ikukiyo Komatsu, who has been with Seiko since 1982.
He was showing how to first dismantle the very cool 9R Spring Drive movement, and then reassemble. Below are a series of pictures throughout the process.
Meeting The Watchmaker
Mr. Ikukiyo Komatsu was kind enough to sign a Seiko History book for me. He could not speak any English, so I thanked him via the present translator.
[Note: I’m wearing the Harris Tweed sports coat made by Benson and Clegg.]
Fun April Fools Joke
The staff from Goveberg wanted to set up an April Fools gag for the the next day [as the event was March 31st], by suggesting Mr. Ikukiyo Komatsu use chop sticks on the movement.
They were going to say that these were traditional Japanese watch making tools. He LOVED the idea!
Govberg wrote this article about it: Learn To Deconstruct Your Watch.
Japanese Whisky & Event In General
Not only were there Japanese watches but great whisky too.
I was particularly fond of The Yamazaki Single Malt 12 year old, seen below.
The event itself was attended by roughly 100 other watch nuts, so it’s always good to be in a room of other horological aficionados. There were some really nice pieces on wrists, including an amazing MB&F Legacy Machine, where its balance spring is suspended above the face under a domed crystal (unfortunately no picture from the evening).