A Night Of Fine Japanese Watches & Whisky – Grand Seiko Event

By | 2017-03-21T18:17:54+00:00 Apr 2nd, 2016|Categories: Watches|Tags: , |0 Comments

Govberg Watches and Crand Seiko Logos
Paul Anthony looking at Grand Seiko watchI 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:

  1. The Grand Seiko watches
  2. Watchmaker at work
  3. A fun April Fools joke
  4. The whisky and event at large

The Watches

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.

Full collection of mens Grand Seiko watches

The below travel case of 18 watches was in addition to the watches featured above!

18 Grand Seiko watch in travel case

Grand Sekio Watches

Grand Seiko watch case backs

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

Grand Seiko Automatic GMT on the wrist

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

Grand Seiko SBGA085 on the wrist

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.

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Grand Seiko SBGC003 on the wrist

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.

Seiko Marinemaster Profesional close up

A true beast of a watch!

Side views of Seiko Marinemaster Professional

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.

Watchmakers table with tools

Grand Seiko 9R Spring Drive Movement

Watchmaker placing gear on movement

Watchmaker looking at baseplate of movement

Grand Seiko 9R Spring Drive Movement Toally Dismantled

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.

Mr. Ikukiyo Komatsu signing book

[Note: I’m wearing the Harris Tweed sports coat made by Benson and Clegg.]

Mr. Ikukiyo Komatsu signature

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!

Using chop sticks on a watch

Japanese watch making tools

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.

Yamazaki 12 year old whisky

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).

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Paul Anthony and Emily Anne at Grand Seiko Event

About the Author:

Paul Anthony is the founder and creative director at Bespoke Unit. He has had a life long affair with design, watches, fragrance and clothing. Originally from England, he now lives in the USA splitting time between NYC & Philly. Favoring "British Style", but has an overall eclectic taste.

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