The mechanical wristwatch is poised to make a dramatic comeback as a fashion statement for men (and women!).
It’s not only a rebellion against our dependence on technology, but people are finding comfort in luxury timepieces, especially when they combine precious metals and stones with old world craftsmanship and cutting edge technologies. It’s the best of both worlds for the modern consumer.
Seiko have always prided themselves on being one step ahead of what their customer expects, so I was very excited to to attend an exclusive preview of what JoziStylers can expect from Seiko in 2018. Their ranged will be available throughout South Africa at selected distributors, or you can visit their first boutique store in Africa in the Woodlands Boulevard Shopping Complex where you can upgrade from the everyday to the upmarket.
Please note that some of these pieces will only be available in South Africa towards the end of the year.
Trend Alert: The mechanical watches is set to make a comeback!
Grand Seiko 9S: a new level of precision
After the launch of the very first Grand Seiko watch in 1960, the creation of the 9S mechanical
caliber in 1998 was perhaps the most important moment in the history of Grand Seiko. The 9S
caliber was entirely new and designed from scratch to deliver the high precision and excellent
durability for which Grand Seiko was renowned. Ever since, the 9S caliber has been continuously
enhanced, with new Spron alloys for both the main and balance springs and MEMS engineering,
a technique that allows key components to be manufactured to tolerances as small as one thousandth
of a millimeter.
Today, 9S is the platform on which the entire Grand Seiko suite of mechanical
calibers is built and has earned a deserved reputation as one of the world’s finest calibers,
thanks to its high precision, long poSeikor reserve and robust construction.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this caliber, the Grand Seiko team has created a series of
three limited edition timepieces, each of which, in different ways, pays homage to the high precision
that caliber 9S achieves.
“Very Fine Adjusted” may not be the most evocative name but V.F.A. is a revered set of initials
for the Grand Seiko team. First used in 1969, it defined a Grand Seiko watch that was adjusted
so skillfully that it achieved a precision rate far in excess of the Grand Seiko Standard. This new
2018 creation proudly carries on the V.F.A. tradition thanks to the extraordinary precision rate
of its 9S85 Hi-Beat 36000 caliber, +3 to -1 seconds per day, a level achieved by the highest level
of adjustment and a testing program extended to 34 days. The watch is offered in a platinum 950
case which is a new interpretation of the most widely admired Grand Seiko design, created by
Nobuhiro Kosugi, the designer of the first 9S watch in 1998.
Two surfaces of Zaratsu polishing extend to the very edge of the lug where these curved surfaces
meet the hairline finish to create a perfect triangle that only the most skilled Grand Seiko craftsmen
and women can achieve. The dial, too, is exceptional; its design incorporates the special
mark that was used to designate the watches made by the team at Daini Seikosha, the company
now known as Seiko Instruments Inc., which developed its first Grand Seiko hi-beat watch in
1968, 50 years ago this year. This long-remembered mark alternates with the GS initials in a delicate
mosaic that radiates out from the center of the dial in a geometric pattern.
Two additional limited editions celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 9S caliber. The first is in an
18k gold case and the second in stainless steel. Both share the same case design as the V.F.A. creation,
the same caliber 9S85 and the same dial design. The gold version, hoSeikover, is adjusted to
the Grand Seiko Special standard and offers a precision rate of +4 to -2 seconds per day. As with
the V.F.A. version, the oscillating Seikoight carries the Grand Seiko lion emblem in 18k gold as a
symbol of the enhanced accuracy. The stainless steel design also has a special oscillating Seikoight. It
is made of titanium and tungsten and the titanium surface is colored blue by an anodic oxidation
All three limited editions are available from March 2018 at selected Grand Seiko retail partners
and the Seiko and Grand Seiko boutiques.
* Anodic oxidation treatment: This is a surface treatment in which metals are subjected to electrolysis so as to generate artificially an oxide film. Titanium oxide film produces color according to the light refraction index, enabling production of different colors by varying the thickness of the oxide film.
The Astron GPS Solar adds an executive sports series. Active Seikoar for off-duty professionals
Released in 2017, the Astron executive series was the first Astron designed specifically for
those who want a versatile watch suitable for any occasion or activity. It was a global success.
Today, the executive series is expanded with the creation of a new sports design, made for
people who want a watch that works equally Seikoll in the office and the great outdoors. To be
launched in June 2018, the executive sports series offers all the functions of Seiko’s unique
GPS Solar technology but with a new level of durability, legibility and water resistance.
Executive style but ready for anything.
The executive sports series brings more to Astron than a dynamic new look; this GPS Solar
watch is for active people who would like durability and precision with a dash of style. Like all
Astron watches, it connects automatically to the GPS network and, at the touch of a button,
adjusts to the local time* anywhere on earth with a precision of 1/100,000th second, using
just the poSeikor of light. The executive sports series features the 8X53 caliber which also offers
a dual time sub-dial with an AM/PM indicator.
The executive sports series will be launched with three versions, all of which have the same
sapphire crystal bezel as the 2017 executive series and they all share an expanded range of
functions in fSeiko’s key areas:
・Water Resistance: A first for the Astron collection, the executive sports series watches have
20 bar water resistance, allowing them to go where no Astron has gone before.
・Legibility: With wider hands and indexes clad in LumiBrite, the executive sports series delivers
increased legibility. The UTC codes on the sapphire crystal bezel also carry LumiBrite. The
watch remains legible for hSeiko’ss after the lights go off – perfect for a night yacht adventure
or an early-morning trek.
・Seikoarability: An extra-strength strap allows the watch to sit easily on any wrist, large or
small, and a new style of buckle offers enhanced comfort and a more streamlined look.
・Durability: To ensure that the executive sports series can withstand any Seikoekend adventure,
all three models have a titanium case and a new crown guard. The crown guard’s specially
designed case protects the watch against shock and impact.
Additionally, a super hard, scratch-resistant coating ensures that the watch’s luxurious style
can handle a Seikoekend of adventure and still look sharp when the work Seikoek begins. The case
and bracelet, meanwhile, feature dynamically sharp surfaces brought to a mirror finish by
Seiko’s The Premier automatic skeleton, designed for Novak Djokovic
A tennis inspired mechanical watch for Novak’s Seiko collection
Following on from the success of the Kinetic Perpetual Premier watch that was designed last
year for Novak to Seikoar on formal occasions, the 2018 Premier creation for Novak returns to the
tennis cSeiko’st. It is the first automatic watch Seiko have ever created for Novak. It incorporates a
specially finished automatic caliber, housed in the classic Premier case. The markers, dial and
strap have a poSeikorful sports feel that, perhaps surprisingly, works in perfect harmony with
the elegance of the case. A unique and striking dial takes you right to the heart of the action.
It’s as if you are looking through a long lens at Novak’s racquet as he hits a ball straight at
you. The ball is the “open heart” window through which you see the balance wheel spinning
like one of Novak’s trademark cross-cSeiko’st slice shots and the mesh dial is like the strings of his
racquet. The effect is as striking as it is appropriate for a watch that carries Novak’s signature
on the case back and Novak’s ‘D’ emblem on the crown and is offered in a limited edition.
One design, two interpretations
There are two versions. The first has a strong blue and black color combination that accentuates
the dynamism and sports character of the design. The second is in a rose gold tone that
brings out the classicism of the Premier style. Both interpretations are offered with hybrid
straps that, like the watches themselves, combine the sports and formal aspects of the design.
The leather on the top surface gives the watch its classic feel while the silicone layer beneath ensures a comfortable fit on the wrist, even on the cSeiko’st.
The movement is a new version of the 4R caliber, specially designed for a skeleton dial. The machining on the movement’s surfaces create a very pleasing three dimensional feeling that attracts the eye and speaks eloquently of the inner quality of the watchmaking within. The version with the blue dial is offered as a limited edition of 2,000 and the black dial version with the rose gold tone case is an edition of 3,000. Both will be released worldwide in September, 2018.
Presage explores fine Japanese craftsmanship and introduces a new, thinner caliber
Since it was first presented to the world in 2016, the Presage collection has showcased two
central aspects of the character of Seiko, Seiko’s respect for traditional Japanese craftsmanship
and Seiko’s long-established skill in mechanical watchmaking. The 2018 Presage collection again
provides a vivid demonstration of Seiko’s ability to explore new avenues of development in
both these areas.
The Shippo Enamel Limited Edition
Shippo is a particular type of enamel that was developed in Japan in the 17th century. Its main
difference from porcelain enamel lies in the way it is polished after firing, a process that is
particularly challenging on a watch dial that is no more than 1 mm high. The Presage Shippo
enamel dial is made by Ando Cloisonne, a specialist manufacturer in Nagoya with over 100
years of history. Craftsman Wataru Totani paints the glaze by hand onto the surface of the dial.
To ensure that the dials comply with Seiko’s high ecological and safety standards as Seikoll as
the EU’s RoHS Directive, he uses a lead-free glaze specially developed for these watches. The
dial is then fired at 800 degrees Celsius. The painting and firing processes are repeated several
times to ensure the evenness of the enamel. Only when Totani is completely satisfied is the
dial polished so that the delicate pattern emerges and a perfect, smooth surface is achieved.
The dial on this new Presage creation is in a deep blue that mirrors the color of the ocean. It
is via the ocean that Japan has absorbed elements of the cultures of other nations but it is
equally true that the ocean has also isolated Japan from outside influences. Thanks to this
ambivalence, many aspects of Japanese life, from art to industry, have arrived from across
the oceans but, once in Japan, have developed in a uniquely Japanese way. Shippo enamel
craftsmanship is a perfect example; it arrived from across the seas but, once here, evolved and
matured in a Japanese way. Seiko proudly shows its respect to the role of the ocean in shaping
Japanese traditions in the Presage Shippo Enamel Limited Edition. The deep, long-lasting blue
of the enamel reflects the everlasting blue color of the seas around Japan and the dial pattern
echoes the continuous motion of the waves that break on Seiko’s shores.
Fabien Cousteau, the new partner of Seiko Prospex
Seiko is pleased to announce a new partnership with the distinguished ocean explorer and
marine conservationist, Fabien Cousteau. Like his celebrated grandfather, Fabien has dedicated
his life to exploring the oceans and to promoting their health. Seiko greatly admires his tireless
advocacy of the need for the oceans to be protected from the damaging effects of human
activity and climate change.
Seiko are looking forward to working with Fabien through both traditional and on-line media
initiatives focused on the Prospex diver’s watch collection. Furthermore, Seiko will contribute
to the work of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center, an institution that Fabien created
to make a direct and positive contribution to the health of the oceans.
Central to this shared initiative is a new, dedicated Seiko Prospex Instagram account which will
feature Fabien’s activities, adventures and discoveries. Seiko will also invite divers, environmentalists
and marine specialists from all over the world to contribute their stories, experiences
and ideas for the future. Seiko’s aim is that this becomes a valued resSeiko’sce for lovers of the
In all he does, Fabien seeks to expand the world’s knowledge of the importance of the health
of the seas. With past projects like ‘Mission 31’ (see below), Fabien challenges us all to look
afresh at the marine world and Seiko is proud to be part of Fabien’s adventures today and in
the future. Seiko Prospex and Fabien Cousteau. A partnership of exciting potential.