Event Report: Fratello × Grand Seiko Paris
Last Friday, we held our Fratello × Grand Seiko event in the Paris boutique at Place Vendôme. For approximately 20 readers of Fratello, Grand Seiko organized touch-and-feel sessions with the latest collections as well as a workshop on watch photography. This marks the second time that Fratello and Grand Seiko have hosted an event at the flagship boutique in Paris.
Inauguration of the Grand Seiko boutique in Paris
One day earlier, the stunning-looking Grand Seiko boutique was inaugurated by the management of the brand. A special delegation from Grand Seiko Japan, including Mr. Shinji Hattori, flew to France to officially open the flagship boutique in Paris with Frédéric Bondoux, President of Grand Seiko Europe.
The boutique has already been open to clients for nearly two years. Due to the pandemic, however, it hadn’t been possible to perform the inauguration ceremony. With several guests (press and some European GS retailers), the boutique was officially opened at last. The ceremony was followed by a chic lunch in one of the buildings on the Place Vendôme.
Fratello × Grand Seiko Event
But we (Sinara and I) were there for the Fratello × Grand Seiko event at the Paris boutique on Friday. When we opened the registration for this event, we received a tremendous number of sign-ups. Unfortunately, due to the limited space in the boutique, we could only invite approximately 20 people.
But it shows that there’s a big interest in Grand Seiko in Europe and that a dedicated GS9 Club for Europe is more than welcome. GS9 already exists in Japan and the USA, but since October, there’s also been a European chapter. We received some questions about whether it is possible to join the GS9 Club if your Grand Seiko watch was purchased elsewhere or pre-owned. We were informed that as long as you have the original invoice for the watch, it should be all fine, and you can join the GS9 Club in your country.
Watch photography workshop
Before the program started, there was a word of welcome by Fréderic Bondoux (President of Grand Seiko Europe), Naoto Hirooka (General Manager of the Grand Seiko marketing department for Europe and Africa), and me. Shortly after, all the guests moved to the first floor, where the new collection of Grand Seiko (and Credor) watches was on display, as well as the set-up for the watch photography workshop by Faruk Hosseini (@the.automatic.diver on Instagram). There were also a few vintage Grand Seiko watches on display, including the very first Grand Seiko model from 1960.
One of the most special watches present during the event was, of course, the Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon. It has a retail price of a whopping €370,000, and we were told that most of them have all been allocated to collectors. Kudos to the Kodo. It is an extraordinary watch!
Watch spotting during the event
Most guests were wearing their Grand Seiko watches, and we’ve captured a few (not all). We also came across some watches from other brands, as not everyone interested in Grand Seiko already owns one. Events like these are the perfect opportunity to introduce the brand and its watches. There was a corner dedicated to touch-and-feel sessions with all the available Grand Seiko watches. These included explanations from the knowledgeable boutique staff.
The event showed once more how much interest there is among enthusiasts for this great brand from Japan. It was, therefore, spontaneously announced that there will be another (third) event next year at another location that will be suitable for more people to attend.
A big thank you to Grand Seiko and all the event guests for making it such a wonderful day!