Kucimo wrote me an e-mail about two weeks ago, stating that I shouldn’t forget about Grand Seiko, after my negative rant on collecting Seiko or other Japanese watches.

On the one hand I think he is absolutely right. Look at this picture below, which Kucimo attached to his e-mail, this looks perfect. You can see that Seiko put a lot of work in this to reach perfection in a watch. Everything on this watch ‘fits’ and every detail is probably discussed for hours at the Seiko R&D meetings. On the other hand, who is going to pay 5.000 USD for a Seiko. The money a Grand Seiko costs, easily buy you a great Swiss watch as well. It is like having a lot of money and spending it on a Honda (in the US Accura I think) NSX sportscar instead of a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe or other similair priced European crafted sportscar. Okay, so the Grand Seiko isn’t just any Seiko, as the NSX isn’t just any Honda. But I am sure you’ll catch my drift. It is all ‘between the ears’, I know 🙂

  • Bas

    On the one hand, I think you’re right. I would never pay that much for a Japanese watch, and I would never spend money on a Japanese car if I could spend it on a European one.

    On the other hand, I don’t agree with you on the fact that this watch looks perfect. It may have a bracelet with solid links and a nice finish and all that, but it still breathes “Japan” all the way. I don’t know what the problem is.. Japanese can make great stuff: traditional Japanese clothes, swords and food are the finest in the world. But their “modern stuff” like cars and watches just look fake.

    Just look at the font they use to write “Grand Seiko” on the dial. Absolutely tasteless.

    • Mumu

      I think iPad and iPod r copy from Sony Walkman.

      • kle

        Mumu: your statement summed up everything, I really like it. The Japanese have the habit of keeping the best for themselves. It is not that they don’t know how to market the GS, they did not CARE. They will let the watch and its fans do the talking. They will not waste money on expansive marketing campaigns but to invest into development of their watches.

        To those anti-GS fans, please hold a GS in your hand and examine it first before making a statement on how “bad” it is, you may change your mind after holding it!!!

  • Georges

    A grand seiko can’t compare with a rolex or an omega, it is just another middle of the range watch with upgraded components nothing more.

  • Evert Meijer

    I’m from Europe and a Rolex fan all the way. I must admit though that I’m facinated by the Grand Seiko. It does look Japanese, that’s right, but IT IS Japanese. I like the quality look of it and the mix of very low profile design and high quality, kind of more like Lexus than Honda.

  • DD

    From a horological perspective, Seiko is absolutely on par with Rolex and the Swatch Group (Omega, ETA, etc.). Seiko , along with Swatch Group, are one of the few companies that produce entirely their own components. And the modern Grand Seiko movement was designed by Davis, just like the Co-Axial movement used in modern Omegas. However, I think what most of the unwashed masses respond to is marketing, and Seiko has not been as good at that as their European counterparts, the most obvious mistake being using a single brand identity for all watch lines — something the Swatch Group clearly learned not to do. But for those who care about form, function, fit, and finish more than bling bling, in other words, those who are more into watches than jewelry, the best Seikos rightly rate alongside the best Swiss watches in the world.

  • Martin Carter

    I have been experiencing difficulty in viewing the current Grand Seiko range either on a website or here in Bangkok and should like assistance in locating a website in English. I am the owner of a Seiko Spring Drive & impressed by the quitely understated quality of the Seiko Grand Seiko. I own the latest Rolex Datejust Diamond in pink gold and am embarrassed by its garish appearance compared to the Grand Seiko.
    Martin Carter

  • Johny

    The great wonder of the auto range of the GS is the bettering of the Swiss acc test which I believe is +6-4 a day. But the GS autos are +4/-2 a day. If the standard bell curve of swiss movements were able to match this they would could lower the COSC standard. Having personally seen many GS in person, Their quality is the same or better than the swiss, but I would rather have a rarer watch. But, most people dont know much about watches and only Rolex will inpress the average joe, so why buy anything else right. I would buy the watch for my own pleasure not to impress everyone who just wants to see the name.

  • Mike

    I’ve owned my Grand Seiko for over three years and I love it. Although my watch will never have the resale of a Swiss watch, which is not a reason I’d buy a watch, I enjoy having a timepiece that is truly rare, well made and low profile. Although not everyone has the level of appreciation I have for Grand Seikos, when I meet a WIS that has knowledge of higher-end seikos, because they have identified my watch, I feel like I’ve met a true timepiece Connoisseur.
    Swiss watches are great and I own several nice examples- But to down play Japanese achievements because they are not Swiss is a loss for the true WIS.
    From my experience the Grand Seiko is everthing that Seiko claims it to be-

  • stephen

    When choosing a car the brand is just a badge on the outside. It’s very superficial and not very logical to judge a car by its brand. For example, what some people do is take a list of cars and look for one variable they are interested in. My friend is interesting in power to weight ratio. He got his list of cars and sorted it according to power to weight ratio. Then he took this power to weight ratio and divided by the price to see which car had the best bang for you buck. The same goes for watches.

  • Warren

    The price to value comparison of an Acura NSX compared to Porsche Carrera is a fair example. Another would be the Honda S2000 compared with a Porsche Boxster or a BMW Z4.

    A wristwatch to a watch enthusiast is a very personal thing. I find no problems with those who choose Swiss. How can I counter that argument? However, I for one would love to own Grand Seiko. It’s my personal appreciation of the ‘little Japanese company’s best efforts to make an awesome piece.

    The same could be said of the Honda’s. I would be appreciative that the NSX was developed by Honda’s top engineers with Ayrton Senna personally involved; or the S2000 with its engine developed by Honda’s World Championship-winning Mclaren-Honda F1 engine team members.

  • casey coryell

    I have seen many Grand Seikos, and every one surpasses the Rolex for fit , finish, and reliability.
    If marketed properly in the US, I believe its understated elegance would outsell the Rolex steel Oysterdate.

  • Squidge

    Casey is 1000% right. I own the SBGR023 pictured and it is MILES ahead of the Rolexes and Omegas that I have owned. Some years ago I unloaded my Explorer II and Datejust because I had grown so disillusioned with their mediocre quality. (E.g., the case finish – ever notice how darn sharp the Rolex lugs are and how embarassingly flimsy the Rolex bracelet clasp is? The latter would be a joke on a watch costing $500, let alone $5k.) I know we are all supposed to believe mindlessly the Rolex marketing machine — and I am the first to admit that I too did for a time — but facts are stubborn things and the fact is that Rolex makes just okay watches. Sure they will be noticed by people who know nothing about fine watches, but that doesn’t make it a great watch. And don’t get me started about Omega; I’ve had two and each one spent more time in the shop than on the wirst. By contrast, my Grand Seiko and Marinemaster 300M exude quality, finesse and reliability (each runs about +/- 2 secs/day, well within COSC specs). I’ve kept my Jaeger Master Control (really great watch) and an Omega (not because it’s a keeper, but because it was my first “high-end” watch and I am a litle sentimental about it), but I have decided to collect high-end Seiko’s going forward on account of their exceptional fit, finish, value for money and understatedness. (And to you Georges, please examine a few Grand Seikos in person before making such bald assertions. I am sure you’ll see the light if/when you do, unless you’d rather believe what others want you to think.)

  • A.Stefanov

    Hi- I own an SBGR001 (same as the pic but silver dial) and I have to say that it’s probably best described as the ultimate refinement of a steel datejust. I wondered lots before buying because I had always owned low end Seiko and wanted a ‘nice watch’ at last- my initial choice was an Explorer II, really i wanted a PP Aquanaut but couldn’t justify the now ridiculous price- my GS and indeed all GS’s I’ve seen are on a par with the very finest Swiss or German Watches and the SBGR001/023 ARE design classics. One thing to note is that GSs’ have that fine watch hand finished sparkle that mid range brands just can’t achieve- at a street price of around £1100 the SBGR001 is a bargin.

  • Paul Amaya

    Grand Seikos. I can’t wait to own one. Regardless of what everybody else says, I want it. If I want a watch is not so I can be recognized by every person I meet, but because it is what “I” want. Unfortunately many of the people that have shared their comments above, simply want to own a watch that will give them status (regardless of the marketing you receive, I am sorry to inform you that this wont do the trick). I have done this in the past with a swiss piece, and I could have not been more dissappointed. If a Rolex or an Omega makes you happy, please buy it. But don’t put down the Grand Seiko simply because it is Japanese. Don’t be ignorant..

  • Andrew W

    Well, Seiko has to change the brand name instead of just adding “Grand” to it just like what Toyota did when they introduced the luxurious Lexus line.

  • Barry O Rourke

    I have recently purchased my first Grand Seiko and I concur completely with some of the other contributors,simply the best quality wrist watch I have owned and compared to my nearly double the cost Rolex 50th An. SM the GS is superior in every respect, the only good thing to be said about the Rolex is that it has a decent resale value so I am able to off load it without loosing to much, I have owned many Rolex watches, the best was one of their earlier Daytona models when Zenith used to make their movements, the modern version with their so called in house ( ETA ) movement is crap, pure and simple, but even the Zenith movement Daytona model was barely within COSC standards whereas my GS exceeds that standard.
    I am now looking for a GS GMT no daubt it will also be far superior to the Rolex and other Swiss GMT’s.

    For those who feel that a name around their wrist is important, why not buy a replica, the cases and bracelets are every bit as good or bad as the original and in two recent China replicas I saw where the rolex movement is copied exactly, they are just as accurate as the real thing which should make some out there think, if you can produce a replica for $ 350.00 (ex factory china)which competes favourably with the real thing how can you justify $ 10,000.00 for the real thing??? I have yet to see a replica GS.

  • rex

    Buy the Rolex to impress others, the Grand Seiko to impress yourself.

  • WatchKingQueen

    I would like to own a Grand Seiko. It looks great! However, I do not plan to buy one as it is too expensive! I have Omega and Rolex. I love Omega speedmaster most. It is practical (with date), useful, easy to use the chronograph (unlike Rolex), the screw down is not important as I never saw anyone wearing a Rolex Daytona and swimming at sea or in an indoor pool. Omega Speedmaster is also water resistant and its price is highly reasonable unlike Roles. Grand Seiko has its attractiveness but it has to do more promotion. If not, all my friends will think I wear a cheap Seiko. They won’t believe I spend $5000 or more on it!!! This is too bad!

  • krisdesign

    I have recently purchased Grand Seiko 9S55 SBGR017J Model and, after collecting swiss high end watches for most of my life I honestly say that this watch is uncomparably better in finish, precision and quality to any Rolex I have ever owned. Water resistant to 200m, screw in crown, accuracy exceeding COSC standards by 25% makes this watch an absolute bargain at $4,500 (You can get it for around $3,000 street price), Uncomparably better than Submariner.

  • ian

    having worked on both swiss and japanese watches for over 30 years i can only conclude that the majority of swiss made watches are nothing more than “dial names” designed to lure the illinformed into spending $ to impress there equally illinformed friends foolsfoolsfools ! seiko is the only watch company on this planet that does everything in house from r&d to polishing of the hands (on the high end models)dont get me wrong rolex pateck vacheron piaget are all fine pieces but as for being a practical classic no one builds a more refined time piece than a grand seiko lookout watch snobs you are about to see just what japanese superiority means cheers

  • kei

    most of the Rolex owners like me appreciate all brands including the Grand Seiko which is really comparable to Swiss watches and the quality is impeccable and also with standards higher than COSC(+6/-4 secs a day) Grand Seiko (+5/-3 secs a day) so a Chronometer can’t pass the GS test due to +1/-1 second differential. most owners like the owners of Omega always compare and compare but they don’t realize that Omega is own by SWATCH. Omega is using SWATCH ETA movements slightly modified but STILL a SWATCH. Swatch watches can be seen in the department stores like the Seiko 5 and they are cheap and too cheap so bottom line is Seiko creates high end watches like Grand Seiko and Swatch has the Omega. Rolex has Rolex only. Have a great day! 😛

  • Lewis

    My Grand Seiko SBGX009 is in the shop – hour hand jammed two months after purchase new. I’ve owned the Oysterdate though and was just as dissappointed with that so I don’t know what I think now!

  • kurt

    The way I see it, Seiko has a grate looking line of watches with the GS, they seem to be well finished (I said “seem to be” because I hadn’t the oportunity to hold one in my hands), they should be very accurate over time(more then the Swiss high-end watches) , they have an history or pedigry, there are not a lot of them around (is this right???, in Europe I don’t even know if they are on the market), they run very smooth and they are said to be less vulnerable for shocks (thanks to the spring drive)

    A lot of people don’t even have heard of Grand Seiko, they will only see the name SEIKO (not a name that is associated with luxury or class because), they are relativaly expensive (not if you really compare them with watches of similar kind.

    Personally, I am intrigued and I want to know more of these watches. If the watches are what people wrigth about them, then why should I pay more for a similar swiss watch (omega or rolex) that runs less accurate, is more fragile and is not so good finished. Rolex and omega are produced in mass.

  • graham

    i’ve been collecting for 15 years and owned over 100 Omegas and about 400 watches in total. i now own several very high end watches and also own 7 grand and king seiko’s from 1964 to the present day.
    a grand seiko can and does compare very favourably with Omega,Rolex and many other swiss brands for build quality and accuracy. they are better finished than any rolex i have ever seen and my 1964 King Seiko 44 calibre manual wind is accurate to less than 1 second a day which is better than any swiss watch i have ever owned.
    the new grand seiko line make Rolex look a bit pathetic in comparison.
    until you have owned a GS or KS you cant be in a position to comment so i’m afraid to say that georges has just shown himself to be ignorant beyond belief,
    also anyone comparing japanese watches to japanese cars should do the same and own one before makeing a comment. my Honda accord 2.4 ivtec tourer is the most reliable car i have ever owned including a string of european cars from mercedes(whose build quality is diabolical), through bmw to citreon. the honda S2000 is regularly voted the best roadster in the world and makes a cayman look ridiculous and over priced.

    i am a member of the puristspro watch forum where many members own watches worth a huge fortune, but none of them would write off a japanese watch without first looking at it, researching it and listening to other peoples opinions on it. thit, i think, is the difference between true collectors and people who just wear to impress.

  • Patrick

    I don’t have the money to buy a Grand Seiko or Omega or Rolex but my Seiko Black Monster is an amazing watch for the price. Fairly accurate and built like a tank.

    Remember if it wasn’t for Acura there would be NO market at all for your precious European Sports or Luxury car. All those Euro brands, no matter how much cache they carried, really sucked. Acura challenged everyone to up their game back in the 80’s. Hmm come to think of it I haven’t seen a late model BMW on the road older than the length of its warranty. I’m not kidding.

  • paul h.collier,esq.

    i own a mercedes 600sl roadster and a lexus sl430.the lexus is the car to drive.the mercedes cost almost $140,000.the lexus about $58,000 but there is no comparison.
    i also own a rolex in 18k gold , a day date model. the watch is an oyster quartz president.i own a seiko dolce which cost about $450. the dolce is accurate to +_10 seconds per year.it performs beautifully.the rolex ,which makes no claims for accuracy,loses about 8 seconds per month.
    i am going to buy a grand seiko.when i have worn it for a while,i shall relate to you my thoughts.
    thank you,
    paul h. collier,esq.

  • tl

    steve jobs said in 1996, “The problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have no taste and I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way.” i know we’re comparing watches here but its relative. form and function, the japanese hands down. but taste….eh not so sure.

  • Andrian

    Have any one see the Credor line of seiko they did away with seiko on the dial i had the privilege of looking at one close up. Iook out Swiss World. And I’m all about the Movement of the watch

  • I owned a number of Seikos and Swiss made watches such as Rolex, Omega, Tag Hauer, etc etc etc. For a watch lover like me, I look mostly for the performance of a particular watch more than brand name. I have Seikos that can out performed the Swiss made counterparts when it comes to accuracy and durability inspite of their lower resale values. I wear my Swiss watches most of the time during any big occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, and special events. I guess the bottom line is that we should have positive perspective when owning these essential and luxury timepieces to enjoy them more.

  • rex

    I’m 53 now. Since 1997 I’ve owned everything from a Breitling Callistino (my first high end watch), Minerva Pythagore 1 Aviation dial, 4 different Rolex models, IWC Mark XV on UTC Bracelet, Omega AT , Eterna Super Kontiki, Sinn 656, and possibly a couple more different models that escapes me right now…

    Bought my GS in the summer of 2004, and must say in all my life it’s the only watch I’ve owned that gives me as much joy to wear today when I first put it on as it did almost 5 years ago!

    This speaks volumes since they’re all gone now. All but 4 watches remain in the watch box…3 high end Japanese quartz and 1 scratchproof ceramic Swiss.
    My quartz driven Grand Seiko which contains the only quartz movement ever designed with a 50 year service interval (other than a battery change every 3 years), a Citizen Chronomaster (this watch contains the world’s most functional and accurate A660H contemporary quartz movement w/10 year factory warranty), a GMT Seiko (sold in Japan only) solid titanium SBQJ-015 (10 year batteryw/perpetual calendar/spec’d accurate to 20 seconds per year, sapphire crystal/$450 MSRP) and 1 quartz driven Rado True Ceramic.

    Presently I’m in watch Nirvana…Immensely enjoying what I have now, with plans to chill out for a while!

    Hope you enjoy the pics.



  • nicky

    I guess this all has to do with marketing. seiko has less promotion, advertising, placement and availability of the GS outside japan.
    On the bright side it gives some exclusivity for the GS( in effect becomes limited and is not mass produced)and for those who know their watches you are paying more for the value of the watch which exceeds most of the swiss or is at par on some.
    The fact that it is all in house as well.
    We payless for the seiko to get the same result where we pay more for the rest due to marketing. Resale and investment for some brands(brand positioning) but As to quality/craftmanship and performance seiko is there wthout a doubt. You get more than you pay for as a product.
    Have owned several swiss but have now been purchsing seiko’s. The marinemaster beats the sub in it’s finish.More of a sea dweller in comparison. for diving history the sub/dweller, doxa, omega and seiko are there.

  • Ahmed Pasha

    When it comes to quality and reliability, nothing excels Japanese craftsmanship. I owned many watches, the worst being Chinese and Russian watches, almost as bad as the watches from former East Germany.
    Why communist countries, even if they turned away from communism, have problems producing high quality products, I do not know, but it is a fact they have this problems. Therefore it is a grave mistake to mix up Japan with China.
    It is like mixing up Ruhla watches from East Germany with Rolex watches from Swiss as both countries are European countries.
    Again, I owned many watches from many countries. Like I said, the highest quality can be found in Japan, Grand Seiko and Credor being just two examples. Swiss quality comes very close but cannot excel Japanese quality, especially the unmatched reliability and longevity of Japanese watches.
    Thank you, Japan.

  • kel

    I have recently purchased the SBGC 007 GS SpringDrive Chronograph and I must say that it is an awesome watch. I did a fair bit of research before buying it which is fairly expensive. But considering the functionality, the finish, the built, movement and everything else, it is worth every cent. As a watch lover, I think the GS exceeds most of the Swiss watches in every way. It is very accurate, Seiko claims that the accuracy is 15/month but so far, I think my GS is even more accurate than the claim. For 1 week, not even 2s are out of phase. Pretty impressive. The Rolex chronograph will cost about 25k which is about 4 times the value of my GS. I tried it on once and did not like it very much due to the dull dials and the finish. I used to believe that Swiss watches are the best in the world, but not anymore. My advice is, go for the GS, don’t waste your money on Swiss watches, they are not as good as they claim. Cheers.

  • Jenn123

    Do you guys know where I can purchase seiko watches for cheap online? I live in Canada and the only online store that has a decent amount of seiko watches is http://www.christinejewellers.com/seiko.html . Do you know of any other Canadian websites?

  • tarmac

    Naaaah, the font is the best thing about a Grand Seiko. It’s proper gangster.

  • Steadyslack

    Treated myself to a GS a couple of months back. It’s the GMT model with brown leather strap and champagne coloured face. Stunning accuracy, lovely finish and DIFFERENT! My initials are GS so that’s a good fun bit as well. Fancy the Chronometer in stainless steel next. Go to a quality watch shop in Asia wearing a GS and they know you like great watches.

  • Moved On

    This is all those who talk up the Swiss watches. I was fan of swiss watches until very recently (last month to be exact) when most of them started falling apart.
    My Breitling has been for repair for the third time in last 18 months (bought new 18monts ago)
    The start/stop button on my Omega Sea Master chronograph skipps i.e. you press it and nothing happens at times and you have missed the starting time…… (only 9 months old bought new)
    The battery on my Tag Aqua Racer ran flat in less than 2 years (maybe I am a bit demanding on this one)
    And my Rolex Datejust cannot keep winding for more than 6 hour when I take it off (3 years old bought new)
    They are just highly priced pieces of junk where we pay for the badge.
    I am selling all the swiss crap and buying a GS.
    the same goes for european cars, its just the badge that keeps stopping and costing. Finally got an Accord Euro runs like a dream .

  • JimBob

    As a former Rolex aficionado I can tell you first hand that Rolex quality does not does not compare to Grand Seikos. Having owned numerous GMT Masters, SD’s and SM’s they have provided me nothing but grief, loads of shop time, embarrassing accuracy issues, expensive overhauls and lots of “is that a fake rolex?” questions. I have sold all my Rolex pieces and currently enjoying these fine Grand Seikos SBGA031 and SBGE001.

  • Gman

    Poor copycat designs, a lack of consistency throughout the aesthetic design principles, too much change and terrible depreciation…. I think I would prefer just about any swiss luxury watch to Grand Seiko, especially Rolex

  • Judethedude

    I’ve been intrigued by Grand Seiko and visited a flagship store in Amsterdam to see for myself, but was frankly very disappointed. No consistency in design and generally poor aesthetics compared to other watches I own. My collection is mainly Swiss & German: Glaschuette, IWC, Chopard, Omega, Mondaine, and Rolex (Rolex btw are very underrated imho by people that like to think they know about watches…their quality in my experience is outstanding). I like most watch brands and will probably pick up a Seiko one day, but there’s a very long list before that….

  • Tjthompson43

    European snobbery and brand name slavery as usual. Do a little homework and you will understand why Grand Seikos stand up to and beat any Swiss watch out there.


    Rolex and all these European brands basically brainwash the people to believe theirs is better.. that goes for cars and probably everything they make. 
    And by the way, the NSX and 911 comparison you made is a poor one at best. 

  • toyota

    i had tissot prc 150,what a garbage watch they are.now i have some cheap seiko automatic and they are very good watches witout problems.anyway soon i will get oris,good price.why i will pay like 3000$ fot TAg when i can have a beter watch just for 1000$.oris!!

  • vicki

    does anyone know, how I could find out what Brand Name a watch is I recently came acrossed, and had to purchase just because its like nothing I have ever seen. the  retailers name is on the dial, and 7956 is imprinted on side of watch where the band connects. I was told it is a very Rare find. On the back of the case, ingraved, To Flount from Artie Dec. 25, 1941. Vicki

    • TimePassions

      if there is a way to remove the back case lid, the name should be on the movement of the watch. if its the one I have heard about, Everts on the dial, its a one of a kind Multifort, Mathey tissot, 17 jewel, with a very unique ristless band that clicps on like a bracelet, not connecting at the wrist. check this out. Very valuable and several collectors are looking for this watch I have described.  Sorry, no one else would take the time to answer your questions, good luck with yout watch collecting.      TimePassion

  • whackywatches

    Seiko’s? a high end watch?? what have I missed/ Ive only been collecting Swiss mades for about a year now. japan movements? was told they are Cheap Knock off”s, not to buy.. I have a watch now I cant figure out. onlu info is on dial, it is signed by Everts. on the sides, its marked 7956, and if you try to find the retailer thats name is on dial, it takes you to Rare Vintage Watches like, longines, Omega but yet I cant find out anything about this watch

  • Rumble

    This might have been the most misjudged piece of writing I’ve ever seen!

  • Gerry Sulit

    I wear Seikos and drive Toyotas. I do that because I am absolutely convinced that they are the best value for the money, realiability, etc. etc. Others drive American cars and wear Rolexes. They are absolutely convince that they are the best as well. It would be a boring world if we all drive the same cars and wear the same watches and eat the same food.

  • Peter

    Everyone who claims that american cars are good just haven’t drive european or japanese one. I’m from europe and unfortunately one of my cars is american. It’s decades behind in quality and materials used in european cars, but people who live in america can’t understand this because of local marketing brainwash. So it’s the same with the watches. It’s time to understand that there might be quality things made outside USA