Grand Seiko Quality / Reputation?

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Eldhus, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Eldhus

    Eldhus Registered User

    Feb 13, 2020
    6
    1
    3
    Country Flag:
    Greetings - I am certainly an AMATEUR wrist watch enthusiast. I have spent the last decade or so casually learning what I could about wrist watches on a decidely limited budget.

    For the last year or two, I have watched dozens of videos on Youtube created by (ahem) "experts" in the wrist watch field. As with all things, there are varying of expertise displayed on these videos. One "expert" kept mispronouncing Shinola as "Shin-ola", as in the lower part of your leg; I turned off his video half way through. (I don't have an overly-huge respect for Shinola: it's a nice fashion watch, but I think a person should at least learn how something is pronounced before you pontificate about it.)

    My question to you good folks concerns a brand that seems to have come from almost nowhere in the last few years to video prominence - Grand Seiko. There seems to be a lot of erstwhile fans of that brand that post on Youtube, actually what I see as a disportionate number. Would any of you mind giving me feedback on your opinions of Grand Seiko, and why the (relatively) sudden popularity of the brand? I have looked up internet articles on it, and some of the articles make the claim that it is a better brand, a better watch(es) than the ones from Rolex, Omega, and JLC. My immediate reaction was "What? Huh?"

    So, what gives? Have I just been asleep the last few years, or is there something else I am missing?
     
  2. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,866
    213
    63
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    We are a bit biased. We were the first Grand Seiko dealer in the USA (don't bother calling us for sales if you are a dealer, we don't trans-ship, a hard and fast Grand Seiko rule), when the relaunched a decade ago. Our stores carried better brands like Breitling, Omega, Girad Perregaux Tag Heuer etc. And my wife and others were skeptical. "No way you can sell a 10k Grand Seiko". But I liked the look and the accuracy was next to none. The Swiss hated them and there was pushback from my Swiss brands when I opened Grand Seiko. It was tough at first, but we stuck with it. Today it is one of our fastest moving brands. The Japanese take stuff seriously. They play well with their dealers. The watches are awesome.
     
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    9,316
    498
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I particularly like the Grand Seiko spring drive with the titanium case, snowflake dial, yellow gold batons, and yellow gold dauphine hands.

    I am also a fan of the technology.

    However I already have two wrist watches, and only two arms. (fortunately I have lots of walls, horizontal surfaces, and floor space for clocks.)
     
  4. Eldhus

    Eldhus Registered User

    Feb 13, 2020
    6
    1
    3
    Country Flag:

    Thank you - good information. Recognizing that you "have a dog in this hunt", please allow me a couple of follow-up questions - 1. How would you assess the quality of Grand Seikos (particularly the value-for-money assessment). 2. Do you have any comment / feedback on the quotes I have read elsewhere that GS is a better watch than Omega, Rolex, and JLC?

    Any other feedback from others?
     
  5. Eldhus

    Eldhus Registered User

    Feb 13, 2020
    6
    1
    3
    Country Flag:
    One other question - it seems to me that you are implying that there are Swiss brands that "do not play nice" with dealers and whose qualitiy levels do not match their repuations. I would never be so indiscrete as to ask for specific brand names, but in general are there (unamed) Swiss brands that DO act in such a cavalier fashion?

    Thanks.
     
  6. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    3,559
    225
    63
    watchmaker
    Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The answer is Yes.
     
    Jeff Hess likes this.
  7. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,866
    213
    63
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    a. It is blaspemous to say that Grand Seiko is better than Omega Rolex and JLC. Why because the Swiss own the narrative. and they own "this space". But yeah. many says that. Many. A lot of people.
    b. Value to money? cannot address that here but you can by a snowflake for under 4k that keeps beter time than most plante oceans at 8k
     
  8. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,866
    213
    63
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I know nothing! -Sgt Schultz.
     
  9. Eldhus

    Eldhus Registered User

    Feb 13, 2020
    6
    1
    3
    Country Flag:

    Very interesting, thanks. I fully believe you in regard to the quality of the GS.

    Of course, speaking philosophically, there are probably $400 watches (quartz, granted) that keep better time than $10,000 watches. What the additional $9,600 dollars is buying you, in my opinion, is the asthetic satisfaction of owning a prominent piece of machinery with a proud tradition and luxury reputation. Every sucessful salesman / rich person I have known owned a Rolex in order to make the unspoken statement "I HAVE MADE IT TO THE TOP!!". Frankly, almost none of them knew the technical difference between a Rolex and a bottle of Windex. As of now, the GS doesn't shout SUCCESS! to the average guy like the Rolex does; maybe it will in another 6 to 10 years. (I guess that goes along with your statement about the Swiss owning the narrative.)

    I think that Tesla is going on a similar trip right now to Rolex - Tesla is THE car to buy if you want an electric vehicle, even though there are less expensive alternative vehicles that are just as good, or better.

    Again, thanks for the information.
     
    Jeff Hess likes this.

Share This Page