Grand Seiko has announced the opening of their Shizukuishi studio in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in the 60-year history of the premium Japanese watchmaker that was hived off from Seiko as a separate brand in 2017. The new studio is now home to the crew that assembles and adjust each Grand Seiko mechanical watch.
The studio was designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, whose portfolio includes the National Stadium in Tokyo, the centerpiece of next year’s Tokyo Olympics; the Rolex tower in Dallas; and the LVMH Group’s Japan head office in Tokyo. Up until now, the Shizukishi studio was housed within the Morioka Seiko Instruments building.
Spread across a floor area of 2,244 square meters, the new studio not only gives the watchmakers an enhanced working environment but also opens up future production potential. The studio also has an exhibition space where visitors can immerse themselves in the brand’s history as well as explore the nuances of Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches.
According to Grand Seiko, events will be held at which visitors can try their hand at assembling a mechanical watch themselves in a dedicated space known as the Studio Seminar Room. A lounge on the second floor looks out at Mt. Iwate, the mountain that inspires many of Grand Seiko’s dials. The Hi-beat 3600 Ref. SLGH002 with the 80 hours power reserve unveiled earlier this year is the first watch that was created entirely at the new studio.
To mark the occasion, a Grand Seiko has also unveiled a limited edition watch made at the studio. It will be presented in the lounge and will be available for purchase. The new Ref. SBGH283 is based on the models from the Heritage collection and feature a stainless steel case that is 40 mm wide and 13.3 mm thick. The green dial is supposedly inspired by the landscape that surrounds the studio. The watch is powered by the high beat Caliber 9S85A, which has a power reserve of 55 hours and an escapement that oscillates at 5 Hz (36,000 vph).
Once Covid-19 travel restriction are lifted, the new studio will welcome visitors. For information and reservations, please visit the studio’s website.