Jewellery & Watch News
Even against the likes of Breitling, Rolex and Zenith, Grand Seiko are arguably one of the best for manufacturing highly accurate watch movements. Their entire premise since their founding in 1960 revolves around a mission to create “the world’s best watch” superior in precision, durability and beauty. To this day, Grand Seiko have succeeded in designing and manufacturing their own range of in-house mechanical and quartz movements that might just be some of the most accurate and reliable in the world.
The first Grand Seiko watch to hit the market was produced in Suwa Seikosha (now Seiko Epson) in Nagano prefecture in central Japan. It boasted an accuracy of +12 to -3 seconds a day and a power reserve of 45 hours. It was the first watch in Japan to meet the standards of excellence set out by the Bureux Officiels de Controle de la Marche des Montres. Yet despite this being a major breakthrough in the development of mechanical calibres, Grand Seiko refused to believe that this was the best they could do.
In 1967, the Japanese manufacturer released the legendary 44GS manual winding movement which became the most accurate of its kind in the world. Then followed the 62GS, the first automatic Grand Seiko and the automatic 10 beat 61GS and the manual 10 beat 45GS. All of these movements completely excelled expectations for accuracy, and having won every Chromometer competition in Japan, the Grand Seiko team decided it was time to look overseas for new challenges. But it wasn’t long before Grand Seiko was awarded the overall prize for the best mechanical watches at the Geneva observatory competition too.
Over the next few years, Grand Seiko continued to astonish the world with the release of their first collections of automatic winding watches. In 1969 they released the 61GS V.F.A, a super high precision model that sought to explore the farthest limits of accuracy in any mechanical watch with a monthly accuracy of +/- one minute. Then in 1988, Grand Seiko unveiled their first quartz watch, the 94GS. This magnificent creation far exceeded the performance of any regular quartz watch with an outstanding accuracy of +/- 10 seconds per year. The Grand Seiko 9F quartz calibres remain some of the most accurate of their kind to this day.
As the brand came into the 1990’s, they decided it was time for a new generation of Grand Seiko mechanical watches and with it a whole new goal for accuracy. In 1996, they released the legendary Grand Seiko 9S movement - a calibre still today - and submitted it to the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres (COSC), the official chronometer testing institute in Switzerland. However, it turned out the movement’s unbeatable rate of precision was even better than the standards laid out by COSC. Since that day, Grand Seiko has ignored chronometer certification altogether and instead declares that Grand Seiko watches and their accuracy are in a league of their own.
Despite becoming established as one of the best in the industry, Grand Seiko refused to stop, and in 1977 a young watch engineer decided to create the world’s first ‘everlasting watch’ that was powered by a mainspring but could deliver the same one-second-a-day accuracy of a quartz watch. It took over 20 years, but the Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement remains one of the most remarkable pieces of technology in the luxury watch industry. It’s construction, power reserve and accuracy is completely mind blowing and deserves an article of its own. You can read more about the Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement on our website here.
The history of Grand Seiko accuracy is one that we could talk about forever. They are by far one of the greatest luxury watch manufacturers for high precision quartz, manual and automatic winding watches – and we just know that their journey is far from finished. If you would like to shop some of our incredible collections of Grand Seiko watches, you can do so on the C W Sellors website here. We highly recommend you check out some of the Grand Seiko 9F Quartz watches, Grand Seiko Hi Beat watches and Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches for the best in accuracy.