Seiko has confirmed that Grand Seiko is to become a fully independent brand with immediate effect, paving the way for it to plot its future growth course as a standalone entity.
The Grand Seiko brand has a heritage that dates back to the 1960s but has made solid strides in terms of distribution and sales after its international launch seven years ago.
Commentators suggested the move was more a “rebranding” than a spin-off and would allow the brand to distinguish itself as a high-end product of its own, rather than being grouped in with the wider Seiko portfolio.
Shinji Hattori, president and CEO (pictured), commented: “Grand Seiko has always been distinct in its design, character, presentation and, more recently, its calibers. In order to further reinforce its unique appeal and to reach out to a wider audience, we are today taking one step further and presenting Grand Seiko as an entirely separate brand.”
On all the creations it is unveiling at Baselworld this week, the Grand Seiko logo is at the 12 o’clock position and this will remain the case for all Grand Seiko watches going forward.
“My intention is that, in the coming years, Grand Seiko will scale new heights of watchmaking excellence and commercial success,” declared Hattori.
The brand is also widening its appeal into new design areas and it is understood the new set-up will support this. Last year, it expanded the range of Grand Seiko with a sports model and, for 2017, it has developed a hi-beat diver’s watch and a series of Spring Drive chronographs.
At Basel yesterday it unveiled a new version of its first ever diver’s watch under the ‘Propex’ collection.
The case is virtually identical to the original, but its diameter has been increased by 1.9mm and it features enhanced functionality.
It boasts 200m water resistance for greater reliability and a silicone strap for improved wearability both outside a wetsuit and on the wrist.
The hand-assembled timepiece is available in a limited edition of 2,000 from July 2017.
In addition, it showcased two further creations that pay homage to Seiko’s 1965 diver’s watch. These new timepieces also echo the design of the 1965 original, but are up-to-date in their functions and meet Seiko’s stringent standards for diver’s watches. These watches will be released in November, 2017.