Grand Seiko will be flying in one of its master watchmakers for luxury watch show SalonQP this week to demonstrate the expertise that goes into producing its watches.
Satoshi Hiraga will make the trip from Japan, where he works in Seiko’s centre for mechanical watchmaking at the Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio, to strip down and reassemble a Grand Seiko Hi-Beat movement twice a day at the London show.
Hiraga, who will be based on Grand Seiko’s stand on the ground floor of the Saatchi Gallery until Saturday, was one of two Seiko watchmakers recently honoured by the Japanese government.
Hiraga was one of 150 craftsmen across many different industries to be honoured by the country’s Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Meanwhile colleague Yoshifusa Nakazawa received a ‘Medal with Yellow Ribbon’ from the government in recognition of ‘his distinguished services to watchmaking’. The award cites Nakazawa as a public role model for the professional ‘diligence and perseverance’ he has exhibited.
Nakazawa joined Seiko Epson Corporation in Suwa in 1978 and has gone on to win a number of watchmaking competitions, including the 26th WorldSkills International Competition in 1981. Today he belongs to Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio and engages in assembling and adjusting of Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie and Eichi II.
Nakazawa is the sixth Seiko craftsman to receive the “Medal with Yellow Ribbon”. He joins an exclusive group along with Mamoru Sakurada (2005), Kenji Shiohara (2005), Kiyoshi Terui (2007), Kazuo Takeoka (2010), and Kazushi Kannondo (2012).