Grand Seiko CEO Shinji Hattori says he plans to make the brand a leading player in the luxury watch market worldwide, as successful outside Japan as it is within its home country where it has ten monobrand boutiques.
Its largest boutique outside Japan will open in La Place Vendome in Paris as soon as Coronavirus conditions allow, and it will open its first Grand Seiko boutique in China later this year, in Shanghai.
Grand Seiko’s plans to mark the 60th anniversary for the brand, and its tenth anniversary as an international player operating outside Japan, were scuppered by the growing threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But Mr Hattori reminds people that the brand has a very long history, dating back to the foundation of Seiko by his great grandfather Kintaro Hattori 160 years’ ago. He would have been 100 when Grand Seiko was created as a separate brand.
“Over the past few years, I have felt that history was calling us to make 2020 a special year for Grand Seiko. We are laying the foundations for a new golden age for the brand,” Mr Hattori says in a an address released on Youtube.
2017 was the key year for Grand Seiko internationally it set the brand on a new course with a wider collection, new designs, new retail distribution and new communication, according to Mr Hattori.
Although the first half of the year has been severely disrupted, Grand Seiko is on track to open a new manufacturing facility in Shizukuishi, northern Japan, which will be dedicated entirely to making Grand Seiko mechanical watches.
In another video posted on the same day, Grand Seiko presents two new movements that it has launched as part of this year’s 60th anniversary.