Grand Seiko was expecting to open its first branded boutique outside of Japan in the first quarter of this year but the Coronavirus pandemic put paid to that so the ribbon cutting for its showroom on the iconic Place Vendome in Paris had to wait until today.
In the meantime, London became home to the first Grand Seiko boutique when a unit in the affluent Knightsbridge neighborhood was re-branded from Seiko to Grand Seiko.
Paris is different. It was designed from the floor up as a Grand Seiko store, and will display the Japanese watchmaker’s entire collection of around one hundred models.
It has 2,045 square feet of retail space over two floors and was designed by Kengo Kuma, one of Japan’s leading architects who infused it with Japanese minimalism and functionality.
The design reflects the universe of the Grand Seiko brand it describes as The Nature of Time. “I wanted to create a boutique where you could feel Japanese sensibility or Japanese culture. So, I focused first on the materials to be used that show the ultimate attention craftsmanship places on details,” Mr Kuma says.