Where there are people, there are rivers and lakes, and where there are watches, there are also rivers and lakes. The first impression of Grand Seiko originated from the legends on the rivers and lakes. The most basic function of the Seiko movement clock used in the observatory competition is to go with the time. Just like Huashan’s sword, Swiss watchmakers also want to distinguish the accuracy of the travel time. The Observatory, a public agency that can publish scientific observations, naturally assumes the role of ruling. Among the Swiss observatories, the most famous are the Geneva Observatory established in 1792 and the Neuchatel Observatory established in 1858. Each observatory will test and score the watches selected by different watch brands according to their respective rules and rank them. Grand Seiko is a series launched by Seiko in Japan in 1960. It was Seiko’s most advanced watch of the year. In 1963, Grand Seiko participated in the competition of the Neuchatel Observatory in Switzerland for the first time as a representative of Japanese watch brands. Yu Yu returned, only 144th and 153th. By 1968, everything had changed. This year, the Neuchatel Observatory in Switzerland suddenly announced the suspension of the competition! Because this Japanese brand that traveled across the ocean unexpectedly won all the 2nd, 4th, and 8th places, and the results of the competition were not dared to be revealed until the next year. In order to take into account the face of the country and the brand, the Nassar Observatory finally chose the ‘all in one’ approach to end the race that lasted for more than 100 years. Beta 21 quartz movement, Grand Seiko turned to the Geneva Observatory competition. In order to avoid repeating the tragedy of the game at the Nassar Observatory, the Swiss played a routine. At the time, Seiko got a mechanical watch in Switzerland. The Geneva Observatory changed the rules of the game so that quartz watches and mechanical watches could be put in the same group. Quartz watches are definitely more accurate than mechanical watches due to their inherent advantages (high vibration frequency). It’s like having two people racing, one riding a bicycle, and the other driving a car. Although the final result of the competition was that the quartz watch Beta21 of the Swiss CEH Electronic Clock Center won the top three, but the fourth to tenth are all mechanical watches from Japan Seiko. Grand Seiko scored 58.19 points in Geneva, surpassing all previous records. If converted to the scoring standard of the Neuchatel Observatory, the score is 1.33, which is also a historical record. Grand Seiko has become one of the most accurate mechanical watches. It is not difficult to defeat others, the hardest thing is to defeat yourself. On December 25, 1969, the world’s first quartz watch ‘Quartz Astron’ was launched in Tokyo by Seiko, showing unprecedented performance. The average monthly error is within 5 seconds, more than 100 times more accurate than any other watch at the time. Faced with the quartz watches sold by themselves, Grand Seiko mechanical watches are also difficult to compete. After 1976, Grand Seiko was silent, no new products were launched, and only legends remained on the rivers and lakes. In 1988, Grand Seiko returned, but at first it was equipped with a quartz movement that had once killed itself. It was not until 1998 that mechanical movements were re-launched into this series. In the era when Grand Seiko returned, ‘Hua Shan Lun Jian’ no longer exists. Watching time has even become the least important feature of a watch. Prior to 2010, the revitalized Grand Seiko was also only available in Japan and a few regions, and there were not many opportunities to be contacted. What does Grand Seiko look like now? With the concept of ‘the highest level of ordinary’, Grand Seiko’s functions have not been complicated since its birth. Most of them are simple junior calendar models, and the GMT function was not added until 2002. The dial and hands are undoubtedly the most recognizable and attractive part of Grand Seiko. At first glance, you can see the difference between it and other watches. Even if there is only a small amount of light, the pointer scale is clearly identified. In order to achieve this effect, in addition to the need for delicate mirror polishing, Grand Seiko also has a unique secret. ‘Cicadas are noisy and forests are quiet, while Birdsong Mountain is more secluded.’ Similarly, with black background, it can show white purity. Grand Seiko knows this well, making the pointer and scale into a solid with multiple facets. In the case of a single light source, the reflections of the pointer and the scale are bright and dark, and the contrast between each other is more clear. Overseas watchmate Macimancs has taken a set of high-resolution photos of the hands of Rolex, Omega and Grand Seiko. By comparison, we can find that Grand Seiko’s workmanship is the best. Wins in surface finish, side finish, and bevelled hands. To add a sense of layering, Grand Seiko’s lugs also have more facets for more reflection. In the era when Grand Seiko was born, due to technical limitations, there was no way to cut the case with multi-face lugs, so the lugs were made separately and then carefully welded into the case. Since 1960, the Lion is the representative of Grand Seiko, and has been engraved on the back of each Grand Seiko case. Even now it becomes a sapphire back case, but the lion’s secret can still be seen on the watch. The reason why the lion was chosen as the representative was that the design team was determined to create the ‘king of watches’, and the lion was ‘the king of beasts.’ After the silence in the 1980s, Grand Seiko developed a new generation of 9S series movements, which used more modern watchmaking techniques. The clockwork material is a new material ‘Spron530’ developed in cooperation with the Tohoku University Metal Materials Research Institute. After strengthening, even the 10Hz high-frequency movement can guarantee sufficient torque and a power reserve of up to 55 hours. The most critical escapement is the use of MEMS micro-electromechanical casting technology, which hollows out parts and reduces weight, reduces unnecessary energy loss, and improves power reserve time. At the same time, the specially-shaped escapement gear teeth can store more lubricating oil and reduce friction during high-frequency operation of the movement. Grand Seiko closed the Neuchatel Observatory in the 1960s. Later, the observatory competitions in the Swiss cantons were cancelled and merged into ‘COSC’, which is what we often call the observatory certification. Although as a neutral official agency, COSC also accepts non-Swiss brands for inspection, but does not provide a separate certificate for foreign brands, which means that it cannot mark ‘Chronometer’ on the dial. After Grand Seiko ate behind closed doors, he set his own certification standards. Not only the original daily error interval of +6 to -4 was reduced to +5 to -3, but also the detection time was extended from 15 days to 17 days. At the same time, each table is issued a ‘certification certificate of compliance’ with an independent code. On the bright side, there are naturally the downsides. Grand Seiko has commendable points in history, hands, case, and precision, but it still lacks some details about the meaning of luxury watches. For example, although the movement is decoratively polished, the splint is covered with Geneva waves. But no matter the real thing or the photo, it looks particularly “stiff”. It is clear and overly regular, and it is obviously felt that it is an industrialized production line. In addition to the watch itself, the brand’s popularity is also a big shortcoming of Grand Seiko. For cousins who know the history of this brand, Grand Seiko can be said to be famous. But for the general public, Grand Seiko, which sells for an average of 30,000 yuan, and Seiko, which cost several hundred yuan, ‘seems’ to be the same. Although we often say ‘buy a watch for yourself’, a big feature of luxury is ‘show it to others’. Obviously, Grand Seiko is easily misunderstood as cheap Seiko. However, for a long time, some cousins considered it an advantage because it was really ‘low-key.’ Even a lot of cousins enjoy the process of dialing others to find that they are wearing Grand Seiko. ‘Pretend to be poor’ is also a form of ‘show off rich.’ ‘Low-key’ may not be a good thing for the brand side, because low visibility often leads to bleak sales. Grand Seiko was originally released only in Japan and a few regions. In 2010, Seiko launched the Grand Seiko series of watches for the world. So in order to improve the image, starting in 2017, the Grand Seiko series will be presented as a completely independent brand. The Grand Seiko logo will appear at 12 o’clock on its dial, and all Grand Seiko watches will be so in the future. At the same time, in the early 18th, Grand Seiko launched the Chinese name ‘Crown Blue Lion’ for promotion. Grand Seiko doesn’t want to be low-key.