Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Grand Seiko is marking a new era with the opening of a new manufacturing Studio Shizukuishi and expanding its global operations by setting up a new subsidiary.
The Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi
In June 2020, an entirely new studio, dedicated to Grand Seiko, will open its doors alongside the existing facilities of Morioka Seiko Instruments. The studio will be home to the watchmakers who assemble and adjust Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches and has been created with a view to greater production capacity in the future and the expansion of the collection. It will also house an exhibition space where visitors can learn about the ideas, collections and personalities that have made Grand Seiko over the past six decades.
The new studio is an entirely new free-standing building of 1,975 square meters and is surrounded by trees, through which the slopes of Mt. Iwate can be seen. Throughout the studio, the importance of the facility’s natural surroundings as an inspiration for Grand Seiko is evident.
The studio was designed by master architect, Kengo Kuma who is known worldwide for designing buildings that respect the natural world. Of wooden construction, with its roof pointing towards Mt. Iwate, the studio allows visitors to feel the beauty of its natural surroundings even from inside and is in elegant harmony with the Grand Seiko philosophy, The Nature of Time.
The Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, as it will be known, provides the perfect environment for the craftsmen and women who will create new generations of Grand Seiko watches within its elegant walls.
An overview of the facility
-Name: Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi
-Address: 61-1, Itabashi, Shizukuishi-cho, Iwate-gun, Iwate Prefecture
-Building: two floors of wooden construction
-Design: Kengo Kuma & Associates
-Construction: Daiken Sekkei, Kajima Corporation
-Inauguration: June 2020
Grand Seiko Europe S.A.S.
On April 1, 2020, a new company, Grand Seiko Europe S.A.S., will be established in Paris as a wholly owned subsidiary of Seiko Watch Corporation, Tokyo. It will be responsible for the sales and marketing of the Grand Seiko brand in all of continental Europe and it will provide the brand with the solid foundation, resources and investment that will ensure its future growth in both retail and wholesale distribution channels. In line with this brand building strategy, it will also manage the new Grand Seiko Boutique in the Place Vendôme in Paris which opens in March this year.
The President will be Frédéric Bondoux, who has recently joined Grand Seiko. Frédéric has long experience in the luxury watch market and is looking forward to the challenge of taking Grand Seiko forward and consolidating its position as a major player in its sector in Europe. Frédéric and his new team will be based in a new office in Paris. The creation of Grand Seiko Europe S.A.S. will bring decision making about every aspect of the implementation of the brand’s strategy closer to the European market and allow Seiko Watch Corporation to make a major new marketing investment in the brand.
Grand Seiko Europe S.A.S. will be supported by the experience of Seiko Watch Corporation, under the guidance of its Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Akio Naito who, in addition to his existing responsibilities, will have the role of new company’s chairman.
The Grand Seiko Boutique, Paris
In March 2020, the first Grand Seiko Boutique in Europe will open its doors at 7, Place Vendôme in Paris. As befits this most prestigious of locations, it will be the largest Grand Seiko Boutique in the world and will give watch lovers an unparalleled opportunity to see the widest range outside Japan and to experience the world of Grand Seiko.
The timing is propitious. 2020 is the 60th anniversary of the creation of Grand Seiko. In Japanese culture, a 60th birthday is a moment of new energy and re-birth. For Grand Seiko, therefore, 2020 is the perfect moment to open a new global showcase and to present both the wide range of the Grand Seiko collection and several watches made especially for this anniversary year as well as some that will be exclusive to this new Paris boutique.
The Grand Seiko Boutique is located on the west side of Place Vendôme. It occupies over 190 square meters on two floors. The interior evokes the serene beauty of Japanese aesthetics and culture and expresses the essence of the brand’s theme, “The Nature of Time”. It provides the perfect environment in which to explore the history, character and collection of Grand Seiko.
Grand Seiko Boutique Paris Vendôme
Address: 7, Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris France
Opening hours: 10:30-19:00 Monday-Saturday