In 2001, Seiko Watch Corporation created a special Grand Seiko watch in collaboration with Steiff, the iconic German luxury toy brand. This special timepiece was exhibited at the 12th International Jewelery Tokyo in 2001 along with STEIFF’s Platinum Teddy Bear.
Established by Margarete Steiff in Giengen in 1880, STEIFF has been known for its luxurious animal-themed toys for children, especially the teddy bears. The iconic “Bear 55 PB” was launched in 1902. Designed by Margarete’s nephew Richard Steiff, it was the world’s first plush teddy bear with movable arms and legs. In 2002, the company celebrated the 100th anniversary of the original teddy bear.
In the Grand Seiko Teddy Bear Watch project, Seiko Watch Co. and Margarete Steiff GmbH partnered with Japanese Toy Company Takara Co., Ltd. and Platinum Guild International.
Founded in 1955, Takara Co., Ltd. was the sole distributor of STEIFF in Japan. In March 2006, the company merged with Tomy Co., Ltd. to form Takara Tomy. Today, it is one of the world’s leading toy manufacturers.
The 12th International Jewelery Tokyo was held from 24 to 27 January, 2001. During this event, STEIFF displayed its “Platinum Teddy Bear”, sporting a platinum tiara and a cloak made of platinum cloth. Two “Platinum Teddy Bears” and Steiff Teddy Bear Watches were produced.
One set was created for Platinum Guild International for promoting platinum jewelry at the organization’s exhibitions nationwide. The second set was dedicated to the “Teddy Bear Collection Exhibition” to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Steiff teddy bears. Later, it was put up for a charity auction and the proceedings were donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
The Steiff Teddy Bear Watch was based on Grand Seiko SBGX017. This Platinum GS quartz model was introduced in 1997. Equipped with the 9F61 movement, it features 35.5mm diameter case, silver dial and alligator leather strap with platinum buckle. The company selected this model to create the Grand Seiko Steiff Teddy Bear Watch (reference SBGX00C1).
The Grand Seiko SBGX00C1 timepiece has a silver dial with the inscription “Steiff Teddy Bear” just above the 6 o’ clock. The case back features the “Steiff Teddy Bear” text and an engraving of a teddy bear.
During the 12th International Jewelery Exhibition Tokyo, one SBGX00C1 platinum watch was worn on the arm of STEIFF Platinum Teddy Bear. The total amount of platinum jewelry and costumes, including watches, was equivalent to 4.8 million yen.
Product name: Grand Seiko Steiff Teddy Bear Watch
Product number: SBGX00C1
Movement: Caliber 9F61
Functions: Hour, minute and seconds
Accuracy: Annual difference ± 10 seconds (when worn on the arm at a temperature of 5 to 35 ° C)
Case dimensions: 35.5mm X 10.1mm
Dial: Silver, with Steiff Teddy Bear inscription
Band: Crocodile leather strap with platinum buckle
Glass: Sapphire glass (with anti-reflective coating on the inside)