Opinion Piece: Australia’s First Grand Seiko Boutique
By Daniel Yong
It’s currently Friday morning and I’m feeling relaxed and ready to reset after a busy year of teaching. My morning schedule is pretty much the same, some form of calisthenics for about 15-20 minutes followed by a brewed cup of French pressed coffee. The morning is my favourite time of the day to reflect on events that have occurred, and I’ve got to say, this year has been a rollercoaster ride in terms of my personal life and the world of watches. With so many withdrawals from Baselworld, it was obvious that things were beginning to change. One of the most exciting events this week, and yes, I know I’m late to the party, was the first Grand Seiko boutique opening its doors in Sydney Australia, just outside of Sydney Tower.
What does this mean?
I can’t pick just one adjective to describe how I felt upon the opening of Australia’s first Grand Seiko boutique in my home city, as I know for a fact that there are so many passionate collectors of the brand residing here. To be clear, the adjective was thrilled. On the contrary, I’m also worried that we may all become homeless as most of our income will probably be spent here (jokes). Placing the boutique in Sydney, home of many other competitors and luxury chains in my opinion, is a lucrative move for the brand. On its opening, I managed to rush after work to the boutique to congratulate Vincent (Grand Seiko Australia’s strategic manager) and check out the layout and vibe of the store. While salivating (in the metaphorical sense) over the Japanese exclusive models (the solid rose gold 44GS inspired Spring Drive and the model pictured below), I noticed plenty of interest in-store and by members of the public walking past outside. It was clear that the brand was now making its mark in Sydney.
I know for a fact that Australians are already in love with Japan and its culture. With increasing visitors to the country, sooner or later I suspect that more Australians will be rocking Seiko or Grand Seiko timepieces as it reminds us all of the country we romanticise with. With the Seiko boutique already causing buzz in its current location (Queen Victoria Building), its higher end sibling will now be competing directly against competitors. Without a doubt, collectors and those who pay attention to high end products are talking. No longer is Grand Seiko a hidden gem of Japan that only connoisseurs are aware of. They are now an aggressive force that makes fully in-house watches. From the quartz crystals powering the super accurate 9F movements, to the hairsprings and all the way to the innovate Spring Drive calibres, they’ve got both craftsmanship and engineering covered. We’ve already seen the success of the brand in the US market (shout out to Brice and the team), and I’m sure that the market in Australia is following suit.
Visit the boutique on Market Street and witness for yourselves, the best of Japanese craftsmanship and engineering. Who knows, you might even place a deposit, I know I did (wink).
Below are models currently on offer from the boutique and authorised dealers.
SBGK005 (2019 limited edition)
SBGV238 (2018 limited edition)