The first Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 Day watch was announced in March of 2016 (as reported by Ben Clymer) and it made a strong impression on the Grand Seiko fan community immediately, to put it mildly. This was a kind of maximalist watchmaking that heretofore hadn’t been seen from Grand Seiko – a mid-five figure timepiece, with an eight day power reserve, in a large, 43mm x 13.2mm case, in platinum, no less. It was and is an imposing watch no matter how you looked at it, and it was followed by an equally if not more striking, and disruptive, rose gold model, in 2017. These are statement watches on several counts – firstly, thanks their size and dramatic wrist presence, they’re going to be statement watches for anyone who wears one. Secondly, they were the clearest statement yet from Seiko, that it regards Spring Drive as not merely a niche curiosity technical hybrid appealing primarily to movement nerds, but as a powerful foundation for luxury watchmaking from Seiko, and as a mechanism capable of producing highly characteristic aesthetic effects in its own right (not that any Seiko-watcher needed to be reminded of that after the introduction of the Eichi watches).
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