The difference between Grand Seiko as many of us came to know it, and the direction in which it is shifting the high end, is that at an under-$10,000 price point – and often, under $5000 – Grand Seikos sell not only on the strength of their own considerable beauty but on the wonderful value they offer as well. When we first started seeing them more often in the US, in the early-to-mid 2000s, they were very much an insider’s watch but not only because it was rare to see them – they were a token of connoisseurship as well. They signaled, for many of us, that the owner was someone who bought watches out of genuine knowledge and experience of watchmaking, and of craft in watchmaking. Those watches are certainly still in Grand Seiko’s collections – the fact that you can still get a mechanical Grand Seiko, and an excellent one such as the automatic SBGR261, means that value is still there and not going anywhere. At the price point of the higher-end Grand Seiko watches, however, the thought, “This is a fantastic value,” becomes a question – which is, relative to the rest of the market: “Is it worth it?”
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