One of the challenges of Baselworld is the amount of Klondike-like panning needed to separate the facts from the adjectival PR silt in which they’re buried. In fact, it’s less like panning for gold and more like dredging. There may even be scope for a dedicated Baselworld Buzzword Bingo card.
Once you’ve found ‘cutting-edge novelties’ (we’ve changed the strap), ‘unrivalled craftsmanship’ (another ETA movement in a fashion case), ‘global brand (we’ve got a serviced office in Hong Kong) and ‘remarkable creation’ (yet another ETA movement in a fashion case), you can shout “MAISON!” and win a special edition Swatch.
Something interesting always shines up from the mud though. And this year, it was Grand Seiko’s new SBGR305. There’s a new case in a new case material and a new movement too. But more of that in a sec… there’s also news of how Seiko sees the future for Grand Seiko.
Seiko’s President and CEO, Shinji Hattori, has announced, “…we are today taking one step further and presenting Grand Seiko as an entirely separate brand.” He went on to explain, “On all the creations we are presenting here at Baselworld, the Grand Seiko logo is at the 12 o’clock position and this will also be true for all Grand Seiko watches from now onwards.”
Without understanding what ‘independence’ involves, It’s hard to know if this is more than a simple brand tweak and a relocated logo. But it does seem to be another step for GS in its move away from being a Japanese market-only brand.