Grand Seiko and Watches of Switzerland have teamed up to create a unique retail experience in New York City, and if you’re a watch fan, particularly if you have an interest in Grand Seiko, it sounds like an event that’s worth putting on your calendar. This year has been a tough one for traditional watch retail, as many boutiques and jewelers have been closed or operating on a limited basis due to the worldwide pandemic. So it’s nice to hear about a shop like Watches of Switzerland’s SoHo location not just opening back up after a lengthy closure, but doing so with a highly personalized and tailored experience for Grand Seiko enthusiasts.
The Nature of Time Experience at Watches of Switzerland sounds like a dream for fans of Grand Seiko as it promises to not only bring together a massive collection of Grand Seiko timepieces, but to also offer an educational experience where consumers can learn about each of the Grand Seiko movement types (mechanical, quartz, and Spring Drive) in detail, along with the traditional craft techniques the brand is known to employ.
Traditional watch retail hasn’t changed much in the last several decades: you go to the store, you pick some watches out of the case, try them on, and make a decision. Grand Seiko and Watches of Switzerland have conceived of something more akin to a museum, where you can learn about each exhibit in a really immersive way. It’s more of a cultural experience, where the traditions that are part of the Grand Seiko brand will be highlighted. The whole endeavor was inspired by the Japanese concept of “mono no aware” – the idea of appreciating the beauty of ephemeral things. And like the changing seasons that are so important to Grand Seiko as design inspiration, the Nature of Time will only be around temporarily, running through September.
In addition to last year’s “Nature of Time” collection of US exclusive releases, Grand Seiko will be exhibiting watches from all of their major collections as part of this event, including recently announced 60th anniversary pieces, and rare watches made especially for the Japanese market. Of course, everything on display is also for sale.
Watches of Switzerland is located at 119 Spring Street in SoHo. While the Nature of Time Experience is open to walk-in visitors, reservations are encouraged as capacity is limited (social distancing and mask use is mandatory). For those not able to visit in-person, an online version of the Nature of Time Experience is available here.