In partnership with Grand Seiko

Inside Grand Seiko’s Nature of Time Exhibit in New York City

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A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to explore Grand Seiko’s Nature of Time Exhibit and pop-up boutique in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Hosted in collaboration with Watches of Switzerland, this limited retail experience is an all-encompassing venture into the world of Grand Seiko. The Grand Seiko team invited us to spend some time in the boutique and capture the sights, exhibits, and special products on display to share with you, our readers.

The Nature of Time exhibit is heavily inspired by the Japanese concept of “mono no aware,” which relates to the idea of appreciating the ephemeral nature of beauty. For those of you familiar with Grand Seiko’s US exclusive Seasons collection, you’ll know this concept of passing seasons and appreciating the impermanence of beauty has been a central theme of the brand for some time.

The design of the Nature of Time exhibit pays homage to thees concepts, with a room dedicated to the four watches of the Seasons collection. All four models are on display and the room is illuminated by large displays showcasing details about the collection. There’s even an entire room dedicated to shunbun (spring) where you’re surrounded by falling sakura blossoms.

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The highlight of the Nature of Time Exhibit is surely the watches. In addition to having Grand Seiko’s full collection on display, there are a number of very special pieces to check out, including a Limited Edition GMT in partnership with Watches of Switzerland, two Sōkō Special Edition models, and a very, very special 60th Anniversary piece you won’t want to miss.

Before we get to the great watches we saw at the Nature of Time Exhibit, be sure to make an appointment to experience it for yourself. In-person and virtual appointments available, so no matter where you live, you can meet with the Grand Seiko team and check out everything the Exhibit has to offer. Make your appointment right here:

Please note, your contact information will be provided directly to Grand Seiko via this form. Worn & Wound will not have access to any of your data. 

And now, here’s a breakdown (with live photos of course) of just a few of the watches available at the Exhibition. 

Toge Special Edition – SBGM241

The SBGM241 is an elegant travel watch inspired equally by the exploration of the Japanese landscape. The dial is a lush green with Grand Seiko’s now familiar “Mt. Iwate” pattern, a dramatic, textured, sun-burst-like effect that recalls the ridges of the mountain which can be seen from the Grand Seiko studio where many of the brand’s watches are conceived. The name of the watch, the Toge, refers to a navigable mountain pass, which underscores this watch’s ultimate intent: to keep time on a journey. The 9S66 caliber that powers the SBGM241 can track multiple time zones thanks to it’s independently set, 24 hour GMT hand. The case, designed by Grand Seiko Chief Designer Nobuhiro Kosugi, has a crescent moon shaped profile and beautifully executed zaratsu polishing throughout.

Sōkō Special Editions – SBGA427 & SBGA429

The Sōkō special editions are part of a long line of Grand Seiko references that celebrate the changing seasons, an important part of Japanese culture. The SBGA427 and SBGA429 are inspired by the first frost of the fall season – a time when the ground is crunchy with freshly fallen leaves, and early morning and late afternoon light and shadow take on interesting new characteristics. Each of these special editions, made for the US market exclusively, makes use of the 9R65 Spring Drive caliber, offering accurate timekeeping to a rate of 15 seconds per month, on average. 

The two Sōkō editions are differentiated by their dials. One is a light silver tone, representing “light,” and the other is a darker gray, representing “shadow.” Each has a subtle vertical texture, and a contrasting green seconds hand. The case is 39mm in stainless steel, and each watch is shipped with both a matching bracelet and crocodile strap with folding clasp.

Seasons Collection – SBGA415, SBGA413, SBGH271, & SBGH273

The Seasons Collection debuted in 2019 as a US exclusive release. Each watch represents one of the four seasons with a unique and mesmerizing dial design. SBGH271 and SBGH273, both in stainless steel, represent summer and fall, respectively. The summer watch has a green dial with gold hour markers and hands that are meant to elicit thoughts of lush summer growth. The fall variant has a deep blue dial and crisp silver dial accents that evoke a cool moonlit night. Both of these watches have textured dials that come alive in direct light, but have a subtle and classic look at a glance. The summer and fall watches are both powered by Grand Seiko’s 9S85 Hi-Beat movement.

The winter watch, SBGA415, has a gray dial with a prominent textured pattern that recalls a winter snowstorm. Its spring counterpart, the SBGA415, has a dial with similar texture but in a pink hue that represents blooming cherry blossoms. These watches have the same dimensions as their summer and fall counterparts (a 40mm case that’s 12.8mm thick), but are cast in titanium, giving them a lighter and sportier feel on the wrist. The winter and spring watches also make use of the Spring Drive caliber 9R65.

60th Anniversary – SBGW264

The limited edition SBGW264 is a rose gold dress watch that has been crafted to celebrate Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary. The slim case comes in at 39mm in diameter with a thickness of just 11.6mm thanks to the hand-wound 9S64 movement. The main attraction of this watch, however, is the dial, which is a deep shade of green with an engraved geometric pattern radiating from the center. The pattern is inspired by the silver birch trees that can be found near the Grand Seiko studio where the watch is made. As your viewing angle changes, the dial shimmers in green and white, much like the birch trees as they catch sunlight.

SBGW231

The SBGW231 is part of Grand Seiko’s Elegance Collection, and is perhaps the ideal, under the radar dress watch. At 37mm in diameter and 11.6mm thick, this watch has proportions that can only be described as classic. The dial, too, is simultaneously rigorously simple and deeply complex. The color is a rich cream, with applied hour markers that, upon close inspection, are finished to a degree that is hard to fathom at this price point. The watch is powered by a hand-wound movement, caliber 9S64, that is finished with the same level of finesse as the dial accents, and can be observed through the sapphire case back.

Needless to say, the Grand Seiko x Watches of Switzerland Nature of Time Exhibit is a must-see for Grand Seiko fans and watch collectors generally. If you’d like to learn more about the Exhibition or RSVP for a visit, head to the official website here.

This is a sponsored post. It was produced in partnership with the brand discussed within. The brand may have supplied details, images, or videos included, but the content was approved by Worn & Wound.
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